Developers for a manufactured home development are taking a second chance with the city of Sherman.
Representative for Bertakis Development are expected to present plans for a new 85-lot manufactured home development to the Sherman Planning and Zoning Commission when it meets at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
"We were all expecting to take the appeal to the council, to appeal the decision of planning and zoning," Sherman Community and Support Services Manager Nate Strauch said. "Of course, everything fell apart in the world economy in the coronavirus response.
"In the weeks and months immediately following the appeal, the city was in the understanding that the developer was no longer going to pursue the development."
Strauch said the new request is smaller in scope and is not relying on a zoning change. Instead, developers are requesting a specific-use permit, which would stay with the project itself.
The proposed development is planned to be constructed on nearly 20 acres of land in the 2300 through 2600 blocks of Graystrone Drive. Plans call for 85 home sites where the land will be rented to tenants, but the homes themselves will be opened by the tenant.
The developer is proposing that the community would include large lots, a recreational area with green space between neighboring residences and two- to three-car garages.
This is the second time that Bertakis development has proposed a similar development near U.S. Highway 82. In February, the developer proposed a more than 94-acre development along U.S. 82 that would feature 400 units across two parcels of land. The current proposed development would feature the smaller of the two parcels.
The original request was ultimately denied by the P&Z commission amid overwhelming opposition by neighboring property owners who cited a long list of concerns ranging from traffic and utility concerns to safety and crime worries. A group of 96 residents signed a petition in opposition to the development.
For the second version, meeting documents indicated that a petition with 113 names attrached was submitted to the city. The city also received several letters in opposition to the project.
"We do believe that many of the people who were opposed to the previous development appear to also be opposed to this development," Strauch said.
Following the denial, developers initially filed an appeal to the request and asked for the city council to weigh in on the matter. This presented a logistical problem for the city due to the large number of people who spoke in opposition. By March, many limitations on public gathering were put in place in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The appeal was initially expected to be heard in early April, but the meeting was ultimately cancelled by the city. Other options, including a teleconference meeting were also considered.
In May, the city planned to hold the appeal in Kidd-Key Auditorium, where more space would be available, but the appeal was withdrawn before this meeting could take place.
Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.