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Opposition to Wilbow Zoning Change Request 10-16-17Burden is on Wilbow The burden is on Wilbow to prove that a disruption of the Ordinances, Comprehensive Plans, and Land Use Plans that the Town’s citizens have relied on is a value add, and not a value subtraction, proposition. Wilbow has no entitlement to a zoning change. The Town can simply say “NO” to Wilbow’s zoning change request. Blackstone’s Refusal to Negotiate in Good Faith Pursuant to multiple attempts by the Town, Blackstone has refused to enter into good faith discussions about a global plan for development on its properties In show of good faith, Town agreed to Blackstone’s requests for parking garages, but indicated at that time Blackstone would not receive another favor from the Town (and specifically a zoning change), until it came to the table to map out a global development plan (including keeping Open Space Land as open space). Instead, Blackstone wants it all. Blackstone is attempting to force unfavorable concessions from Town, one by one, instead of a fair “give and take” process. Blackstone’s and Wilbow’s zoning change request must be denied until Blackstone finally comes to the table. False Narrative #1 The narrative that residential is better than commercial is based on a false premise: 1. Blackstone has indicated that the irregular commercial building area is unworkable and not profitable. No one will build commercial on the Open Space Land, and the landowner will receive a square footage bonus by sending square footage from the Open Space Land “sending zone” to “receiving zone” properties by the expressway pursuant to the Transfer of Development Intensity Ordinance. False Narrative #1 (cont.) 2. Theoretically speaking, even with commercial development, the development would be 500ft away, preserving the entirety of the hill and trees (preferable to dense residential at much closer distances which destroys the hill and trees). False Narrative #1 (cont.) 3. Also, the 500ft Yard Setback requires any surface parking be placed 500ft away. At Wilbow’s 10/9/17 presentation, Blackstone admitted that surface parking would not make sense because no one wants to walk ½ of a mile to get into their office building. In addition, in view of tree mitigation costs, a surface parking lot on the Open Space Land would be the most expensive parking lot ever built. False Narrative #1 (cont.) 4. Instead, as the Town has already mapped out, pursuant to the PD restrictions, a parking garage would go in the skinny rectangular East side portion of the buildable area. False Narrative #1 (cont.) 5. Per the Town’s analysis, the 5:1 slope ratio requirement (5ft out for every 1ft of height) limits the height of any commercial structure to 3 floors, which cannot be seen at 500ft away. False Narrative #1 (cont.) 6. In short, commercial at the current 500ft zoning is preferable to a zoning change with residential at 150ft False Narrative #2 The narrative that Wilbow is giving something up by not building on the Mayor’s Hill in order to offset destruction of the knoll and deforestation of the Open Space Land is false. Larry Corson has admitted that the Mayor’s Hill area is undevelopable. 300 million square yards of dirt were moved by IBM to create Mayor’s Hill. This fact, plus the skinny shape of the area makes development uneconomical. The Mayor’s Hill area will always be open space, and Wilbow is giving nothing up by not building on Mayor’s Hill. False Narrative #3 The narrative that Wilbow’s zoning change request complies with the Comprehensive Plan is false. Comprehensive Plan Requirements Wilbow’s Zoning Change Request Open Space Land stays as open space Open Space Land clear cut in violation of Comprehensive Plan Knoll (view shed and noise barrier for entire Town) retained Knoll destroyed (12-20ft removed) in violation of Comprehensive Plan The only Community Park on Parks Plan retained The only Community Park on Parks Plan destroyed in violation of Comprehensive Plan One of a kind 30 acre wooded park with nature trail (deer) integrated with trail system 2 acre “park” on top of Mayor’s Hill with no trees 500ft Yard Buffer retained (Ord. 202 and progeny) 500ft Yard Buffer violated False Narrative #4 The narrative that Wilbow’s has addressed tree mitigation is false. The Staff’s report states that “The tree survey was not submitted as part of this request.” Larry Corson has indicated that the Town has the report. No matter who is right, the issue is that the Town’s residents have not received a copy of the report to analyze. This is critical as tree mitigation costs are likely at least $4M, and there has been no calculation as to what Wilbow will owe. Because the tree mitigation