Large lots of land were annexed into the city with a split decision to bypass the city’s routine ordinance procedures. Lakeside Development, a land development, is slated to build 111 homes. The City Council also approved a contract with Retail Strategies to bring more national chains to Deer Park.
The annexation process started in 2022 with a petition by property owners just outside the city limits but within the Urban Growth Boundary. As the petition advanced, the required number of signatures were reached, and a public hearing was held in September. At the public hearing, all sides were represented and had a chance to speak. Some of the main concerns were the cost to comply with city & state laws after annexation, impacts on land value, legal uses of property, future development of roadways, water supply, and traffic impacts.
The annexation contains approximately 167 acres of land. With the current zoning, the developer could add more than 100 homes to the city in the next few years.
The developer had established an agreement with some property owners to help them offset the cost of water and sewer connections, which usually runs about $5,000 at this time. One resident testified that they would still be required to decommission their fresh water well and septic tank and had estimated the cost at nearly $20,000.
Councilmember Cragun made a motion to waive the standard three reading process that would have included a chance for property owners to address the ordinance in a public hearing. Councilmember Stapp spoke against waiving the three-reading process, saying, “…we [City Council] need to give them [property owners] the normal amount of time to air their thoughts…”
Council vote was split to waive three reading processes:
- In Favor: Cragun, Newsom, & Diaz
- Against: Upchurch & Stapp
Without any further discussion or public input, the council voted unanimously in favor of the annexation.
A presentation by Retail Strategies was made to the council with the objective of recruiting national brands to add locations within Deer Park. The Deer Park Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development Committee supports this proposal. The proposal includes a Downtown program along with retail recruitment. The first year will cost the city $90,000, with $45,000 for each additional year. Retail Strategies was proposing an initial commitment of three years. The council voted unanimously to proceed with the contract starting in 2024.
You can see a video of the meeting on our YouTube channel at DPGazette.com/youtube.