A group of concerned Fairview citizens has formed an alliance and filed a lawsuit in hopes of giving a voice to citizen concerns about residential developments and their impact on the community, local parks and the natural environment.
The nonprofit named Loblolly Pine Alliance (LPA) said their mission is “to empower community efforts to safeguard against reckless development and advocate for responsible growth.”
Elmer Mobley, president of LPA, confirmed they filed a writ of certiorari in Williamson County Chancery Court on July 1, requesting the court reverse a May 6 decision of the city commission.
That decision relates to a rezoning request including a master development plan for almost 125 acres located north of Bowie Nature Park and south of Cox Run Subdivision between Wayne’s Lane and Mangrum Lane. The development was originally named Neighborhood at Bowie Park and later referred to as The Groves.
Citizen concerns related to smaller building lots, a buffer for Bowie Nature Park, stormwater runoff and traffic impact on all adjacent properties.
The loud outcry generated a joint meeting between the city, citizens and developer. However, many citizens did not feel their concerns about stormwater runoff were adequately addressed on the revised master plan.
The board voted 4-1 in favor of rezoning the property from Single Family Low-Density to Single Family Medium-Density Planned Overlay Development (POD). Commissioner Rod Dawson was the one opposing vote.
The filing states the city violated its own regulations by approving the rezoning and master development plan even after being informed by the city attorney that storm water design plans and other documents were missing from the submitted master plan.
Mobley noted, “Our collective experience has been that city officials have their own agenda and are aggressively lobbied by individuals that are financially motivated to advance development without serious regards to the impact of the surrounding neighborhoods.”
He added, “Citizens’ concerns are not given equal consideration and are often given less than equal time over those who are not members of the community.”
“Our first important project is our work to protect Bowie Nature Park and surrounding properties from development that creates the potential risk of severe stormwater run-off by fighting to overturn the approval of the master development plan and rezoning for the subdivision that borders the park,” stated Mobley, who added the park and Cox Run Subdivision homeowners already suffer ongoing problems from flooding that damages the properties.
LPA’s legal actions seek to have the master development plan and rezoning approval overturned.
Mobley said the group is also “asking for a seat at the table when our city government is considering new development.” Mobley said the response they received has been “You have a board of elected officials as your voice.”
LPA consists of an all-volunteer board of directors and support staff. For more information on LPA, you can visit their Facebook page LoblollyPineAlliance.
LPA has also created a GoFundMe page “to raise funds to help inform citizens who may be impacted by the actions of its city government’s proposed ordinances, and if necessary, advance legal challenges in court.” According to LPA, all the money raised will go towards funding legal fees and resources to help protect the community and natural resources from damage caused by irresponsible development.