A vote on whether to grant a specific use permit for the construction of a $58 million apartment community on Duchess Drive and Loop 288 was postponed during Tuesday’s Denton City Council meeting following a closed session involving the discussion of installation of a traffic signal at that intersection.
“It’s nobody’s fault,” Mayor Chris Watts said. “These things happen. We want to follow that advice because we think it would be beneficial to all of us. We will get this back on as quickly as we can, which I believe is Sept. 15.”
In February, council members voted to postpone a vote on the project after the Denton Planning and Zoning Commission voted 4-3 to reject a special use permit for the Denton Grove apartment community, whose developer planned to offer affordable housing for tax credits on more than 16 acres.
“This current plan is a little different from the one you saw earlier this year,” Denton senior planner Julie Wyatt said. “This one slides a little north. It is also proposing 12 two- and three-floor buildings with 524 parking spaces. This project is an affordable housing project.”
Wyatt said neighboring landowners gave the nod for construction of the multifamily property, to include “a mix of uses, of which various commercial uses remain predominant, but where residential, service and other uses are complementary.”
The project will also include a 12-foot sidewalk on Loop 288, “extending north to connect to existing Duchess,” and an 8-foot sidewalk, extending west on Duchess Drive.
“I just wanted to thank you … for going back to the drawing board,” council member Jesse Davis said to the developer. “You really tightened this up and made it really feasible. I appreciate the work.”
The project includes 276 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments in 12 two- and three-story buildings. The community will include several amenities, including a pool, playground, game court, pavilion, grills, pedestrian paths, community park, dog park, tree preservation area and butterfly garden.
“This is a great project, and I appreciate you being persistent and working with everyone,” council member Keely Briggs said.
Council member Deb Armintor agreed.
“I don’t know what kind of magic everybody pulled, but I am thrilled.”
It is not clear why City Council members were required to enter closed session to discuss the developer’s plan for the installation of a traffic signal at Duchess and Loop 288, but “proffered by the applicant will provide safer pedestrian passage to the Pebblebrook Open Space once it is developed.”
The request for a specific use permit was made by Evolving Texas and Pedcor Investments LLC on behalf of Dennis J. Koop, according to city documents.