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China Spring Neighborhood Association pushes for better management of growth

1,068 Views | 13 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by BaylorGuy314
UBBY
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https://www.wacotrib.com/news/government/china-spring-neighborhood-association-pushes-for-better-management-of-growth/article_ba55c65a-887b-5a43-aa0a-4bb997f289c8.html

"We are expecting, within the next 25 years, about 80,000 people to move into the county," Peters said. "About half of those will come to the city of Waco. So there are a lot of challenges and questions about how we provide and accommodate infrastructure."

"There's trying to fix it now, but it's too little too late," Larson said. "The genie is out of the bottle, and we're going to end up with the worst kind of suburban sprawl in China Spring because of their inaction 10 years ago."

"A lot of people hate that it's happening, period," Larson said. "A lot of people, like myself, don't mind if it's happening but we see that it's not happening in a smart way."

The neighborhood association is also pushing for a community park in a central location that subdivisions could connect to. During this month's neighborhood association meeting, city officials brought up the idea of creating a park by requiring developers to contribute land.


"We're really scared about what's going to happen when construction on China Spring finishes up," Faulkner said, referring to a widening of the main road connecting the area to central Waco. "They're going to come even faster."

The district has a little more than 2,900 students this school year, up from 2,470 students in 2015, and the pre-K to third grade age group is growing the fastest, he said. The elementary school is at about 98% of its capacity.

"They're at 940 on that campus, which will probably cause us to have to do a bond election sometime soon," Faulkner said. "Every grade is growing steadily, but that's where we're feeling the pinch for sure. It certainly wasn't our expectation."

China Spring has only four main thoroughfares, which are no longer adequate for the volume of traffic the area gets. Evilia said the city expects China Spring's population of about 8,400 to increase by about 3,100 by 2045.

"So that's probably somewhere around a 40% increase in 25 years," Evilia said.

He said the MPO already considers traffic volumes to be at unacceptable levels in China Spring, thanks to a combination of a growing population, little pedestrian traffic and relatively few main roads.

"The China Spring Highway expansion will help, but it's basically all there is to get you from that area to town," Evilia said.
trey3216
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UBBY said:

https://www.wacotrib.com/news/government/china-spring-neighborhood-association-pushes-for-better-management-of-growth/article_ba55c65a-887b-5a43-aa0a-4bb997f289c8.html

"We are expecting, within the next 25 years, about 80,000 people to move into the county," Peters said. "About half of those will come to the city of Waco. So there are a lot of challenges and questions about how we provide and accommodate infrastructure."

"There's trying to fix it now, but it's too little too late," Larson said. "The genie is out of the bottle, and we're going to end up with the worst kind of suburban sprawl in China Spring because of their inaction 10 years ago."

"A lot of people hate that it's happening, period," Larson said. "A lot of people, like myself, don't mind if it's happening but we see that it's not happening in a smart way."

The neighborhood association is also pushing for a community park in a central location that subdivisions could connect to. During this month's neighborhood association meeting, city officials brought up the idea of creating a park by requiring developers to contribute land.


"We're really scared about what's going to happen when construction on China Spring finishes up," Faulkner said, referring to a widening of the main road connecting the area to central Waco. "They're going to come even faster."

The district has a little more than 2,900 students this school year, up from 2,470 students in 2015, and the pre-K to third grade age group is growing the fastest, he said. The elementary school is at about 98% of its capacity.

"They're at 940 on that campus, which will probably cause us to have to do a bond election sometime soon," Faulkner said. "Every grade is growing steadily, but that's where we're feeling the pinch for sure. It certainly wasn't our expectation."

China Spring has only four main thoroughfares, which are no longer adequate for the volume of traffic the area gets. Evilia said the city expects China Spring's population of about 8,400 to increase by about 3,100 by 2045.

"So that's probably somewhere around a 40% increase in 25 years," Evilia said.

He said the MPO already considers traffic volumes to be at unacceptable levels in China Spring, thanks to a combination of a growing population, little pedestrian traffic and relatively few main roads.

