By CHRISTIN COYNE
WILLOW PARK – Facing a packed room and annexation supporters that included church members, developers and a chamber of commerce representative, the Willow Park City Council approved a request Tuesday night to annex a 10-acre tract of land into the city.
The annexation is the first step in a process that two contract-purchasers hope ends with a skilled-nursing facility and an assisted-living facility off of Crown Pointe Boulevard within the next year and a half.
On the heels of other annexation requests that became heated issues between developers and some members of council in recent years, the request appeared to be regarded with hesitation by some city council members. However, the council voted unanimously to grant the request to add the area, currently owned by the Willow Park Baptist Church, to the city.
An apartment complex is currently being built on neighboring property and Trinity Health Resources has presented information to the city indicating they hope to build a medical facility and future hospital at the corner of Crown Pointe Boulevard and the Interstate 20 service road.
Some city council members, including Amy Podany, Dan Stalling and Bernard Suchocki, have expressed concern about the impact of the proposed developments on the city and the ability of the city to provide services.
The issue was delayed during two prior meetings, with staff asked to do more analysis of the impact and to allow error, which left out a small piece of area needed for the future roadway, to be corrected.
Several spoke during the public hearing Tuesday night.
Robert Cramer, the owner and operator of College Park Nursing and Rehab in Weatherford, presented brochures with pictures of the planned 54,000-square-foot building to council members.
They hope to build a 128-bed facility, providing both rehabilitation and long-term care services, he said.