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FM 1417 200-lot subdivision gets go ahead

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
The Sherman Planning and Zoning Commission has approved nearly 200 new residential lots along Moore Street.

Nearly 200 new homes may soon start springing up along Sherman's FM 1417 corridor. Initial approval to plans for The Grove, a nearly 200-lot development along Moore Street in what has proven to be a high-growth area for the city, was granted by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The proposed subdivision is the latest in a series of residential projects that have been proposed near the site of the new Sherman High School, which opened its doors to students last week.

Developer Joe Gilbert said plans for the development call for quality homes, along with room for other public amenities.

"It will have homes that are comparable to the surrounding neighborhoods," Gilbert said.

Plans for the 60-acre project, which were unanimously approved by P&Z earlier this month, call for a total of 198 residential lots in the 2100 block of W. Moore Street.

The starting price for the homes will likely fall in the $220,000 to $250,000 range.

Of the 200 homes, about 25 percent will be patio home lots. The Commission approved permits for the patio home use for 48 lots along with other plans and exceptions.

Gilbert said the purpose of this was to  give some flexibility in the floor plans for these homes, which will have adjusted setbacks.

"These will look very, very similar to all the other homes in the neighborhood," he said.

Gilbert said this matches the ratio of other developments he has worked on in recent years.

Two additional lots were at the edge of the development were approved by the commission for duplex development. This would serve as a transition point from residential use to other nearby developments, including a solar farm.

"There is a demand for two-family uses," Gilbert said. "What we are proposing to do doesn't change an existing neighborhood."

In addition to the nearly 200 homes, Gilbert said developers plan to dedicate 17 acres of land to park space and hike-and-bike trails on the west side of the development. This space will be dedicated back to the city for this use.

The project did receive some pushback from neighboring homeowners who worried about the impact the development would have on the nearby Pebblebrook neighborhood.

"The same type of development happened last year just to the north of Pebblebrook," Erin Smith wrote in a letter to the commission. "An apartment building was built and homes were constructed very close together. It diminished the look and feel of Pebblebrook right away, with more traffic and homes jammed together to accommodate as many people as possible, with as much profit for the developer as possible."

Gilbert acknowledged the concerns from the Pebblebrook neighborhood, but noted that they are completely separate neighborhoods with different access. While Pebblebrook is primarily served by Park Street, The Grove will have multiple access points along Moore Street.

Other concerns related to Moore Street itself and its viability as a major thoroughfare for this size of development.

Gilbert said the city is currently considering improvements to Moore Street as it is expected to be a major corridor in proposed development near the high school. The city council requested bids for improvement to a portion of Moore as recently as December.

With the new neighborhood on the horizon, the likelihood of these improvements is increasing.

"As more traffic comes roads like that come up on the city's radar," P&Z Chairman Clay Mahone said.

Gilbert: Growth will spur the improvements.

48 lots will be patio homes.

"These will look very, very similar to all the other homes in the neighborhood." Smaller rear setback. Flexibility on floorplans that can be built. side yard.

Conforms to what they've done in the past. Same ratio to a development they recently done.

Park Street. Traffic

Duplex. Transition from neighboring uses, including solar farm