The city of Sherman just added a large section of land to its western border. The Sherman City Council formally approved the voluntary annexation of nearly 218 acres of land near the intersection of FM 1417 and OB Groner Road earlier this month.

This annexation clears some of the barriers to a new planned development along FM 1417 that city officials are eyeing as one of the next big growth areas for the city.

“The Munson annexation is part of the long-term strategy that will eventually transform southwest Sherman,” Sherman Community and Support Services Manager Nate Strauch said via email. “Bringing this land inside City limits will allow for utility and road work to begin as soon as the developers are ready to proceed with that portion of the project.”

The annexation comes following two public hearings in May. During the June meeting, the annexation was approved with little discussion by the council.

While the city has talked at length about the proposed planned development near the new Sherman High School site, it was only recently that they started referring to it was the Munson development, effectively tying Munson Realty to the project.

These early talks, including recent budget discussions, referred to two separate mixed-use developments on FM 1417 — the Bel Air development near Legacy Village and Schulman’s Movie Bowl Grille and the Munson development near the high school site. Both would feature a mixture of residential and retail uses, but city officials said the former would be more skewed toward homes while the later would be more commercial in nature.

City officials have said that the construction of the new school has spurred interest from developers in neighboring sites. With the school as a major anchor and attraction to the corridor, officials said developers and retailers have shown interest in capturing some of this traffic.

“Any time you have a major draw like the high school, you are going to have retail and commercial that are interested in the hard corners for development,” Strauch said in May.

The 218 acres will be combined with additional land just north of FM 1417, bringing the total size of the planned development to about 600 acres in total. The section that was annexed by the council this month was the only section that did not sit within city limits.

“When taken in the context of the larger planned development that will include 400 acres on the north side of 1417, this annexation is really setting the stage for the future of that part of our city,” Strauch said.

Early plans and designs for the two developments are expected to come before the Sherman Planning and Zoning Commission and city council later this summer.