report has not been provided, Westlake residents can only assume that the report is unfavorable to Wilbow. False Narrative #5 The narrative that Wilbow has addressed view analysis concerns is false. Wilbow has not submitted a view analysis to ensure that the dense development will not be looking into the master bedrooms, pools, and back yards of Glenwyck Farms and Granada homeowners. At 150ft, you will be able to see the proposed development’s dense housing, mini parking lots, and street lights from Glenwyck’s and Granada’s master bedrooms, even with full tree growth in summer. The rest of the year when the leaves are down, you can see 500ft in to the knoll (hill), leaving a nearly unobstructed view between Glenwyck’s and Granada’s master bedrooms and the dense housing, mini parking lots, and street lights. Wilbow’s Suggested Changes Wilbow’s has suggested changes by (1) removing the first row of lots and the parking spaces in the 500ft Yard Setback, (2) specifying that the 25 foot easement shall be only for utilities to preserve greenspace, and (3) moving the entire development 50ft to the North. The zoning change request remains a value subtraction for the Town. 3 rows of lots must be removed to preserve the knoll. The Town’s Preferred Alternatives First: One of a Kind 30 Acre Wooded Park on North Side of Open space Land (per Comprehensive Plan’s Parks & Open Space Plan) Win -Win Solution Both Blackstone and the Town have the ability to win with a Park: •Even under the most favorable Ordinance reading to Blackstone, Blackstone cannot fully build out on all of its properties (due to the 10% lot coverage rule). The Town’s Transfer of Development Intensity Ordinance is written for this very situation. Blackstone receives a square footage bonus by agreeing to build on its “receiving zone” properties by the expressway and not on the Open Space Land “sending zone”. •Just like Fidelity’s donation of land to the Town for the Town’s fire station, Blackstone will receive tax benefits by donating land to the Town •Also, the Town has offered to (1) forgive significant tree mitigation penalties that must be paid in association with the development of Blackstone’s expressway properties, (2) allowing additional floors to be built by the expressway, and (3) adjust setbacks by the expressway. The Town’s Preferred Alternatives Second: Commercial Development (per current Zoning as relied upon by Westlake residents, knoll is retained, 500ft Yard Setback retained, office park with open space, high tax base, and low demand on Town services) Buildable Area within 62.5 Acre Tract in PD 1-1 (Approximately 16 Acres)Item 10 The Town’s Preferred Alternatives Undesirable: Residential Rezoning (clear cutting of trees and hill, loss of view shed, loss of noise barrier, loss of 500ft Yard Setback, unwelcome density, inferior tax base, and high demand on Town services) Value Subtraction (Violates 500ft Yard Setback) Wilbow’s zoning change request is a value subtraction because it: •Violates the 500ft Yard Setback on the North Side of Glenwyck Farms and the East Side of Granada The 500ft Yard Setback is priced into the Glenwyck and Granada properties.To remove it now will result in significant property value loss.E.g.,Glenwyck homeowners have paid 6 figure premiums to purchase homes that have the 500ft Yard Setback. Value Subtraction (Violates 500ft Yard Setback) (cont.) At 150ft, you will be able to see the proposed development’s dense housing, mini parking lots, and street lights from Glenwyck’s and Granada’s master bedrooms, even with full tree growth in summer. The rest of the year when the leaves are down, you can see 500ft in to the knoll (hill), leaving a nearly unobstructed view between Glenwyck’s and Granada’s master bedrooms and the dense housing, mini parking lots, and street lights. Value Subtraction (Violates 500ft Yard Setback) (cont.) The 500ft Yard Setback has been in place since November 16,1992 (Ord.202)and was specifically set at 500ft in order preserve the knoll and trees as a view shed for the Town according to the original Glenwyck property owner,Howard Dudley (of the Dudley Ranch),the President of IBM Realty (William “Bill”Ross III),the Town’s first Town Manger (Trent Petty),and the Town’s first Town Planner (Dennis Wilson).500ft in gets you to the North side of the knoll and will preserve it. Blackstone bought the Open Space Land in 2014 with the 500ft Yard Setback in place for 22 years. Value Subtraction (Clear Cutting) Wilbow’s zoning change request is a value subtraction because it: •Results in clear cutting of the Open Space Land,which is designated to be open space pursuant to the Town’s Comprehensive and Land Use Plans The Town and its citizens have already spoken on