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Stop-work order invalid, developer resumes work on Yorktown property

Yorktown construction.PNG
Posted at 5:47 PM, Apr 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-15 12:07:29-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A stop-work order issued by the City of Corpus Christi Wednesday has been rescinded, after determining the developer was clearing and grubbing the property.

A permit is not required for that type of work, a city spokesperson said Thursday.

The notice was placed on the property Wednesday afternoon.

Vahid Nazari said he owns the property at 557 Yorktown Blvd. He plans to build a residential area. Neighbors reached out to their city councilman wondering what was going on when construction began in the empty lot.

On Wednesday, Councilman Greg Smith said he came to find out the city wasn’t aware of any construction going on there.

“It has not been re-platted, there’ve been no permits issued there,” said Smith. “I talked to our development services. They said a 'stop work order' has been issued for this and they were unaware, had not been contacted about anybody doing anything on this property.”

“It’s obvious they know they’re either going to be told 'no they can’t do this' or there’s going to be some problems with it,” a neighbor, David Gerlach said. “Because they worked all weekend trying to get this done. It’s obvious they need to get as much done as they can. Before somebody comes and tells them, hey we got some problems with this.”

Gerlach said people have been working on the site for a couple of weeks and Wednesday was the first time they put their black fence up for environmental protection.

Nazari said he was not aware of any 'stop work order' as of early Wednesday afternoon. A city crew was at the site later in the afternoon putting up a notice to stop work.

A city employee was also on-site earlier in the day, documenting the construction work, Smith said.

Gerlach said he also is concerned about the proximity of the property to Naval Air Station Corpus Christi’s Waldron Field, one of several naval aircraft training fields throughout south Texas.

The Navy completed the Joint Land Use Study in 2013 and presented it to the city. It stated the Naval Station’s presence contributed to 21 percent of the area’s $17 billion economy.

“It’s in the APZ1 safety zone that the Navy base, in the Joint Land Use Study basically said we want to keep building development here to a minimum,” said Gerlach.

The study was adopted by the city. The Joint Land Use Study examined the compatibility of the areas around the military installations. If corrections were needed they laid out how the city could do that.

The study created safety zones. Areas needed to prevent the development of incompatible land where the greatest possibility of crashes exist.

The lot on Yorktown is zoned as an RS6, which means it can be used for single-family homes.

Nazari’s property falls right on zone one and two according to the study. It also states that in 2008 over 79,000 flights took off from Waldron Field.

“I watch the planes all day long take off, off the runway 13 here and turn off to the southeast and they bank right over the top of this neighborhood,” Gerlach said. “One of the last crashes to happen, happened right across the street.”

January 27, 2006 a student and instructor were killed when a training jet crashed in that area.

“I’m concerned that if they allow a residential neighborhood to go in here that doesn’t fit the Navy’s usage, that it could give one more reason the Navy base needs to leave,” said Gerlach. “With the city having issues with the Carroll High School, I think we don’t really need to give the Navy any more reason to pack their bags and go.”

The study also makes recommendations the city can take so the partnership with the Navy stays intact and they remain in Corpus Christi.

One of those recommendations was to “rezone currently undeveloped parcels to ensure compatibility based on AICUZ guidance.”

That Yorktown address was undeveloped and the city never rezoned it.

A spokesperson with NAS-CC said that should the property come up for rezoning, they will recommend the city do so. They said Corpus Christi is a good place to train and they aren’t looking to move.