CONNIE SWINNEY • STAFF WRITER
MARBLE FALLS — What was once primarily pasture land on a well-known family-owned property could be transformed into a business and multi-family housing development following the pending annexation of a 75-acre tract on U.S. 281 south of Marble Falls.
“Mr. (Russ) Roper has petitioned the city to be added into the city limits,” Assistant City Manager Caleb Kraenzel said. “The city tried to annex the property in 2012, and he entered into a development agreement with the city where the land is agriculturally exempt. Those landowners are given the option to defer annexation for a set amount of time. Usually, it’s three to five years.”
The landowner entered into a five-year agreement with the city.
Plans for potential development hastened the property owner to approach the city for voluntary annexation.
“Now, Mr. Roper wants to seek some permanent zoning for potentially developing the property,” Kraenzel said.
Annexation approval would bring the land, with frontage in the 1400 block of the highway, into the fold of surrounding property.
“It’s an island in that it’s surrounded on four sides by the city limits,” Kraenzel said.
Panther Hollow is located to the north of the acreage; additional land owned by Roper is on the south side; Lake Marble Falls subdivision is to the west; and a rock-crushing facility and mine are located across the highway to the east.
Roper’s property up for annexation is comprised of “a lot of highway frontage for future commercial land use,” Kraenzel said.
“He has a draft plan that he’s shared with the city staff to get some input and working through his process and figuring out what fits best for the overall plan for that part of the city,” he said. “He’s looking at proposing to zone it, maybe, multi-family (i.e. apartments/duplexes) or light commercial/light industrial.”
Public hearings are scheduled for 6 p.m. Jan. 17 and noon Jan. 24 at city hall, 800 Third St.
A scheduled vote by the Marble Falls City Council on the proposed annexation is pending.