The Marble Falls City Council signed a development agreement Tuesday, Dec. 1, with Roper Ranch LLC and Ellison Roper Land Corp. that further defines the proposed 661-acre development. The development is located predominantly southeast of the intersection of U.S. 281and FM 2147 East.
According to the development agreement unanimously approved by the council, Roper Ranch would ultimately consist of 1,072 single-family residential lots, a 250-unit multifamily site, 142.47 acres for commercial use, a 200-unit RV “resort” site, land for a middle school, a sports complex, a fire station site, hotel space, and more.
Thunder Rock, a 1,073-acre, mixed-use development northwest of the Texas 71 and U.S. 281 intersection, also has plans for a sports complex. The difference between the two is the Roper Ranch developer is providing the land and approximately $1.5 million for the city to build it, rather than constructing it on behalf of the city.
“The sports complex at Thunder Rock will accommodate immediate needs, but we have up to four years to spend the $1.5 million (at Roper Ranch), so that gives us some time to figure out if there are any particular sports that have a need more than the others,” said Marble Falls Assistant City Manager Caleb Kraenzel. “The $1.5 million would be used to initiate the first phase of that facility.”
The fire station plot is a holdover from an older Roper Ranch development agreement. It addresses the need for a fire station near the 281-71 intersection as assessed by Marble Falls Fire Rescue in previous years.
The school plot and the vehicle and pedestrian traffic it would incur, along with its placement in the development, were topics of discussion at the City Council meeting.
“I’m excited to see the sense of community expressed by our developers that want to continue to help make our schools and our families have everything they need to provide for children,” said Marble Falls Independent School District Superintendent Chris Allen of land set aside for a possible middle school.
However, like many other development agreements put forward in recent months, it is subject to change. Allen said MFISD has talked to representatives from Roper, but there is no formal agreement or donation of property.
“We always like the idea of a developer talking to school districts about potential school sites,” he said. “There are developers that have engaged us about how many acres do you need, what’s the kind of property you want. We can’t have property that has too much elevation change. It’s good to put schools in areas that have good roads heading in and out.
“But there is no formal agreement,” he added, regarding the Roper Ranch development.
The council discussed the placement of the possible school lot within the development, with Councilor Dave Rhodes ultimately making a motion to approve the development agreement with the amendment that the developer provide safe pedestrian access to and from the school property.