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Abilene's Oldham Lane homeowners unhappy about nearby development plans

By Jennifer Kendall, jkendall@ktxs.com
Published On: May 09 2013 10:14:53 PM CDT
Updated On: May 10 2013 12:51:16 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

There was a heated debate between an Abilene neighborhood and a developer at the Abilene City Council meeting Thursday.

Some homeowners were worried that a planned housing development at South 27th Street and Oldham Lane could affect the value of their home, but the landowner said he has tried to compromise with the people living nearby in the past and hasn't had any luck. That’s why it ended up before the city council.

"Now I would be drawn to this area too, that's why I live there. It's a beautiful area of Abilene and how a developer can come across and say, ‘I’m going to enhance that area.’ Hey, he's not going to enhance that area with smaller homes," said Larry Mayfield who owns a home on the east side of Oldham. 

"I don't feel that my neighbor should write my deed restrictions for my property," said Michael Pritchard who owns the land. 

The land in question is across the street from some very expensive homes.

The developer of the property west of Oldham said the new homes he's building will bring more families and money to the area and add to the student population at Abilene High School.

"The revenue that would be generating for the City of Abilene and the school district and the county it’s $330,000 a year," said developer Dale Morrison.

Homeowners on the east side of the road are worried about the size of the homes being built and the size of the fence separating them.

In the end, city council convinced both sides to talk it out and come to an agreement.

"I think the compromise turned out great. We want to be good neighbors. We think it's going to be a great development for Abilene, enhance the Abilene High School district, bring in more taxes, more workers, more people," Morrison said.

"Very happy with the compromise. You know, it's a classic example. It's not everything that the homeowners wanted, it's not everything that the developer wanted, but it's a good compromise that I think will work for homeowners and developers in the city as a whole," said Tony Conder, who also owns a home on the east side of Oldham. 

The building restrictions agreed upon included lots nearest to Oldham Lane to be a minimum of 125 feet by 140 feet. Homes adjacent to Oldham would be at least 2,300 square feet. There will also have to be a 7 foot fence made of masonry and wood surrounding the new property.