ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Abilene Planning and Zoning Committee are considering a new rezoning proposal that would turn more than 15 acres of Abilene land into 50 foot wide residential units.
While a typical agriculture land-to-medium density residency rezoning is not an uncommon occurrence, the size of the properties is what is alarming to established residents in the area.
Typically, platted lots in Abilene begin at 60 by 100 square feet. However, these smaller 50×100 square foot lots will create more housing in the same amount of space.
Similar to subdivisions in Dallas-Fort Worth and other large cities, these houses will be closer to each other and feature smaller yards – a feature that was allegedly requested by new Abilene residents.
If passed by the Planning and Zoning Committee, as well as City Council, the 15.067 acres between Maple Street and Lakeside Drive would be used for these new properties.
However, residents living just east of Lakeside Drive told KTAB/KRBC they are unsure of the potential of the new housing developments, and overwhelmingly disagree with the addition.
Ronny Saylers has lived in the neighborhood since 2002, and said when he and his wife moved in, there were no houses south of his property either.
He said watching the neighborhood grow has been great, but can also disrupt their way of life.
“I am totally against it, and I do not want it taking the value of our property down,” Saylers said. “I do not want them putting a through street here. We’ve got enough traffic on this street with small kids anyway, and I do not want to see anything coming through here that’s going to increase that traffic.”
Saylers said between the Lytle Shores neighborhood being a popular walking spot for couples, many of the neighborhood children run from house-to-house playing with their friends, and some even walk to Thomas Elementary School just down the street.
Lytle Shore Road connects Lakeside to Oldham, but has sharp turns throughout the neighborhood that can produce blind spots while driving. Saylers said people speed through the neighborhood now, but with more housing being added, it just presents more of a worry for neighborhood parents.
Saylers also told KTAB/KRBC with the Abilene State School using Lakeside Drive, it creates enough traffic as is. The road is so narrow, he said, if two cars try to pass each other, one would have to pull over into the grass to allow the other to go by.
Aside from safety concerns, Saylers said he worries the smaller lots could potentially lower his property value.
While nothing is set in stone regarding the development until the Planning and Zoning Committee and City Council approve the plans, if approved; the developer will also need to work on enhancing the roads surrounding, due to the location of the development.