"The China Spring Highway expansion will help, but it's basically all there is to get you from that area to town," Evilia said.

Their population is going to increase by far more than 3100 over the next 25 years. I wouldn't be surprised if that 3100 number isn't achieved by 2025.
Jackie Treehorn treats objects like women, man.
cowboycwr
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With the enlargement of China Spring road/highway the population will explode. More so if they ever expand North River Crossing/185.

That is really the only thing that limits growth out there. The fact that the roads were still two lane country roads when much larger ones were needed, especially in front of the schools where traffic just stopped when school was getting in/out.

But like many areas they start the planning/ construction long after it is needed not planning ahead.
UBBY
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It's kinda scary if you also look at the growth of Robinson, Hewitt, Mcgregor and Lorena over the next few decades.
cowboycwr
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UBBY said:

It's kinda scary if you also look at the growth of Robinson, Hewitt, Mcgregor and Lorena over the next few decades.
I feel like those 4 are better suited to growth though. Maybe not Lorena due to it's water/sewage issues.

But the road situation in all 4 is much better due to major highways/interstates. 77, 35, 84. Hewitt has Hewitt drive and sun valley which are larger. Spring valley is smaller at spots and could be an issue in the future. And yes hewitt drive even with multiple lanes gets backed up during school arrival/dismissal but it is still not Austin/Houston traffic bad.

The school situation in all 4 could be an issue as they all have newer buildings, running out of centrally located land available, etc.
sipembeers
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Hewitt itself is land locked. Have you driven down Hewitt dr at lunch on a weekday? Surprised there aren't more wrecks on that road.
trey3216
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sipembeers said:

Hewitt itself is land locked. Have you driven down Hewitt dr at lunch on a weekday? Surprised there aren't more wrecks on that road.
Try living between Chapel and Panther Way and getting out of your house between 7-8 am.
Jackie Treehorn treats objects like women, man.
HashTag
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McGregor will probably "take off" sooner rather than later. A lot of land to be developed and with the overpass, it will decrease travel time from the McGregor area to Waco/Woodway/West Waco area. The McGregor soon, I thimk won't feel likes it's "too far out there"

New subdivision called 'The Park' is going in now, by Trane. Told it will be about 350 homes. Hear that McGregor ISD already has land set aside there for a school.

I've always thought that McGregor is to Woodway what McKinney was to Plano (back in the 80s).

The over-pass at Speegleville Rd, I think will be a game changer for the area.
cowboycwr
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sipembeers said:

Hewitt itself is land locked. Have you driven down Hewitt dr at lunch on a weekday? Surprised there aren't more wrecks on that road.
For adding land to the city limits yes it is but not all of the land that is "in" city limits is developed.
cowboycwr
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HashTag said:

McGregor will probably "take off" sooner rather than later. A lot of land to be developed and with the overpass, it will decrease travel time from the McGregor area to Waco/Woodway/West Waco area. The McGregor soon, I thimk won't feel likes it's "too far out there"

New subdivision called 'The Park' is going in now, by Trane. Told it will be about 350 homes. Hear that McGregor ISD already has land set aside there for a school.

I've always thought that McGregor is to Woodway what McKinney was to Plano (back in the 80s).

The over-pass at Speegleville Rd, I think will be a game changer for the area.
I did not know they were adding an overpass there but it will make travel smoother right there.

didn't they just finish upgrading that intersection with lights a few years ago?
BaylorGuy314
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Lorena will have to have a pretty massive change in mindset if they want to take off. 85' lot minimums and a severe lack of water/sewer infrastructure are going to keep the area between hewitt/woodway and lorena mostly ranchette style as they will all have to be nearly acre lots on septic. Waco's not going to extend utilities that far into the ETJ. When Lorena grows, it will be on the east side of 35.

cowboycwr
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BaylorGuy314 said:

Lorena will have to have a pretty massive change in mindset if they want to take off. 85' lot minimums and a severe lack of water/sewer infrastructure are going to keep the area between hewitt/woodway and lorena mostly ranchette style as they will all have to be nearly acre lots on septic. Waco's not going to extend utilities that far into the ETJ. When Lorena grows, it will be on the east side of 35.




