To the Editor,
ALL Midlothian citizens should pay close attention to the new Diamond J Ranch development that is scheduled to be built within the city limits of Midlothian along Highway 287 and Walnut Grove Road.
Diamond J Ranch is being presented as a Planned Development. It was approved by Planning and Zoning at the Feb. 19 meeting and is now scheduled for final approval at an upcoming Midlothian City Council meeting.
As stated above, this new development is being built along Highway 287 at Walnut Grove Road with a portion being developed behind homeowners who live along the south side of 1387. This new development will have homes and apartments built from Walnut Grove all the way up to the Mid-Way Airport. The development will be bringing a 1,000 unit apartment complex, 3,100 individual residential dwellings, and 250 townhomes for a total of 4,300 households. Using an average of three (3) persons per household, upon completion this represents an increase in the population of Midlothian by approximately 12,000 people.
At the April 23 city council meeting, the spokesman for Diamond J Ranch did state that there will be NO custom home builders involved, but rather volume builders. As stated in their master plan or their 65 page guideline, the plans are to construct this planned development on 906 acres of land which represents an average of 3.5 dwellings per acre, with 294 acres designated for open space with pocket parks. The townhomes will be built on 25 foot (width) lots, and the lot size for a large majority of the single family dwellings will range from 40 to 60 feet in width.
Midlothian citizens do not have to actually live in that area to realize the impact that 12,000 new residents will have on our schools, our roads, our fire department, police department, sewer and water, and the increase in crime that will automatically come about with the influx of this many people. Using an average of two vehicles per family, this will add an approximate 8,000 additional vehicles along Walnut Grove Road, 1387, and Highway 287. The foremost question is … can our roads and present infrastructure accommodate this type of growth from just one development?
This development was postponed at the April 23 city council meeting due to a discrepancy/dispute with a land owner in the area. It was scheduled to go before council at the May 14 meeting. However, the following day the developer determined that the land owner was correct. Therefore, it appears the developers must now go back to the drawing board. Due to this delay, it’s possible that the May 14 meeting could be postponed to a later date. It’s uncertain at this time.
Whether you are “for” or “against” this new development, let your voice be heard when this comes before city council for final approval. As a resident/taxpayer, it is your right to either “approve” or “oppose” this new development by simply signing the forms provided at city hall prior to the meeting.
Pay CLOSE ATTENTION to the agenda items coming before city council for the next several weeks, and especially the May 14 meeting and agenda items. City staff/city officials are NOT required to notify the present 19,300 residents other than it being shown on their meeting schedule posted on Thursday prior to the Tuesday meetings. Council meeting agendas can be found prior to the meetings on the city’s website, or a copy can be requested and picked up at city Hhall. The city council meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesday of every month.
As previously mentioned, you do not have to live in or even near the area of this development to be concerned and involved. Whether you feel the Diamond J Ranch development will affect your life in and around the city, or possibly affect our excellent school district, in a positive or a negative way, you do have the right to either “approve” or “oppose” this new development.
Hopefully we can all continue to enjoy the uncluttered, conservative, slow-paced charm of Midlothian as we now know it. Let’s try and preserve our wonderful lifestyle and not allow that lifestyle to become a thing of the past … as we have seen happen to so many of our neighboring communities.
Thanks for your time, your interest, and your involvement in your community.