First responders will no longer have to worry about street width in a planned 30-lot patio home development in Denison after developers submitted new plans following an issue with construction on part of the property.


Developers for The Meridian — a proposed development in the 1800 block of West Crawford — recently resubmitted the plans for the development to the city amid concerns about the width of streets in the original site plan. The initial plans, which were approved in December, came at odds with city staff due to a variance on the street width that officials felt could prevent access by first responders in an emergency. Despite the objections of city staff, the site plan was approved by the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission in a 3-1 vote.


“They have since revised their site plan, and they also went from 24-foot streets with a variance to 31-foot streets, which are standard,” Planning and Zoning Manager Stephen Doss said following a P&Z meeting on the case.


Initial plans for the development featured a circular, privately maintained road that will provide access throughout the development. Due to the designs of the site, developers proposed reducing the size of the roads. Despite promises to bar on-street parking, city staff said enforcement would be up to the Homeowners Association, which would maintain the streets.


“In the event of an emergency, it is better to not have to wait on a tow truck,” Doss said in December, expressing doubt that people wouldn’t park on the streets.


However, surveys and site work revealed issues with the northern side of the planned development that prevented construction on a portion of the property.


Due to the large scale of the changes, developers were required to submit updated plans and acquire a new preliminary plat, Doss said. The resubmitted plans now feature a single road that ends in a cul-de-sac. However, the designs exceed the maximum cul-de-sac length allowed within the city by 260 feet, thus requiring a variance.


“If you pull the cul-de-sac back by 260 feet, you really lose … access to a lot of those lots,” commission member Mary Karam said.


Ultimately, developers did lose one lot in the change, however many of the amenities, including an exercise center and pool, will still be part of the development.


As the site is surrounded by existing development and a rail line to the south, access is limited to the site, thus requiring the cul-de-sac. City staff noted no other major concerns with the plan as the roads now meet city standards.


“For this reason, staff recommends approval of the variance and the plat as provided,” city staff said in documents for the meeting.


When put to a vote, the site plan was approve unanimously, with P&Z Chairman Charles Shearer recusing himself from the item. Previously, Shearer recused himself from discussions on the development due to his involvement with the project.