“Kill it or Cure it” says Mayor McComb Moments Before Council Shoots Down Rezoning Plan On Laguna Shores Drive Near Lola Johnson
The Southside Light
A parcel of undeveloped land that sits along Laguna Shores Road in Flour Bluff has finally been put to rest by Corpus Christi City Council-at least for now. The original rezoning application filed for by the developer B&A Terra Firma, asked for multi-family housing units to be built upon the property. That move to approve rezoning of 15 acres of property, located at 2110 Laguna Shores Drive was opposed by several different parties, Flour Bluff Independent School District in a filing signed by Superintendent Dr. David Freeman in September.
|An exhibit presented to the city by Dr. David Freeman|
showing FBISD’s reasoning for opposing the project.
The developer’s been nearly a staple on City government agendas for the better part of this year and after comment, input from both sides and the usual opposing theatrics from Council members Ben Molina and Greg Smith, Mayor McComb made it clear that he wished to “kill it or cure it” when it came to the item.
The developer, Corpus Christi based Terra Firma originally wanted the low lying property to rezoned for multi-family housing units, an action which nearly everybody was opposed to going forward. This time, the developer came back with a plan to build single family homes on the property and for a moment it looked as if they might actually get what they wanted this time around. However, it was not to be.
|At question seemed to be the wetlands and ecosystem surrounding|
the proposed project. (Matt Briscoe)
Council was obviously frustrated with having had this item on deck so many times already and the debate over whether or not to rezone the property has been heated at times, at best.
Over the past few months the debate had become so contentious that City officials even noted as much in their documentation of the planning and zoning committee. At the real heart of the matter was the question of what the future holds for the 12,000 citizen bedroom neighborhood?
“This has less to do with a development and more to do with ideals,” said Mark Gain who lives in the Turtle Cove area of Flour Bluff. “It is all about that tight little community on the other side of Padre Island Drive and their band of followers who rides with them.”
Many of those who spoke against the development plan cited sensitive environmental ecosystems in the area and one gentleman even pointed out during the hearing that the issue boiled down to some members of the community who just don’t want things to change and a developer who wants to make as much money as he can to preserve their company.
“I guess y’all are all aware of the development that is going on out in the area right now,” the speaker noted. “It is kind of like a little epicenter of activity.”
He went onto insinuate that the area of Laguna Shores that is in question could be another Ocean Drive and that that the city must be the referee in the matter and not let development happen just because of profits sake.
But the reality is that Flour Bluff is not as the gentleman claimed to city council. In fact, research conducted by Texas A&M-Corpus Christi shows that over the past 5 years, Flour Bluff has economically recessed when it comes to business development and through development has occurred, it has not maintained par with other areas of the city, a fact that groups like the Flour Bluff Business Association and The Flour Bluff Business Council would likely refute.
“We need something good to happen here and we need for Greg Smith to stop playing favors with that West Flour Bluff group,” said Mr. Gain. “I am not saying that this development is a good idea or a bad one, but we need something to happen and what they are doing now isn’t cutting it.”
For now it seems as if for better worse that the project is dead in the water yet again. The Southside Light reaches out to BA Terra Firma for comment however, they did not respond to requests for comment. It should also be noted that the Zoning Committee did in fact make recommendations to council which would have allowed the project to continue.