Sherman’s Planning & Zoning Commission’s board of adjustments recently approved several variances for housing lots being developed along the 4500-5600 blocks of Quail Run Road.
Chris Noah, with Preston Trail Land Surveying, presented the request to the commissioners for lot size variances on nine of the lots in the area where he intends to put houses in a cul-de-sac. Noah told the commission he needed the variances in order to begin the next phase of construction.
“This is an existing plat that was previously approved a year ago,” Noah said. “These are cul-de-sac lots. We are requesting a narrower front on the bubble. They do have the minimum front building setbacks.”
Commissioner Chairman Clay Mahone asked whether there had been any construction done on the lots and Noah said there had not. Noah said the only work done so far had been on utilities and streets.
Wilton Hebert, a resident with property on Cormorant Drive adjacent to the development in question, expressed concerns to the commission.
“I would like to ask the gentleman who was just up here, what are your working hours sir?” Hebert said. “What are the contractors working hours?”
Mahone told Hebert the question had no bearing on the zoning of the property.
“It does,” Hebert said. “They have been interfering with my quiet enjoyment of my property since construction began. They work about 14 hours a day.”
Mahone told Hebert he would need to bring those concerns to city officials. The Sherman City Council recently voted to extend the hours for building and excavating operations in residential districts as part of its noise ordinance, and allow work on Saturdays and Sundays. The revised ordinance allows construction work from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. The ordinance also states no work will be permitted on holidays, which were established as New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Pebblebrook Estates residents Cynthia and Alex Sherman, who brought the noise ordinance to the council’s attention in early February, expressed displeasure with the decision. Cynthia Sherman said she and her neighbors have had to listen to construction work in their neighborhood every Saturday, Sunday and holiday since she moved into the area in August. Cynthia Sherman told the council she’s had to call the police many times because of construction being done “every weekend.” Alex Sherman said because of the number of homes under construction in their neighborhood, the “quality of life” for residents in that neighborhood “are going to suffer for quite some time.”
Sherman City Manager Robby Hefton said the Sherman Police Department would be the proper agency to enforce violations of the noise ordinance and city staff said violators could face fines up to $500. City Attorney Brandon Shelby said citations for violating the noise ordinance could be issued to either the person making the noise or the builder who ordered it to be done.
After the noise discussion, Hebert raised a question on the variances citing insurance purposes. Mahone told him the development was currently adhering to the city zoning ordinances in that regard.
Hebert also raised concerns about the potential for increased traffic in the neighborhood once it brings more people. He was against the developer constructing the cul-de-sac on the grounds it was going to stick more houses in the space than Hebert felt needed to be there. He was also concerned with the potential adverse affect he believed the development would have on his own property value.
Mahone thanked Hebert for his comments before opening the item for a motion to approve the variances.