October Message from Mayor Steve Dixon
We all chose Flower Mound as our home for a reason, or more than likely, several reasons. For many, one of these reasons is our scenic views and rural landscape on the western side of Town, in what is known as the Cross Timbers area.
The Cross Timbers area is sometimes just as confusing as it is beautiful. I wanted to take the time to help clarify what this area is and the ordinances that control any future development requests.
What is the Cross Timbers region?
The Cross Timbers is a region that was identified as an ecological area that encompasses a large portion of central Flower Mound and extends south into central Texas, and north into Oklahoma (Cross Timbers region map: https://bit.ly/2TSfAza). Common characteristics of the Cross Timbers region include a mixture of wooded areas that often contain Post and Blackjack oak trees; prairies; and the many bird and animal species that live there.
What is the Cross Timbers Conservation Development District (commonly referred to as “Cross Timbers”)?
Within the Town’s Master Plan, Flower Mound officials created smaller area plan districts that give more specific details on appropriate development patterns for those areas. The Cross Timbers Conservation Development District (CTCDD) is an area plan within the Cross Timbers region designed to help preserve the rural, natural spaces that are characteristic of that portion of Flower Mound. To see the Town’s official Land Use Map for reference, please visit https://bit.ly/2Zakn4g.
The CTCDD is zoned for agricultural use, which allows for primarily residential development with a density of one home per two acres. This means someone could purchase a piece of land that is a minimum of two acres and build a single-family home on it in the CTCDD. If a developer purchased a large piece of land to develop a residential neighborhood in this area, they would also have the option of building a “Conservation Development,” which is a neighborhood where homes are grouped on smaller lots, natural areas are preserved, and there is still a net development density of one home per two acres.
Another option that is described in the Master Plan for this area is a “Cluster Development.” Cluster developments allow the density to be reduced to about 1.6 homes per acre, but they also require an enhanced notification process, to ensure the public has the opportunity to learn about the project, and there is an overall community benefit to the Town.
Any applicant that submits a development application to the Town that does not coincide with existing standards for the Agricultural zoning district or the associated Conservation or Cluster Development standards would have to apply for both a zoning change and a Master Plan amendment. All proposed Master Plan amendments require a super-majority approval vote by Town Council (4-1).
What’s the difference between the Cross Timbers Conservation Development District and the Cross Timbers Protection Area?
There is a portion of the Town outside of the CTCDD that has been defined as the Cross Timbers Protection Area. This land was partially developed as the Town grew, but remnants of the Cross Timbers exist there, and every effort is made to preserve this area’s old tree groves as new development occurs. Many people confuse the “protection area” or “conservation development district” as preservation areas, which would prohibit anything from being built here. That is not true. This land can be developed, but with priority given to the natural environment and rural feel that is uniquely Flower Mound.
Will sewer ever be allowed in the Cross Timbers Conservation Development District?
Historically, there wasn’t enough capacity in the Town’s water/wastewater infrastructure to support the development in the CTCDD. This changed as the Town’s water/wastewater infrastructure expanded.
However, it all depends upon future development requests and Town Council decisions. To change even a single parcel of land from septic to Town water would take a Master Plan amendment and a super-majority vote by Council. There is a process in place to change it, but a big price tag and many variables are attached. We would also need a lot of public input from property owners and the Flower Mound residents.
If you’d to learn more about the Cross Timbers Region, please visit https://bit.ly/2Zb163x.