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Lakeside DFW vote could come in November
Flower Mound and Lakeside DFW officials are trying to wrap up loose ends as the date draws closer for a possible vote on the proposed mixed-use project.
Lakeside DFW is a 150-acre project that would be located near the intersection of FM 2499 and Lakeside Parkway, backing up to portions of Grapevine Lake.
The project, which is highlighted by its access to the lake, is set to include shops, restaurants, outdoor dining, a hotel, offices, parks, trails and entertainment venues.
A mix of residential pieces, including single-family detached homes, condominiums, townhomes, apartments, villas and senior housing, are also planned.
The planning and zoning commission discussed various components of the project Monday during a work session with Realty Capital's Richard Myers and Roaring Brook Development's Dan Quinto.
The commission is expected to host a public hearing Nov. 12 to vote on a land use amendment and a rezoning request from planned development with commercial uses to mixed-use.
The town council is expected to vote on the item Nov. 19.
If approved, it would be the first project in Flower Mound to fall under the mixed-use ordinance, created in 2008 as a result of a recommendation from the master plan update committee.
As the public hearing approaches, however, there are lingering concerns about the project, including the height of some of the buildings proposed to be constructed.
According to Lakeside DFW plans, there are three areas along Lakeside Parkway -- in close proximity to the southern two traffic circles -- where five towers would be constructed. The towers would be located within the development and away from FM 2499.
Two of the towers would be used for offices, and three of them would be for residential uses.
The plans P&Z members saw Monday showed each tower being 25 stories tall, or about 250 feet. Thursday, Jimmy Archie, managing director of Realty Capital, said the plans have changed. The three towers proposed to be located closest to residential areas would be no higher than 18 stories. That matches the already-approved Hines hotel in the same project.
Project officials said they are seeking the entitlements for the towers now, even though it could be years before they are built.
"The market for a 25-story building isn't here now," said Brian Leak, vice president of Realty Capital. "There isn't a market for more than four-story buildings in Dallas-Fort Worth right now, and it doesn't look like there will be for the next decade. But we would be allowed to build it if there is a demand for it later."
The mixed-use ordinance states that the height limit on buildings is five stories and if certain criteria are met, then the height can extend past that limit.
One such criterion is the buildings in question must be at least 1,200 feet away from a platted lot. Quinto said the closest these buildings would come to a residential plat is 2,400 feet.
Another criterion is that the buildings must have "structural significance." Quinto confirmed they would, noting the design would be similar to the adjacent buildings.
Additional open space is another requirement, and Quinto said the developers would be providing the necessary park space.
Quinto said the proposed towers would still be lower than the 380-foot cell tower in that area. He said standing from Lakewood Park, which separates the project from the Estates of Flower Mound residential area, the cell tower can barely be seen.
"The current zoning allows up to FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] limits," Quinto said, referring to the 545-foot limit.
Commissioner Angie Cox noted the cell tower isn't visible because of landscaping. She asked what type of buffer would be between the towers and the neighborhoods.
"There's a difference if there isn't any landscaping," Cox said. "It would be visible."
Quinto said there would be landscaping throughout the project.
"There is a tree-planting requirement along all the parkways and along all the streets," Quinto said. "So wherever you are on a sidewalk, there will be a tree canopy."
Commissioner Mike Walker asked if developers have talked to the nearby neighborhoods located north of the project. Myers said there have been about 25 neighborhood meetings on the project, as well as various work sessions at town meetings open to the public.
However, representatives from the three neighborhoods located closest to the project said they have not been contacted directly by Lakeside DFW officials and have never had meetings with them.
"They have made a reference that we support the project, but we have not voiced favor or opposition at this point," said Brad Painter, president of the Estates of Flower Mound homeowners association, which is the neighborhood just north of the project.
North of Estates of Flower Mound are the Woodlake Phase I and Woodlake Phase II HOAs.
"As a board, we have had conversations," Painter said. "But right now we don't have a position. We're just compiling a list of questions and concerns that we may have."
Painter said those questions include how the project's master plan will coincide with the town's overall vision and the type of commercial components and residential components at the project.
"On the other side of Lakewood Park is just 15 feet before you get into that development," Painter said. "So it's going to be visible from hour homes."
Rosa Bailey, HOA president of Woodlake Phase I, said she favors development but has concerns over this project as well.
Among those is the tower height.
“I think it’s out of character for this community,” Bailey said. “How many cities north of I-635 have 25-story towers? There are none. This is more suited for Dallas or Plano but not in Flower Mound.”
Bailey also questions the impact the towers will have on the tax base, adding that there isn't enough retail in the area to support that type of residential increase.
Lakeside DFW officials said the zoning application calls for a maximum of 60 percent of the project to be residential.
Bailey said she is also concerned about the proposed amphitheater.
“Noise travels,” Bailey said. “I want to know if there is going to be a noise abatement in place.”
Leak said there haven't been discussions on a noise abatement but added that the amphitheater is half a mile away from the property line.
Doug Powell, the town's executive director of development services, said the town staff has begun receiving other questions from residents regarding the project.
One of the questions is if the project adheres to the SMARTGrowth program, which was put in place to allow for development while maintaining the town's rural setting. Powell said Lakeside DFW does meet SMARTGrowth standards, though he said some infrastructure improvements will need to be made because of the town's growth and not just because of Lakeside DFW.
In terms of traffic, Powell said the traffic impact analysis indicates there will be no extra impact on FM 2499 from the project, though a traffic signal and an extra turn lane will be needed.
Powell also discussed the change to Lakeside Parkway west of FM 2499, pending P&Z and council approval. The change would reduce the number of lanes from three in each direction to two, and it would allow for on-street parking, which project officials say is crucial for a successful walkable development.
Concerns surfaced regarding on-street parking, and if it would cost taxpayer money. Powell said the town did pay for the construction of Lakeside Parkway, but he said the property owners pay the town back.
Another issue involved the number of residential units and how many of those would be apartments, Powell said. There are 2,200 units proposed, and out of that, 250 are single-family detached units. He said the rest of those would be a mix of housing options.
"There is a wide variety," Powell said. "One of the things that makes this project interesting is that it's not just a housing type or two housing types."
The project is expected to be constructed in many phases, though Archie said the commercial components along the FM 2499/Lakeside Parkway area would be part of Phase I.
"We committed to build about 20,000 to 25,000 square feet of commercial in Phase I," Archie said. "So we'll have a mix of uses from day one. That was a big thing the town council has asked for. They said if they were going to approve a more residential units, they wanted to get a commercial component up front."