Weatherford Democrat

Aledo ExtrA

May 26, 2014

Trustees back Citty in plans for Morningstar

WEATHERFORD — By JUDY SHERIDAN

Concerned about the impact of adding hundreds of children to the school system, Aledo ISD trustees rallied around Superintendent Derek Citty at last week’s board meeting, backing his plans to request two school sites from the developer of the controversial 738-acre Morningstar subdivision and to gain an audience with the Fort Worth City Council, which must still sign off on a key developer’s agreement.

A preliminary plat for Morningstar, to be located at the intersection of Old Weatherford Road and FM 3325 in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of Fort Worth, won approval from the Fort Worth Planning Commission in April, despite Citty’s request that it be tabled and the objections of many others.

One of those calling for its denial was Ed Farmer Beggs, of nearby Beggs Ranch, who brought the subdivision to the school district’s attention during the April board meeting,

The preliminary plat names Willow Park North Development LLC as the owner and Lackland Holdings, of Fort Worth, as the developer/applicant,.

It shows 2,117 residential lots on 509 acres, 39 private open space lots, five commercial lots, six gas lots, one amenity center lot and one 13-acre school site.

Citty told trustees that the school site was inadequate for the number of homes proposed, which would yield close to 1,300 students at buildout assuming a density of .6 children per household.

He also objected to the site selected, saying its location, on a steep slope, would require the removal of 30 feet of limestone subsoil to make it level.

The school district should have a seat at the table as final decisions are being made, Citty argued, and be allowed to weigh in on school locations, safety issues, such as the availability of police and fire personnel, and the new developer’s agreement.

He said he had been unable to procure a copy of the agreement.

“Since it’s a document that’s undergoing legal review and being edited as a draft document, they weren’t comfortable handing it over,” he said.

Citty added that although he was awaiting a ruling from the attorney general’s office on the issue, he did not expect to receive one before the agreement surfaced on the council’s agenda.

Citty asked the board for permission to write to members of the Fort Worth City Council, citing the district’s concerns and requesting they meet with trustees. Such a meeting would demonstrate the support of the entire district, he said, not just the school administration.

He said the district’s input should be part of the developer’s agreement.

Citty said Chief Financial Officer Earl Husfeld had found Fort Worth City Councilman Zim Zimmerman, of District 3 — the closest to Aledo — “conducive to listening” to the concerns.

Trustee Hoyt Harris was quick to offer his support.

“I do like the fact of a district presentation with the Fort Worth Council as well as getting the message to developers in a professional manner,” he said, “and at the same time letting them know that we’re not the same people that they run over in other communities.

“We will fight for the kids and try to do what’s right if it means we go as far as looking into redrawing district lines.“

 

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