A development of 59 single-family rental homes could be built on the backside of property along the 2100 block of Judson Road in Longview.

The Longview Planning and Zoning Commission gave its approval this week to a zoning change for 9.68 acres from general retail to a single family zoning that would clear the way for construction of The Villas at Judson Road, which would be just south of the Longview Mall.

The City Council also will conduct a public hearing on the matter and consider the request at its Oct. 21 meeting.

Dallas-based developer NDC Holdings has a contract to purchase the property, which includes land that fronts Judson Road and would remain zoned for general retail.

Brent Conaway of Conaway Homes addressed the commission Tuesday about the property, saying he’s been working with NDC Holdings. Conaway Homes is based in White House but has maintained an office in Longview for 10 years. A representative of NDC Holdings wasn’t able to attend the meeting.

“We plan to build those as rental homes and hold them for ourselves,” Conaway said, adding that his company has staff who will maintain the development, including the yards, irrigation and landscaping. Conaway Homes tries to keep an eye on the property to make sure everything is “maintained to our standards.”

Conaway is planning to build one-story homes that are larger than 1,000 square feet, with three bedrooms, two baths and two-car garages. Homes would be 10 feet apart.

“We believe it’s a good transition from the retail up front,” to the residential area that already exists to the west, Conaway said. The number of entrances into the property, and whether they’re all for public use or with one that’s strictly for fire access, would be determined as the permitting process proceeds with the city.

The zoning request was submitted for a new single-family district called SF6 that was created as part of the city’s new Unified Development Code. Sidewalks would be required on one side of the roads in the development. Lot sizes are required to be at least 4,000 square feet, and homes must be at least 1,000 square feet, among other requirements.

City officials said in the past the development would have had to been zoned as a planned development. The new designation allows for “a little bit more density,” said Development Services Director Michael Shirley. A planned development requires a developer to spend more money “on the front end” for engineering and site planning. The new designation allows a more “cookie cutter standard” for different lot sizes and setbacks.

“It allows for a more condensed footprint,” he said.

The Unified Development Code was adopted in January 2020.

“(SF6) is a very new zoning category,” said City Planner Angela Choy, that has been used one other time.

“It’s a very good transitional district,” she said, noting that behind the planned homes are less dense single-family zoning districts.

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