Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Council allows project by Camp Crucis to progress


Almost one month after several people spoke out against a planned housing development near Camp Crucis - a 74-year-old, 163-acre retreat that is a ministry of The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth - the council granted conditional approval for the project’s preliminary plat.

The action came after a brief summation of the situation by Community Development Director Kira Wauwie and a closed session discussion between the council, City Manager Chris Coffman, and City Attorney Jeremy SoRelle.

When the council reconvened into open session, it unanimously approved the conditional preliminary plat with no comment.

A request for a preliminary plat for the 325-home development with 12 commercial lots off Loop 567 near Granbury Regional Airport was on the agenda for the City Council’s regular meeting on Dec. 7, but Coffman announced that the developer had requested a continuance to meet with those who opposed the project.

According to Wauwie, conversations did occur between the developer, neighboring property owners and city staff, resulting in two changes to the preliminary plat. She also stated that there are “a few outstanding items that they’re working through.”

The history of the project’s progression through city channels might be confusing to some, a fact that Wauwie acknowledged when addressing the council.

The Planning and Zoning Commission, at its’ regular meeting on Nov. 15, considered both a zoning change for the development and the preliminary plat. The P&Z tabled the zoning request at that time, but pushed the preliminary plat to the City Council because of “shot clock” requirements imposed by the state.

A final plat cannot be approved unless there is a zoning change for the 121-acre development.

The matter before the council at its Tuesday, Jan. 4 meeting was only the preliminary plat, not the zoning change.

City staff recommended conditional approval with the following conditions: that an amended preliminary plat be submitted for consideration prior to a final plat, and that the amended plat not be approved by the council unless the plat conforms to applied zoning and other regulations.

The council approved the preliminary plat with those conditions.

The agenda item did not include a public hearing.

At the Dec. 7 council meeting, opponents expressed concerns about the development’s impact on Camp Crucis, which hosts retreats, summer camps and other events.

The site, which has 30 buildings, offers such activities as horseback riding, sand volleyball, tetherball, archery, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and swimming.