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Fort Worth rejects second housing proposal in far north over concerns about road safety

Fort Worth Star-Telegram
An empty plot of land in far north Fort Worth will stay undeveloped for now after the city council unanimously rejected a zoning change request from an Idaho-based developer.

This was the Conger Group’s second attempt to build housing on the 5.6 acre plot at 5819 Bowman Roberts Road, northwest of Marine Creek Reservoir.

A 2023 proposal to build 61 for-rent cottages was rejected over concerns about road safety. This latest proposal to build 30 single family homes met a similar fate.

“What is it going to take to develop this property,” asked Mary Nell Poole, who represented the developer at the council meeting Tuesday.

Poole argued the use of the land is good, but the only limit is the road condition. This narrow two-lane section of Bowman Roberts Road is lined with trees, has bar ditches instead of shoulders, and has a bend that locals sometimes refer to as, “dead man’s curve.”

Poole asked the city for clarification on how long it would take to update the road.

The earliest the city could improve that section of Bowman Roberts Road would be in one of the next two bond programs, city transportation chief Lauren Prieur told the council on Tuesday.

The next bond election is 2026, so fixes that would enable the road to handle more traffic aren’t expected before then.

The community surrounding the property is not opposed to more housing, said Ryan Smith, president of the Northwest Fort Worth Neighborhood Alliance, speaking to the council on Tuesday.

But without a firm plan to improve the road, the city should hold off on approving any new development, Smith said.

Jeff O’Quinn, who lives just south of the property, noted there’s an apartment complex about to be completed nearby that’s expected to add a lot of traffic to the corridor.

That project will put a lot of strain on emergency services, and this development would exacerbate the problem O’Quinn told the council.

Councilmember Macy Hill, whose district includes the property on Bowman Roberts, said she doesn’t want to do anything that would jeopardize public safety.

“I also don’t want to perpetuate the problem of overdeveloping areas when the infrastructure is not there to sustain that growth,” she said.

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