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Rolling Hills redevelopment proposal returns after Arlington officials criticize plan's 'unknowns'

Trees border a yellow-green patch of land and homes guarded by a wrought-iron fence.
Kailey Broussard
/
KERA News
Trees line the former Rolling Hills Country Club site, which borders more than 80 residential homes in Arlington. Some neighbors along the property line want to keep them standing.

Developers of the former home of Rolling Hills Country Club will have another shot Wednesday at approval to build suburban homes and businesses in its place.

The reprise comes half a month after more than 20 homeowners said they did not have enough input—and planning and zoning commissioners criticized the lack of details surrounding Provident Realty Advisor's plans.

Commissioner Cameron Atkins told Provident representatives and their consultants on Aug. 17 that he was uncomfortable approving their plans without seeing details about design, lighting and entrances.

"There's a lot of unknowns," Atkins told developers.

Rylan Yowell of Provident Realty Advisors (PRA) and Lee Kleinman with consulting firm Masterplan Texas did not respond to emails requesting comment.

However, Jorge Gonzalez-Rodiles with Southland Consulting Engineers apologized in a letter to commissioners dated Aug. 30.

"PRA takes great care in all its developments with over 40 years of developing successful communities in the Metroplex ... PRA has not tried to rush the Project through the process. On the contrary, we've actively engaged with the stakeholders before even a development plan was created," Gonzalez-Rodiles wrote.

Representatives with PRA met with neighbors Aug. 31, according to city documents. The updated proposal includes conceptual drawings of trails. The designs include a total of 30 feet of space between new homes and neighbors and efforts to preserve trees near the edge of the property.

Tree preservation and barriers from new houses were on top of Frank Kessler's mind. His and his wife's home backs up to several trees and the golf course, and have asked for a "greenbelt" around the perimeter of the new neighborhoods.

"We paid a premium for the site, for the lot, for the house," he says. "I have talked to other members of the community and we are very disenchanted and unhappy with the fact that our view is going to be completely cut off by the subdivision."

He and nearly two dozen nearby residents raised concerns about the trees, traffic and the lack of details about businesses that would eventually go into the southern portion of the property.

Yowell told KERA News in a previous interview that PRA will prioritize building homes on the north end of the property. The developer has considered bringing in a grocery store, senior living and townhomes into the southern tract, but may wait to see what the market dictates.

Yowell told commissioners on Aug. 17 that they would incorporate feedback from nearby residents in the next iteration of their plans.

"We're happy to address everything we can," he said.

The city received two letters of support and 17 in opposition over the plans. Officials also received signatures from over 60 people opposing the plans Sept. 1.

Got a tip? Email Kailey Broussard at kbroussard@kera.org. You can follow Kailey on Twitter @KaileyBroussard.

KERA News is made possible through the generosity of our members. If you find this reporting valuable, consider making a tax-deductible gift today. Thank you.

Kailey Broussard covers Arlington for KERA News and The Arlington Report. Broussard has covered Arlington since 2020 and began at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram before joining the station in 2021.