Savannah residents upset by plan to turn planned town center into apartments

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by JOBIN PANICKER

Bio | Email | Follow: @jobinpnews

WFAA

Posted on February 21, 2014 at 9:42 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 21 at 9:42 PM

DENTON COUNTY -- Residents in the Special Utility District of Savannah see it every day: a sign that reads “Future Town Center.”

But once planned and promised may now be the past.

“You can drive past it by there and still see the sign,” said resident Don Brooks.

On Wednesday afternoon, Brooks and other residents canvassed the neighborhood for signatures to fight off a planned development north of Highway 380.

Last week, a developer named Westwood announced plans for 396 apartments where there is now dirt and grass along 380.

“They told us flat out, it’s gonna happen and there’s no choice,” Brooks said.

News 8 sought confirmation of the planned project, but Westwood had no comment. Residents shared pictures of the plans, where it vaguely outlines where the apartment units are projected to go.

“Nobody wants apartments here. We want the family life and family lifestyle we’ve see and been sold,” Brooks said.

Huffines Communities sold the land in 2007 to another company. Residents say Huffines has been promising the town center for some time.

Instead of a planned town center, residents fear apartments will only lower property values and add to the congestion.

Representatives for the Savannah HOA and Huffines say the new developer hasn’t submitted any plans to them; a condition on buying the land.

“If the owner of the property decides to submit a formal request to review, Huffines will do so and will only approve a development that is consistent with the deed restrictions,” wrote Cynthia Pharr Lee in a statement.

“We’ve grown too fast. We’ve grown very fast,” said Rob Adams with the Denton County Fresh Water Supply District No. 10.

The district just recently agreed engineering needs to study if Savannah can even handle the apartments with sewer and water.

“The intent is to look after Savannah and our duty is to our residents,” Adams said.

Beyond the signatures, the residents are considering legal pressure and are in the process of hiring attorneys.

There’s also talk of incorporating the district of Savannah. It's a move, while drastic to some residents, that they say is also an inevitability in the growing district of Savannah.

E-mail jpanicker@wfaa.com

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