CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Corpus Christi City Council members voted on the annexation of nearly 450 acres in the London neighborhood on Tuesday afternoon.
That property, off Farm-to-Market Road 43, next to the London Independent School District, is where local builder MPM Homes wants to build more than 1,400 single-family homes.
As KRIS 6 News has reported, there's been lot of push-back from nearby residents, and they showed up to today's city council meeting. Most mention they're for growth and development in the London area, but they fear the additional development near busy FM 43 will overcrowd schools and make traffic problems worse.
They also worry they don't have adequate infrastructure to meet the needs of a large number of new residents.
"I think what we really need to be focusing on here is the infrastructure that the area has and doesn't have," said Lindsey Gee, a London resident. "A lot of us are saying 'The cart before the horse.' "
There was another concern about drainage in the area.
"Without expenses and planning, the water has nowhere to go other than to flood the area," said one resident.
The city zoning commission recently had recommended the council vote 'no' on this proposal. Because of that recommendation, the annexation needed at least six 'yes' votes in order to pass. The proposal got seven 'yes' votes this afternoon.
That vote came after the public hearing, where there was both opposition and support for the annexation. Project developer Moses Mostaghasi listened to concerns and answered questions council members had.
The council members' main concern was the 83 acres of commercial zoning. Mostaghasi reassured them it would take years for that to turn into businesses, referencing how far along Saratoga Boulevard and Staples Street have come in the last 10-15 years.
He also said he does not plan to build apartment complexes, and there will be a church to separate future businesses and homes. Not to mention, some of the acres zoned as commercial may not be used for commercial purposes.
"If I zone it commercial now, and the chance that nothing does ever happen there, it can always be zoned back to residential," he said.
Some residents were not happy with the vote, while others, like Jimmy Dodson were.
"This is a good growth for the city, it's a good plan," he said. "And every kid living in this subdivision can walk to London without crossing the major thoroughfare."
Heavy traffic also was a big concern among residents. Mostaghasi said he is paying to have a traffic study done in that area, which he will give to TxDOT to see where improvements can be made on FM 43.
This isn't a done deal yet. The proposal still faces a second, final vote on Dec. 10.