#City & Town Planning
Round Rock City Council
United States of America

Excellence Body and Paint, Ltd. (hereafter referred to as EBP) has asked the city of Round Rock to re-zone the lot located at the Northeast corner of Ledbetter St and Clark St from SF-2 (Single-family - standard lot) District to OF (Office) District. The stated land proposal use is as an office with included parking. Properties along Ledbetter St are currently all zoned as SF-2.

This is a unique neighborhood in Round Rock, with properties lying directly along the historic Brushy Creek. This is one of the oldest and most historic areas of Round Rock, with several buildings in the neighborhood classified as historic buildings. Re-zoning the described lot will not only prove detrimental to property values in the neighborhood, but also start a dangerous precedent for transforming this neighborhood into a commercial and industrial area.

Clark St is a short street running from Sam Bass Rd to Ledbetter St. Along with Brandi St, which doglegs from Sam Bass Rd into Clark St, this small area constitutes an industrial business park just North of Ledbetter St. The character of this area is distinctly different from that of the historic neighborhood directly to its South. I believe that attempting to merge these two neighborhoods is a mistake, as their characters are so distinct that the attempt to merge the areas will simply result in the destruction of the historic feel of Ledbetter St. Allowing the industrial area to encroach on the single family residence neighborhood will lower the desirability of living here, and could ultimately result in the destruction of this road as a residential and historic area.

The lot in question is large enough to support the construction of a single family home, as it is currently zoned and surveyed. It may seem unlikely for a family to build on this lot, as it currently backs up to EBP with only a chain link fence separating the lot from the industrial park in general, and EBP’s daily operations in particular. The construction of a residence on the property would be much more likely if the barrier between the lot and the industrial park were made more substantial. EBP recently purchased this lot, and initially requested that it be re-zoned for light industrial use. The request was changed to office when advised by the Planning and Zoning Commission that a request for light industrial zoning would likely be denied and very little of the property would end up being usable due to building restrictions with this zoning type. Rather than re-zone the lot, it could be possible to find a buyer for this lot who would use the property as it is currently zoned, for a single family residence. Additionally, EBP currently owns the lot across Clark St from their existing business location, and this lot is zoned commercial. I do not understand why there is a push to extend commercial operations into a residential area, when the existing commercially zoned areas have not yet been fully developed.

At the first city council hearing, several members expressed concern over this re-zoning, but tentatively approved the plan based on the assumption that due to the shape of the lot and the restrictions put on office districts, that an offensive structure will not be erected if the re-zoning request is approved. However, if the property is re-zoned, the city council and neighbors will no longer have any say in what structure can be erected on the property. The property owner has the right to use the property as he sees fit within the restrictions of zoning limitations. This fits the neighborhood when the zoning is single family residential, but could dramatically depart from the character of the neighborhood if the zoning is changed to office. If the zoning is changed to office district, then the owner will gain the ability to erect anything that meets those zoning restrictions, whether neighbors or city council members find them to fit with the character of the neighborhood or not.

In addition, we have concerns over increases in traffic in the neighborhood. Construction along Sam Bass Rd is currently detouring huge amounts of traffic through the neighborhood. This increase in traffic volumes and speeds on our narrow streets results in unpleasant and unsafe conditions for those of us walking, biking, and playing in the neighborhood. I understand this is a temporary sacrifice that is necessary to improve the quality of Sam Bass Rd. However, I do not wish to see additional development that will permanently increase the traffic flow through this area.

The city council indicated that it recommends business owners contact neighbors when attempting to have a residential lot re-zoned for commercial or office use. Based on prior experiences with EBP, I believed that their owners and management were not only professional and reasonable, but also ethical. I have been disappointed in their lack of communication with the neighbors regarding their desire to re-zone this lot. EBP has not only failed to open a dialog with the neighbors independently, but has also failed to comment at re-zoning or city council meetings. With this lack of communication, I do not see any reason for us as neighbors or you as a city council to support this re-zoning request. I believe that a solution to this issue could be found that would be satisfactory to all parties involved if an open discussion between the business owner and neighbors was initiated. The purpose of this petition is not to create an adversarial atmosphere between the neighbors and EBP, but to express our sincere concerns for development in this area and our desire to be included in the decision making process as the area develops.

We, the undersigned, call on the Round Rock City Council to deny the request filed by Excellence Body and Paint, Ltd., to rezone the 0.98 acre tract of land located at the Northeast corner of Ledbetter St and Clark St in Round Rock, TX from SF-2 District to OF District.

We strongly believe this property should remain zoned as SF-2, in order to maintain the character and value of the neighborhood. We do not wish to see the industrial area along Clark St extended onto Ledbetter St.

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The Deny Ledbetter Rezoning petition to Round Rock City Council was written by Abbey Major and is in the category City & Town Planning at GoPetition.