“The Fort Worth City Council appears willing to pause some new dense housing developments at least until a study of the city’s market is complete,” reports Luke Ranker in a paywalled article for the Forth Worth Star-Telegram.
The most recent bout of anti-development politics on the Fort Worth City Council follows a decision in December to launch a study [paywall] of the city’s housing stock after three councilmembers called for a moratorium on zoning changes “would allow multi-family housing on property previously zoned for something else, such as commercial,” explains Ranker.
Councilmember Dennis Shingleton led the effort in December, along with councilmembers Gyna Bivens and Jungus Jordan. The three councilmembers expressed concern that “the city may have been too quick to approve apartments in the past and risks diverging from the long-term plan,” reports Ranker and pushed for a moratorium on zoning changes.
At the root of this month’s controversy are two zoning requests that would add together more than 1,000 units. “The first zoning change would allow more than 400 units in mostly commercial development on the southwest corner of Heritage Trace Parkway and Interstate 35. A second, just a few miles south, would would allow hundreds more apartments along with a mix of other uses at a vacant triangle formed by North Tarrant Parkway, U.S. 287 and I-35,” writes Ranker.
At a meeting earlier this week, the City Council decided to continue both zoning requests until a February 14 meeting. Councilmember Shingleton told the Star-Telegram that he wouldn’t support the zoning changes until city staff completes the housing market study.
“The city’s planning staff is currently analyzing the ratio of single-family to multi-family housing dating to the 1990s as well as the ratio of employment to housing units in job centers. Assistant City Manager Dana Burghdoff said in December she anticipates briefing the council on the analysis and a look at Fort Worth’s population projections through 2045 at a council retreat Feb. 9,” according to Ranker.