Small lots, big controversy in Friendswood
The recent subdividing of a 3-acre lot for a new home in Friendswood's Coward Creek Crossing neighborhood has reignited talk of banning the practice.
Since last year, Mayor David Smith has been interested in changing the zoning of homes in large-lot subdivisions from single family to single-family estate. That would mean that such properties could not be divided into less than 2-acre tracts of land to build new homes.
The city's large-lot subdivisions include Coward Creek Crossing, Windsong, El Dorado, Central Park and Mustang Meadows. They also include deed-restricted subdivisions like Polly Ranch.
The city held a town hall meeting in November on the possibility of a zoning change, but fewer than 30 people attended. Some supported the idea, but others argued that they should be able to do what they want with their property.
But the recent subdividing of the 3-acre lot in the Coward Creek Crossing subdivision for a new home caused so much opposition that its residents had Smith speak to them about the issue last month.
Smith said he explained to the Coward Creek Crossing residents that he believes that the rezoning of their subdivision to single-family estate is the best way to protect it.
They want to keep the integrity of their neighborhood," he said. "Here's another instance of the fear that I have and that's going to happen more and more as property values go up and as land becomes more scarce in Friendswood."
By early March, Smith said he wants to have another town hall meeting on the potential rezoning that is more publicized in advance so that residents in large-lot subdivisions can provide their input on the possibility.
We want to know what they think we should do," he said. I want to get this going because that type of encroachment is going to be more and more prevalent."
Smith said individual large-lot subdivisions would have to submit an application to be rezoned to single-family estate.
I'd like it to be where an entire area can do it," he said. If they have 50 percent of homeowners in that area who are willing to sign on for the application then council would take up the rezoning. I want to make it an easy process, but I also want to see that there is support in their area for doing that."
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