The Waco Plan Commission on Tuesday allowed a developer to withdraw his application to develop a 150-acre tract near Panther Way so he can meet with neighbors who oppose his plan.
Developer Brad Harrell said he will bring the plan back to the city in six months, after making some revisions to suit city planners and neighbors.
“I’ve got to spend some time with the neighbors,” he said. “This project is so big, I want them to have complete information.”
About 40 neighbors showed up to protest a “planned unit development” proposed by Waco PRC Development. It would have included single-family and multifamily homes, as well as commercial development along a stretch of Ritchie Road that is soon to be widened.
Neighbors from several subdivisions in the area organized to oppose the commercial zoning, saying it would increase traffic and change the character of a quiet residential area.
Opponents passed out fliers and organized meetings to discuss the issues.
“We wanted all the neighborhoods to stand united,” said Daniel Lasher, a leader of the opposition.
He said the neighbors don’t oppose single-family homes and small-scale multifamily development, but they fear the PUD plan would cause dense development and set a precedent for more of the same in the area.
Harrell said the planned unit development he sought would have provided more development controls than his current zoning, which is residential and multifamily and would allow him to develop a large apartment complex.
“What the residents don’t understand is that the PUD is the best zoning they could get,” Harrell said.
A PUD is a tailored plan that gives developers regulatory flexibility and gives city planners input for the specific use and architectural details.
In other business, the commission approved changes to rules that govern farmers markets, making it easier for vendors to sell prepackaged foods such as salsas, meats and cheeses. The proposed ordinance now heads to Waco City Council for approval.