"The Woods" Residents Protest Rezoning - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


"The Woods" Residents Protest Rezoning

The Woods subdivision is just what its name implies, residents say: homes surrounded by a habitat for trees and wildlife.

"I recently built here in The Woods," Barbara Tate, a new homeowner on Lake Forest Drive, said. "And what brought me to this area was the fact of the nature and the openness of it."

But that could all change for Tate and her neighbors, Jean and Bill Bruce, if the Tyler City Council approves a rezoning request from a local developer. It would allow Day Star, LLC to build a 40-foot tall office building right behind their homes. The proposed office complex would start 25 feet from Tate's property line and cover 4.4 acres of the woods.

"We don't want to look at masonry and roofs, and that's all you'll see," Bill Bruce said.

The Bruces found out about the rezoning possibility two days before Christmas. They immediately organized the neighborhood and got about 100 signatures protesting rezoning.

This afternoon, they, along with two dozen other homeowners went before the Planning & Zoning Commission to protest publicly.

"It affects our property values and takes money out of our pockets," one homeowner said.

Day Star did make one concession: to build 50 feet back from the homes, instead of 25 feet.

At the end of the day, the commissioners voted unanimously to approve the developer's rezoning application.

"I think we're doing everything we can," Mark Priestner, Day Star's land planner, said. "It's zoned R-1A now. And if it were developed with single family houses, they would be 25 feet from that property line and no trees would be able to be saved."

It's not over yet.

"We're going to do everything we can to make sure the City Council reverses this decision," Bill said.

Including hiring a lawyer.

The Woods residents say they'll protest again before the City Council. The council will take up the rezoning issue at the last meeting of the month on Wednesday, January 26.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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