City Council approves Stout Road development

Request granted to exceed minimum lot size; car wash near Walmart gets green light

Bill Spinks
Midlothian Mirror
The Snap Clean Car wash location in Ennis. A specific-use permit for a similar car wash was approved last week by the Midlothian City Council.

Two development items dominated the discussion before being approved during the Oct. 12 meeting of the Midlothian City Council.

A specific-use permit for a car wash adjacent to the Walmart Supercenter was given the go-ahead with conditions, and councilmembers voted to override staff and Planning and Zoning Commission recommendations and approved a planned development at 4440 Stout Road as presented by the developer.

The Stout Road development consists of 50.46 acres and was also approved by the city P&Z on Sept. 21, but a condition was added that some of the lots on the property must be bigger. This was the provision that the council chose to put aside after Mayor Richard Reno remarked that he didn’t think there would be any better plan than the one before the council.

The vote to approve was 4-1, with councilmember Hud Hartson opposing, Walter Darrach absent and Clark Wickliffe recusing.

The property is located approximately 1,600 feet south of Plainview Road and was previously zoned as Agricultural. The site plan calls for lots that are between three-quarters and one acre in size, with 13 lots of less than an acre. A split-rail fence and a 15-foot landscaping buffer along Stout Road are also proposed.

City planning manager Marcos Narvaez said staff would recommend approval with the condition that the smaller lots be no less than one acre in size. Narvaez told the council the land falls within the “rural module” in the city’s comprehensive development plan, which requires a minimum of three acres per lot, but does border an area designated as “urban module medium,” which allows for denser development.

The application had previously come before P&Z in July, but was withdrawn before it came before the City Council. The plan is unchanged from the one P&Z had looked at in July.

Gerald Wickliffe, an agent representing the landowner and applicant, said the plan hadn’t been changed because one of the sisters who own the property is keeping the original home and property on which it sits, and the topography of the land causes issues with one-acre lots.

Gerald Wickliffe also said a 50-foot gas line easement across the property causes an issue, and noted that there were several other developments in town that were zoned similarly and allows lots of one acre or less. He added that losing four lots to bring the other lots up to size without a reduction in infrastructure costs would be a major financial burden.

The car wash, which will sit on a 2.2-acre lot east of Walton Way, between Avenue F and Main Street, was previously approved on Sept. 21 by P&Z, but with the stipulation that metal canopies be used for the vacuum bays. The City Council concurred, and added a provision that staff work with the applicant to relocate a dumpster bay on the site.

The Snap Clean Car Wash will be similar to a location in Ennis, applicant Chad West said during a short presentation.

West had requested that fabric awnings be allowed, but staff recommended that a metal awning be used in accordance with city ordinances. West said that the cost would be the same for both, but the durability of fabric has been proven at the Ennis location over the past 4 ½ years.

The car wash will have access to both Avenue F and Main Street, and a deceleration lane will be added to Main Street. Monument signs will be placed at each entrance.

Other items

• Consent agenda approvals included previous meeting minutes, the cancellation of the Nov. 23 and Dec. 28 regular City Council meetings on account of the holidays, and a resolution designating the Waxahachie Daily Light and Midlothian Mirror as official newspapers of the city for fiscal years 2021-2022.

• Two special exceptions were granted to a property on the northwest corner of the U.S. 287 service road and Methodist Way. The council allowed the 7.909-acre property to be subdivided into four lots without a frontage to a public right-of-way on one lot, and allowed an exception for not meeting driveway spacing requirements. A sliver of property prevents one of the lots from fronting Methodist Way, but the lot owner recently secured an easement, city planning director Trenton Robertson said.

• The council nominated John Knight, Ken Marks and Brett Kemp as candidates for the 2022-2023 Board of Directors for the Ellis Appraisal District. Knight and Marks are incumbent board members.

• A one-year contract with Ellis County Emergency Services District No. 2 to provide fire and EMS response was approved.

• Councilmembers agreed to a $300,000 contact with Donelson Construction Company, LLC  for pavement resurfacing. The streets to be resurfaced include West 7th Street, Avenue F, Allen Lane, Bluebonnet, King Arthur, Sir Lancelot, Kings Court, Apple Lane, Apple Court, and Clear Creek.

• The purchase of a 2021 Caterpillar backhoe loader and a 2022 Caterpillar compact mini-excavator were approved in separate motions, as well as the lease-purchase of a 2022 TYMCO air sweeper.

• The replacement of membrane modules at the Auger Water Treatment Plant was awarded to FilmTec Corporation for a total cost of $145,960.

• An agreement was approved with Hoefer Welker for the architectural design of the Public Safety facility project in an amount of just over $3 million.

• Following an executive session, the council approved an additional 4-year extension of City Manager Chris Dick’s contract with severance pay.