Neighborhood Opposition To A Third Attempt To Build Apartments On Villa Maria Across From Blinn College

Screen shot from a city of Bryan document showing the location of protesting property owners to a proposed apartment complex across Villa Maria from Blinn College.
Screen shot from a city of Bryan document showing the location of protesting property owners to a proposed apartment complex across Villa Maria from Blinn College.

For the third time, an attempt is being made to rezone land in Bryan on Villa Maria across from Blinn College to build apartments.

A Bryan city council supermajority will be required to approve the rezoning.

The city council was scheduled to consider the rezoning during Tuesday’s meeting. But the item was withdrawn at the applicant’s request. The next time the council can consider the rezoning is May 17th.

Click HERE to read and download background information from the city of Bryan about the rezoning request.

Click HERE to read and download protest petitions submitted to the city of Bryan.

The supermajority vote, requiring approval by three-fourths of the council, was required after nearly all property owners within 200 feet of the eight building, 40 unit proposal at Villa Maria and Red River filed a protest petition with the city.

According to protest letters, surrounding homeowners cited declining enrollment at Blinn, a nearby apartment complex that is nowhere near capacity, existing traffic congestion, and historical flooding and drainage issues in their neighborhood.

Bryan’s planning and zoning commission (P&Z) endorsed the rezoning request in February by an eight to one margin. According to minutes of that P&Z meeting, “Commissioners commented that buffers being put into place are large and are greater than required, the issues brought forth seem to have been addressed, and the proposed project would be a good fit for this location.”

According to the P&Z meeting minutes, the applicant “stated traffic and drainage concerns are being examined and addressed, and that the proposed development would not be visible to neighboring properties.” The applicant “also reassured that he has experience in building and will ensure the exterior fits with surrounding properties.”

The first rezoning attempt, in 2003, was denied by the planning and zoning commission. The proposal was approved in 2006 but the apartments were not built due to what city officials described were “alleged financial matters.”

While the current proposal calls for 40 units, the multifamily (MF) zoning being sought on six acres would allow up to 150 apartments. According to background information from the city, “The MF zoning classification is a residential district intended to provide a residential density of a maximum of 25 dwelling units per acre.”