By Sheila Hatfield / The Ellis County Press
FERRIS – A joint City Council and Planning & Zoning meeting Thursday, July 5 finally approved a developer’s long-awaited plans to build five new custom homes in the Western Hills Addition, east of Rolling Hills Drive and north of FM664.
“I’m happy all the zoning problems are worked out,” said developer David Stark after having to postpone his plans for quite some time.
Stark was required to appear before Ferris’ Planning and Zoning Board for its recommendation to the City Council, which he complied with, but a controversy ensued after last month’s P&Z meeting was declared illegal by Ferris City Manager Bill Jordan. Jordan told council members because the board was comprised of seven places, a quorum of four members had to be present to conduct a legal meeting.
However, board members said Jordan had told them a meeting with Stark last month could proceed with only three board members present since only five of those places were filled.
After confirming with the city attorney, Jordan said it turned out not to be true causing Stark to have to wait another couple of weeks for council approval.
The council did address the quorum issue by unanimously approving the change in the board from seven members to five.
Long-time board member Bill Malloy submitted his resignation before the meeting began. He gave no explanation.
P&Z Chair Charles Hatfield said of Malloy, “He was a valued member of our board and his wisdom and input will be missed.”
There were currently four members and resident Tim Silurik was sworn in at the last meeting by the city secretary.
Silurik was present at Thursday’s meeting along with board members Charles Hatfield, Rudy Amar and Cindy Aspen.
No residents were present to address the construction, the board repeated its recommendation and the council approved the five new homes zoned R3 with a minimum of 1,450 sq. ft. on Stark’s property.
After such a long wait for approval, the joint meeting only took 11 minutes to finish the request.
Stark said he hoped the construction would begin pretty quickly after the engineered foundation plans were completed.