Zoning battle continues over vacant lot in Hillcrest neighborhood


ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – When you drive through the Hillcrest neighborhood, you’ll notice family homes left and right.

“It’s a friendly neighborhood and it’s a secluded neighborhood,” said Hillcrest neighborhood resident Edward Walker.

For many like Walker, seclusion is one of the main reasons residents pack up the moving boxes and head to this northeast neighborhood.

“One of the drawing points of moving here was that their was a vacant lot right there that the kids could go there and play and not have to worry about the traffic or worry about whats going on in the area or anything like that,” said Hillcrest neighborhood resident Ariel McDonald.

A lot that’s been up for grabs for years.

“That spot has never been developed, since 1881, nothing. There’s been nothing there,” said developer Nick Coates.

That’s not to say people haven’t tried in the past. Developers like Coates making plans for that land including assisted living and nursing homes, all which have been shot down.

“We need to build our city we need to grow our city,” said Coates. “It’s what’s important to us as part of a growing community is not to exclude but to include people who want to be in that neighborhood.”

Coates’ latest endeavor still turning heads in the neighborhood after first being proposed in 2014.

“We certainly don’t want a multi-family unit, a 300 unit complex built right across the street from us,” said Walker.

It’s long standing item that makes its way back to The City time and time again.

“The City keeps having hearings to rezone,” said Walker. “I don’t know if it’s every six months or every year or what it is but we’ve been to most if not at,” said Walker.

Residents say its a fight worth fighting for, not necessarily development but rather what’s being developed.

The current project did not pass through planning and zoning but will still move on to city council for approval.

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