MIDLOTHIAN — A resolution presented to the Midlothian City Council by Mike Adams, the Midlothian Executive Director of Engineering and Utilities, supporting the construction of the US Highway 287 and Walnut Grove intersection improvement project was unanimously approved.

The project, named U S Highway 287 and Walnut Grove Road Grade Separation Improvement Project, is scheduled to begin in 2019, according to Adams.

When completed, the four main lanes of the highway will be moved next to each other, utilizing the current grass median. Two frontage roads will be constructed for traffic moving off and onto Walnut Grove. Walnut Grove Road will continue under the highway overpass.

The traffic signal that is currently at the intersection will be removed and a bridge will be constructed for the main highway traffic lanes.

“This will greatly reduce that congestion that is currently at this intersection. Congestion will remain in the area with the construction and with the alternative routing that will be needed,” Adams said.

The city's obligation will be the contribution to the cost of right-of-way acquisition and utility relocation.

“TxDOT estimates that the city’s contribution was estimated to be $20,000,” Adams said. “Initially TxDot indicated that there would not have the nay additional right-of-way land needed. After laying out the project, it was determined additional right-of-way land would be needed for the radiuses at the four corners of the intersection."

With the passage of the resolution of support, TxDOT can proceed with the land acquisition and begin the project.

OTHER BUSINESS

An amendment to the city’s zoning ordinance regulating the maximum area of secondary dwellings was unanimously approved.

“Due to requests from the public and an analysis by staff, it has been determined the existing threshold for the maximum size regulation is not practical and may not reflect the community desire for secondary dwellings,” Trenton Robertson, Midlothian Director of Planning, told the council. “The proposed text amendment will allow for the maximum size of the secondary dwelling unit to be based off a percentage of the primary structure’s square footage rather than a set number.”

Before the passage of the ordinance change, the maximum allowable size of a secondary dwelling was 650 square feet.

“The proposed 50 percent maximum size requirement for secondary dwellings will allow for additional flexibility in size, design, and cohesiveness between the primary dwelling and the

secondary dwelling,” Robertson said.

Per the ordinance change, the secondary dwelling will still be required to meet all building, development and design requirements under the zoning and subdivision ordinances.

A zoning change request by the Stonegate Church was considered and approved by the council after parking and driveway considerations were discussed.

Presenting the request was Marcos Narvaez, the city’s planning coordinator.

The application to rezone the lots located close to the intersection of South Walnut Grove Road and U.S. Highway 287 is a planned church campus. The applicant proposes to build the campus in two phases.

The first phase is a proposed 65,000-square-foot building consisting of a sanctuary with seating for 1,200, a meeting room, classrooms, offices, and a playground area.

Included in the zoning request was an additional number of parking spaces that is more than the city’s zoning ordinance. There was little discussion as the church has plans for a future Phase 2 expansion that would meet the requirements.

Narvaez discussed an issue regarding highway access.

“Their plan includes two accesses to Highway 287. Currently, TxDOT is saying only one access and that is up for approval by TxDOT. No matter what the city approves, the final decision on the access is with TxDOT," Narvaez said.

The zoning change was unanimously approved.