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Aubrey looks at land use plan with residents

About 20 people gathered in the Aubrey Area Library Community Center to talk about the vision for Aubrey’s future land use on Tuesday evening.

Michelle Hardin and Jayashree Narayana, city planners for Aubrey, gave a presentation about the future land use map they are preparing to bring before the City Council to help give developers and business owners an informed view of what Aubrey wants to become.

“If you don’t know who you want to be, how can we tell somebody else when they come and ask us?” City Administrator Mark Kaiser said after the meeting. “… If we don’t determine who we want to be, then somebody else will for us.”

The council members were all in attendance, with Mayor Janet Meyers tuning in via the internet with Kaiser’s help, as was Planning and Zoning Commission member Joni Baillio.

After the planners gave an overview of the different terms, including suburban neighborhood, that are being proposed on the map, community members got the chance to ask about the plans. They also asked for feedback—spoken or written—on the plan so far.

Several of those questions keyed in on how widening projects on TxDOT-controlled roads might affect the city’s businesses and growth.

“When will they start on 377?” asked Sharin Hall, who lives in Aubrey and is a Realtor with extensive experience in the equestrian industry.

The projected timing on that is 2028-30, Kaiser said.

Although Kaiser and other local leaders have been trying to illuminate the need for the state to invest in the local infrastructure to help traffic flow better and to reduce the number of dangerous accidents, he said, those projects are at the mercy of the state.

“A TxDOT official told us on a call just the other day, he’s had more participation in our little stretch of 377 than he’s had from Argyle, … from several of these other projects that he’s been a part of,” Kaiser said. “I appreciate your input because it does get their attention.”

Meyers advised a woman from the Winn Ridge community who was worried about traffic on FM 1385 to write about her concerns to state Rep. Jared Patterson.

“I’m trying to say the same thing about 377, and the outer loop and 2931,” Kaiser said. “We’re trying to make our voices heard on your behalf as much as we can.”

Narayana also encouraged the residents in attendance to pay attention to the TxDOT public meetings about the local roadway projects.

Hall wants to know how the city is going to respond to the inevitable growth and wants to know how to advise people she interacts with through her work.

“From a real estate perspective, we want to know where the roads are going to go and what it’s going to look like,” Hall said after the meeting. “So, what does Aubrey look like in five to 10 years? That’s what we all want to know.”

Council member Dewayne Brawner asked about the “suburban neighborhood” designation, which is new.

The idea is basically the same one that was termed the “estate category” before, Hardin said.

“Estate became half-acre lots, rural became an acre minimum and suburban neighborhood really filled in where estate had been before, but probably was misnamed,” she said.

It refers to developments that have a higher density—two to six per acre—but are still single-family units, Narayana said.

Council candidate Matt Jones asked why the area that the planners have proposed to designate as suburban was chosen.

It’s in line with the style of development that has been approved near that area, Narayana said.

Council member Chuck Fikes said he was pleased with the turnout and hopes more people get involved as the process continues.

“It’s going to be a nine-month process, and there’s going to be a lot more meetings to attend,” Fikes said.

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