Aledo residents protest property rezone request; Council tables item following lack of supermajority vote

Aledo residents protested a rezone request on a property at 128 John St. during last week’s city council meeting, saying the proposed development isn’t fitting for the neighborhood.

The property is currently zoned R-2 Single Family Residential District and the owner Doug Boyd is requesting PD R-2 Planned Development/Single Family Residential District zoning to construct five houses.

“Correspondence was received from the owner of [a property on] Jearl Street and the city has received in writing two additional letters of protest,” Planning Consultant Betty Chew said. “Per your ordinance, if the city receives a protest against any amendment signed by the owners of 20% or more of the property within that 200-foot radius, then it does require a 75% vote or a supermajority vote of the city council to approve the request.”

Chew said the protests do meet the 20% and a required public hearing was held where the emails were read aloud and two additional residents spoke out in person.

According to an email from resident Marlon Jones, he’s lived in Aledo since 1968 and is in total opposition to the rezoning request for the property, which is just across the street from his residence.

“I’ve learned the details of the plans to build five homes and I don’t think that will be at all good for us and my neighbors,” according to Jones’ email. “The only reason I can see for the rezoning is just greed. The new property owner is looking at lining his pockets with more money by building five houses rather than three. He doesn’t care about me or all of my neighbors who have been here forever. This is wrong and I am angry.”

According to an email from Rhoda Hale and Joseph Neubauer, the owner/manager of the Jearl Street property, the aesthetically pleasing country setting was a large contributing factor to the purchase of their property.

“We strongly feel that allowing single-family rezoning in this area from three lots to five lots with two-story homes would be detrimental to the community. If rezoning occurs, five families would be living on .75 of an acre. This will certainly overcrowd this rural setting and is not conducive to the older smaller homes in the neighborhood,” according to the email. “We understand the community is growing and new planned developments are occurring nearby, however, this is an older neighborhood from the 1960s and homeowners did not consent to the parameters of a new development.”

Aledo resident Shane Davis, who attended in person, said the proposed development doesn’t fall within the deed and that a study needs to be conducted before any work begins.

Another resident spoke in opposition saying their neighborhood can’t handle the additional traffic and worries about property values going down.

The houses are proposed to be a detached “row house” design with detached rear entry garages that are adjacent to an existing 20-foot alley. The developer will pave the alley for access. The R-2 zoning regulations require five-foot wide sidewalks, which the developer requested a waiver on.

“The [planning and zoning] commission is not recommending that the sidewalks be waived,” Chew said. “There is a proposed extension of the trail in that area, so the sidewalks along John Street would be very important to tie back into that, so they are recommending that they be included in the project.”

The Aledo planning and zoning commission approved the rezone in a 3-0 vote with the addition of the sidewalks.

However, the item was tabled after a letter of conflict was submitted by a council member and there were not four council members present for a supermajority vote.

“Since we do have a conflict [and] we’re down to three — we do have a council member not here — the public hearing as I understand would continue on and this matter would be tabled to the next or a later agenda,” Aledo City Administrator Bill Funderburk said. 

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