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2016 City News Releases

Posted on: August 8, 2016

Commission Considers Telfair Zoning Application

Sugar Land, TX - Newland Communities submitted a revised Planned Development general development plan zoning application on May 16 for the Tract 5 property, an area located south of U.S. Highway 59 and east of University Boulevard.

The rezoning application, as submitted, includes office, retail, hotel, restaurant, medical and age-restrict independent living units.

The Planning and Zoning Commission reviewed the proposal on July 28 at a workshop presentation. During the meeting, the applicant was provided with feedback on the plan, including concerns and deficiencies.

At the workshop, City staff outlined several staff concerns, including:

  • The development plan does not ensure a development that’s compatible in scale and density with the Smart Financial Centre.
  • The proposed application fails to ensure that the development will occur in accordance with the included development plan.
  • The application proposes pad-site parking with individual on-site surface parking lot and parking structures. This does not encourage walkable, pedestrian oriented development.
The Commission was unanimous in expressing its opinion that a mixed-use development such as the one proposed for Tract 5 needed multi-family dwellings to ensure an active and vibrant development.

“Multi-family development proposals for this area have been controversial and divisive, resulting in an outpouring of community opposition,” said Assistant City Manager Jim Callaway. “It is important to note that the current development agreement between Newland Communities and the City of Sugar Land limits additional multi-family development in Telfair. To date, Newland Communities has not expressed any interest in including multi-family in their application. We will notify the public if this changes.”

The applicant will work further on the plan with the City of Sugar Land prior to additional meetings.

No decision on the zoning application has been made at this time. A public hearing at the Planning and Zoning Commission is expected on Sept. 13 pending any decision to the contrary by the applicant. Following the hearing, the Commission will identify any additional work to be addressed prior to making a recommendation to the City Council. The Commission’s deliberation on the proposal will occur at a subsequent meeting.

“The Planning and Zoning Commission has not acted on the rezoning application,” said Callaway. “The Sept. 13 hearing marks the beginning of a long process and an opportunity for the community to make formal comments and present testimony to the Commission.”
The Commission will eventually make a recommendation to City Council. If the Commission recommends denial, a super-majority vote is required of City Council to approve the application.

Upon receipt of the Commission’s recommendations, a public hearing before the City Council will be scheduled. Council will consider the Commission’s recommendation, public input and the City’s comprehensive plan in reaching a final decision.

“We encourage all interested citizens to participate in the hearing process,” said Callaway. “We will notify the public if the applicant changes the hearing schedule.”

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