Yup

https://www.wacotrib.com/news/government/territory-swap-with-waco-could-help-lorena-realize-long-awaited/article_fdd39f4f-3b32-5ccd-a732-28d0c6c14c22.html
Yogi
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FWIW, the sewer issues have been relieved and the water issues are in the process of being taken care of.

Lorena now has a contract with the City of Waco to assist with those services.

Besides, Lorena, the town, isn't where everybody lives out there; it's Spring Valley and the areas up near Waco and over toward IH-35 near the intersection with Hewitt Drive.

In fact, a huge subdivision is going up just north of Lorena with Hewitt utilities and feeds into Lorena ISD.
BaylorGuy314
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Yogi said:

FWIW, the sewer issues have been relieved and the water issues are in the process of being taken care of.

Lorena now has a contract with the City of Waco to assist with those services.

Besides, Lorena, the town, isn't where everybody lives out there; it's Spring Valley and the areas up near Waco and over toward IH-35 near the intersection with Hewitt Drive.

In fact, a huge subdivision is going up just north of Lorena with Hewitt utilities and feeds into Lorena ISD.

Pm me - I'd love more info.

I live out in Lorena and was recently looking at buying some land within the city limits (not just within the school district but within the city limits itself). City water and sewer are available at the road but I was told the water line is too old and too tapped out to add another water meter so I'd have to pay an enormous sum to have the line upsized...for a single water meter. (I'm not talking about trying to build a subdivision that would put the existing line over capacity, which is typically the case when lines must be upsized.)

From my vantage point, as someone that lives here and really wants to see *smart* growth in Lorena, is that not enough is being done to encourage growth. There is currently zero - not a single square foot - of multifamily or non single family zoning in Lorena to develop. That includes anything from duplexes to apartments. I very much understand and respect the City's concerns about too much rental property and the effects that could have on multiple city services (schools, roads, fire, police, etc) but to have none of it at all seems short-sighted.

The water issue you referenced isn't really a long term fix. There is a large subdivision on the east side of 35 that is planned to be developed by Jose Loera and Lorena discovered that Waco technically has water jurisdiction for a portion of that land so are organizing a land swap with the agreement that Waco will help with water. But that's not a long term solution, it's a fix for that immediate area.

I get that Lorena doesn't want to become Hewitt. They want to be more like Woodway than Hewitt. And I can understand that. But you have to have a certain density to make things work. Woodway is more geographically constrained by Waco. Lorena is not and the school district service area is huge whereas Midway serves the towns of Waco, Hewitt, & Woodway. You can't drag water and sewer out in the middle of no where with little density and it make financial sense. You can put some of the financial burden on the developer at the onset but that won't fix on-going, long term maintenance and service issues.

Also, the subdivision you referenced in Hewitt that's Lorena ISD - Moonlight Park - is fantastic but it's one development that is somewhat in a loophole of being just barely within Hewitt's utility area while simultaneously being in Lorena ISD. That's extremely rare.

I would encourage Lorena to consider denser development opportunities near it's core to (A) improve utilization of existing infrastructure lines, (B) encourage growth close to it's utility distribution so any upgrades in utility lines in the future are more cost effective, and (C) improve their tax base which is not as strong because of the lack of density - ag land just doesn't bring in much tax revenue. While homes on acreage are fantastic (I have one on 2 acres in Lorena, myself), from a pure property tax perspective,it's better to have two houses on 1/2 acre each or four houses on 1/4 acre each than one house on a single acre. And it makes a heckuva lot more sense for city services and utilities.

In fairness - Lorena does have a master planned section they are working on along the east side of 35 that would incorporate several commercial zoning ranges as well as a very small amount of multifamily (read as: one apartment) into the master plan. It looks very well put together but I have heard that it has been like pulling teeth to get that single development through council.

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