A new mixed use development located on Ranch Road 12 near the Caliterra a was approved by Dripping Springs city leaders April 10, but not without its criticisms.
The project, Farmstead at Caliterra, will feature three-story buildings that combine commercial and residential components. Up to 114 living units anticipated within the development.
Residents of Caliterra were advised when they bought their homes that the 18-acre plot of land would stay as green space and undeveloped land, said Edward Watt, an attorney representing Caliterra residents.
However, the city of Dripping Springs argued that a development agreement left the plot of land to potentially be altered as the applicant saw fit.
“The three story buildings are 25 feet away from the backyard of my clients which allows for a complete view into their property – a clear invasion of privacy,” said Watt. “My clients spend between $700,000 to a million dollars on their homes. This development would significantly decrease the property values for my clients.”
In a letter to the city, Watt said the development agreement does not trump the city’s ordinances.
According to Watt, City Planner Anjali Naini said in an email that once a property is in the city limits, even if it has a development agreement, it must follow the city’s zoning process and procedures.
Naini said the issue arose because a section of the development agreement mandates that “the owners shall apply for a zoning change to General Retail (GR) for the approximate 24-acres marked as commercial in the Conceptual Plan.”
Watt said the agreement stipulated that the development would be subject to a GR zoning and that any variances would have to be processed in accordance with the procedures and requirements of the city’s zoning ordinance.
Although the motion passed the city council, developer Ray Lee will still have to submit site plans and building permits before construction can begin.
Lee’s vision is to provide a mixed-use development that can accommodate both living and office space with additional commercial buildings and green space.
The property values would be marked around $200,000 to $400,000, a measure Lee said could provide high quality housing at a lower price point. The development will include architectural elements that are conducive to the city with the goal to integrate into the Caliterra community.
Density is expected to be 24 units per acre and structures would be no more than 40 feet in height, based on the city’s requirements.
“The phase one design includes a dog park and green space for the residents,” Lee said. “Residential on top of commercial really allows for people to become more connected with their community, a goal from the start.”
But concerns over privacy and diminishing property values are still on the minds of the Caliterra residents who border the development.
“This development does not fall in line with what the residents expected of that space,” Watt said. “My clients bought these homes and now they have to worry about falling property values that will come with this type of development.”