A Houston developer re-starts his effort to bring apartments and townhomes to the West Loop next week.

Step one will be a closed Tuesday meeting between TriArc Asset 5 representatives and city staff. The session will allow the developer to present general designs to see how they do or do not match zoning and construction standards. It’s a standard step for a developer or contractor, Building Official Liz Staff said Thursday. “He’s starting all over again. We haven’t seen anything,” Staff said.

Preliminary drawings and the developer’s overall plans should be presented at that session.

“The new layout segregates the for-rent single family from the for-rent apartments into a standalone mini development of approximately 16 houses. The apartment complex is roughly the same number of units (as the previous plan),” TriArc CEO Joseph Bramante told the Leader-News. “The meeting (with the Planning & Zoning Commission) should be the following month (March). We got delayed a month since city council had to approve us re-applying without waiting six months per code.”

The El Campo City Council gave that approval in its late January session via 4-1 vote.

TriArc presented its previous planned development proposal for Creekside Apartments, a two-stage, 400-unit, amenity-filled apartment/townhome plan to P&Z in early December.

That design drew concern from P&Z officials who rejected the plan in December following an unruly public hearing. TriArc appealed to city council who ordered P&Z to reconsider the proposal, but the developer withdrew the proposal before it could do so.

TriArc owns a little more than 26 acres on the West Loop near the South Street intersection, 10 acres of which are already appropriately zoned for apartments (C-2). The rest is either R-1 (residential) or C-1 (light commercial), both of which could be used to build single family homes.

With the option of building on its sites with only the need for a construction permit(s), the company instead is requesting the planned development zone.

To get a planned development, public hearings are required.

The Planned Development Zone, if ultimately approved, allows the city to stipulate certain requirements – fencing or enhanced green space, for example.

“If it’s not a planned development, we don’t have that leverage,” City Planning Director Jai McBride told council at the late January meeting where the waiting period was waived.

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