this subject via the Comprehensive Plan that designates the Open Space Land as “open space” to serve as an important buffer for the Town. The Land Use plan, in existence even before the Comprehensive Plan, also designates the Open Space Land as “open space.” Value Subtraction (Clear Cutting) (cont.) Dense housing results in more clear cutting! Value Subtraction (Clear Cutting) (cont.) Wilbow’s plan designates as open space an area that is (1) not within the Open Space Land, and (2) not designated as open space on the Comprehensive and Land Use Plans. The area is not buildable according to Larry Corson and would remain as open space no matter what. Thus, Wilbow is providing nothing as consideration to clear cut the Open Space Land. Value Subtraction (Clear Cutting) (cont.) Wilbow’s zoning change request is an end-around of the tree mitigation Ordinance,which in effect,preserves the buffer for the Town because the tree mitigation costs associated with the Open Space Land are large . Wilbow has not agreed to pay for the millions of dollars of tree mitigation costs involved with its proposed clear cutting. Value Subtraction (Clear Cutting) (cont.) The Staff’s report states that “The tree survey was not submitted as part of this request.”Thus,we do not have a copy of the report. Wilbow states only that there are approx.162 six inch plus trees per acre on the Open Space Land. Using Wilbow’s own numbers (and average of 10”per tree): 162 trees/acre x 10”/tree =1620”/acre x $100/”=$162,000/acre x 25.3 acres of clear cutting for buildings and streets =$4,098,600 Value Subtraction (Knoll Shaved Down) Wilbow’s zoning change request is a value subtraction because it: •Results in the Open Space Land’s “knoll”(hill),which serves as a view shed and noise barrier pursuant to the Comprehensive Plan, being shaved down by 12-20 feet The Town and its citizens have already spoken on this subject via the Comprehensive Plan that designates the Open Space Land as “open space”to serve as a view shed for the Town Value Subtraction (Dense Housing) Wilbow’s zoning change request is a value subtraction because it: •Results in dense housing that inconsistent with the housing in Glenwyck Farms and Granada The Town’s Transfer of Development Intensity Ordinance designates the Open Space Land as a “sending zone,”i.e.density should be sent to a “receiving zone”property owned by Blackstone near the expressway. Wilbow’s requested zoning change does the exact opposite –it brings more density to the Open Space Land. Value Subtraction (Loss of Sight Lines) Wilbow’s zoning change request is a value subtraction because it: •Results in multi-story housing that is positioned to directly overlook the windows and yards of Glenwyck Farms and Granada homeowners due to the fact that the Open Space Land is elevated upwards of 30 feet over the Glenwyck Farms and Granada residences Wilbow has failed to present a View Analysis,which is required when there are concerns about whether a proposed development (especially the second story windows)looks into the second stories,master bedrooms,and yards/pools of existing residences. Value Subtraction (No Park) Wilbow’s zoning change request is a value subtraction because it: •Violates the Comprehensive Plan’s Parks &Open Space Plan that designates the Open Space Land as a Park,and specifically including the west side area between Glenwyck Farms and Granada in order to further server as buffer. Wilbow’s zoning change request dedicates only 2 acres of park land comprised of the Mayor’s Hill on the unbuildable east side area that contains no trees and that is outside of the Open Space Land area. Value Subtraction (Negative Cost of Services Versus Tax Revenue) Wilbow’s zoning change request is a value subtraction because it: •Has a negative financial impact on the Town . •Based on the COCS studies,and confirmed by Mayor Wheat at the August7thCoffeewiththeMayor,the Town’s expenses will increase by more thanthe$120,174 of property tax revenue such that the proposed residentialdevelopmentwillresultinaneteconomiclossfortheTown.Moreover,while $120,174 of property tax revenue would be generated,representing 8%of the total property tax revenue ($1,477,116 )in the FY17-18 WestlakeBudget,$120,174 is less than 1%of the total revenue in the Westlake Budget($16,389,867).Thus,the proposed development is insignificant to the Town’soverallrevenueevenifonefailstoaccountfortheCOCS. Value Subtraction (Tree City USA and Town Vision Statement) Wilbow’s zoning change request is a value subtraction because it: •Is inconsistent with the Town’s Tree City USA membership and the Town’s Vision Statement. The Town’s Vision Statement requires the Town to preserve land as open space when it has the ability to do so (like here):“Westlake is an oasis of natural beauty that maintains our open spaces in balance with distinctive development,trails,and quality of life amenities amidst an ever expanding urban landscape.” Mayor Wheat and Town Council Promised to Push for Open Space Land to Remain Open Space In a February 29, 2016 letter to Glenwyck Farms residents, Mayor Wheat, speaking as Mayor of the Town of Westlake and also expressly on behalf of the Town Council, represented that the Town would “push” for the Open Space Land to remain “open and unimproved should the developer request any sort of zoning change,” just as Wilbow, the developer, is doing now. Open Space Land History In 1985-86, Former Mayor Bradley led the Town’s negotiations with IBM, the owner of the Open Space Land at the time. The President of IBM Realty, William “Bill” Ross III, believed that the greenspace buffer of the Open Space Land would provide value to IBM’s properties by preserving open space. Bill Ross also believed that the IBM development would serve as an exemplary development for the Town on how open space was to be preserved. This is evidenced by the fact that Bill Ross agreed to move 300 million square yards of dirt to create the Mayor’s Hill in order to create a greenspace buffer and view shed that did not already exist. In effect, IBM created a second knoll (hill) to the East. IBM did not need to do this to the North of Glenwyck Farms because the natural knoll (hill) already existed. Open Space Land History (cont.) In 1992, the Town enacted Ordinance 202, which specified that there is a 500ft Yard Setback on the Open Space Land, meaning that any development on the Open Space Land must occur 500ft away from residences. While other clauses refer expressly to “setbacks,”the clause that creates the 500ft YardSetbackhasalwaysreferenceda500ft“yard.”The Town was its own lexicographer andprovideditsowndefinitionoftheword“yard”in the Westlake Code of Ordinances. •Yard .The word “yard”shall mean an open space,other than a court,on a lotunoccupiedandunobstructedfromthegroundupwardunlessspecificallyotherwisepermittedinthisCode. •Open Space.The words “open space”shall mean that land area which is relatively freeofmanmadestructures,where water bodies,land forms,and vegetation predominate. Westlake,TX Code of Ordinances. Open Space Land History (cont.) Howard Dudley, former Town Alderman and owner of the land now known as Glenwyck Farms, confirmed that the 500ft Yard Setback of Ordinance 202 is to remain as undisturbed greenspace. Mr. Dudley indicated that the 500ft Yard Setback was specifically designed to preserve the knoll (hill) and trees to the North of his property. Pursuant to Ordinance 202, in the 1990s, Trent Petty, the first Town Manager, informed the Glenwyck Farms developer, homebuilders, and homeowners that no development can occur within the 500ft Yard Setback. Open Space Land History (cont.) Glenwyck Farms homebuilder Scott Simmons testified at the January 4, 2016 P&Z Hearing that the Town of Westlake communicated to Glenwyck Farms homebuilders and the Glenwyck Farms developer that the 500ft Yard Setback is to remain as undisturbed greenspace. For example, on November 1, 1999, Dennis Wilson, the first Town Planner, sent a letter to David McMahan at Four Peaks Development, Inc. (the developer of Glenwyck Farms) in which Mr. Wilson confirms that “any development” of the Open Space Land must occur 500 feet away from Glenwyck Farms. In addition, on February 5, 2009, Tom Brymer, current Town Manager, sent a letter to Pat Cockrum, Glenwyck Farms resident, likewise confirming the same. The February 5, 2009 Letter from Tom Brymer to Pat Cockrum is particularly instructive as it makes clear that “any development,” even a gas well pad site, is prohibited within the 500ft Yard Setback. The Entire Town Loses Wilbow’s zoning change request hurts the Town: •Vaquero, Granada, Terra Bella, Carlyle Court, and Glenwyck residents will hear expressway noise with the loss of the hill •Property values in Glenwyck and Granada will fall and propagate across the Town •This is one of a few opportunities where the Town has clear ability to preserve open space, and that opportunity will be lost •The Comprehensive Plan, the product of thousands of hours of work and $400,000 paid by the Town, will be for naught •The Town’s citizens will not be able to rely on: •The Comprehensive Plan •Town Officials •Sets bad precedent where developers will cite to Wilbow’s zoning change for more dense housing even when the existing zoning, like here, does not allow it (the Town already has large tracts of land that are zoned for dense housing; we do not need more) •Dense housing stresses the Town’s resources •Westlake loses its open space uniqueness