Jefferson County Commissioners approved of Jefferson County Planning and Zoning’s decision to deny Walker Land & Cattle to rezone their property from R-5 to R-1 on Nov. 15. Planning and Zoning denied the zone change on Oct. 4.
The property is located at 393 N 3400 E; the parcel is approximately 77 acres.
Planning and Zoning Assistant Samantha Farr stated the reason the property was recommended for denial was because it created more density outside of Lewisville’s Area of Impact (AOI).
Farr explained to the commissioners the surrounding properties are zoned R-1, R- and Ag-10. The surrounding land uses are for homes as well as agriculture.
The landowner wanted to change the zone from R-5 to R-1 because they wanted to potentially subdivide in the future, according to Farr.
Farr mentioned the biggest concern from the Planning and Zoning council was having extra homes in the area. However, the AOI hasn’t been filled in yet and the city has kept the AOI pretty open, even with the R-1 sections already there. The findings were that it created a higher density outside the AOI instead of inside, Farr said.
Commissioner Scott Hancock noted the majority of the area around the property is agriculture.
Commissioner Shayne Young mentioned it would be nice to have the area where the property is cleaned up, but at the same time, he agreed with what Planning and Zoning decided.
Hancock reaffirmed the City of Lewisville has an AOI and he believes they would like to keep the density in the AOI instead of outside.
Lorin Walker, the owner of the feedlot, stated he was disappointed not to get the zone change from R5 to R1, especially where his contiguous neighbors have farms across the road designated R1. Walker also thinks it would be a good balance for Jefferson County to have more subdivisions in the rural areas like Lewisville.
Walker is not sure what his next steps might be. If subdividing into 5 acre parcels is economically feasible, Walker plans on doing that. If not, Walker may put more resources into the feedlot operation and grow that business.
“I found it amusing at the public hearing that there were so many neighbors that advocated continuing as a feed lot,” Walker said. “You don’t see that every day, and a planning commission that apparently feels the same way. The irony in this story is that cows apparently make better neighbors than people.”
In a later conversation, Mayor George Judd stated he didn’t know anybody that had a problem with the property being annexed.
“If they had done away with the feedlot and put in houses, that would have been fine,” said Judd. “It was just kind of brought up and then denied.”
According to Judd, the Walker never came to Lewisville and asked for annexation, they were just in discussions with the county. However, Judd stated they were too far out to annex.
According to Planning and Zoning Administrator Kevin Hathaway, he is not sure if they will be coming back to the commission to ask for the zone change.
The commissioners unanimously decided to uphold Planning and Zoning’s decision to deny the rezoning.