The Fulton Town Council, at its regular meeting Monday, Nov. 15, heard from seven residents during the citizens to be heard portion of the agenda. All but one of those individuals aired concerns about the proposed Seven Palms Planned Unit Development (PUD) proposed for property at the intersection of Mesquite Street and Fulton Beach Road (FBR).
The council could not comment because the Seven Palms development wasn’t on the agenda.
(Note: The council, at its regular meeting Monday, Nov. 1, approved with a 3-1 vote an interim construction plan submitted by Gary Sweetman for a PUD, referenced as Seven Palms. Alderwoman Mary Ann Pahmiyer cast the lone dissenting vote. Mayor Kelli Cole said Sweetman was seeking approval for his interim construction plan prior to purchasing the property, located at the intersection of Mesquite Street and FBR. The PUD will include 25 homes, and the road will be a private one off Mesquite. Zoning is not an issue.)
Reasons given in opposition of the development included detrimental effect of water quality due to stormwater runoff into Aransas Bay, as well as possible sanitary sewer issues that could pollute the bay, increased traffic in the area on a road (FBR) that is already showing its wear and tear, and danger to heavy pedestrian traffic in the area.
“Until FBR problems are addressed, there should be no more development,” said Mary Clare Kane, reading a statement from Heron’s Roost neighbors. “(Seven Palms) can handle six to eight homes, not 25. It’s bad for our community.”
Other concerns included the transformation of a peaceful Mesquite Street.
Those who spoke said they didn’t oppose growth, but noted it must be controlled and orderly.
One woman said, “We moved to Fulton because we liked the way it was. It’s turning into Port Aransas.”
Kathy Kane shared many of the concerns as others, and added, “This proposed plan is not in conformance with your ordinances, which require (this type of development) with single family units to have minimum 6,000-square-foot lots with depths of 100 feet. This plan is mostly 3,000-square-foot lots and 75 foot deep.”
She said Fulton ordinances give the council the opportunity to negotiate with the developer for relaxing the regulations on front, side, and rear yard setbacks, maximum building height, and parking space requirements.
“For high density and relaxed regulations, ask the developer to provide something back to the Town. Negotiate a win for all,” she said.
Kane suggested asking the developer to provide sidewalks along Mesquite and FBR, improved drainage, and permeable roads and driveways within the development.
One man said his family recently moved to Fulton and likes the atmosphere, but fears what the new development will do to traffic along FBR.
“We like to walk FBR. Adding 25 new homes only adds to the traffic,” he said.
Scott Hime said he is not happy with the plans for Seven Palms, but asked that it at least meet the requirements used for Heron’s Roost, noting that the lots in the proposed Seven Palms are smaller than the ones in Heron’s Roost, and adding, “Heron’s Roost is a pretty compact density.”
Hime said developers come in from out of town, see an expensive piece of land, and say, “This land is cheap, as long as I can build four times as many houses (than are normally allowed).”
He said, “Minimum lot sizes are put there for a reason. I encourage you to look at Heron’s Roost, and hold them to that standard.”