Fewer area duplexes not expected to be problematic

A Fort Worth City Council ordinance aimed to keep duplexes from popping up in the Paschal neighborhood east of TCU may hurt a few student renters now, but in the long run it will be good for the TCU community, a university official said.

“I think it’s important for TCU to have strong, stable neighborhoods,” Mills said. “It just makes everything safer, cleaner and better.”

Last month, the City Council ruled unanimously in favor of the Paschal Neighborhood Association’s request for an ordinance that would rezone most of the neighborhood lots from two-family to single-family, said Anita Horky, president of the Paschal Neighborhood Association.

“We feel like this is a single-family neighborhood, (and) it should stay a single-family neighborhood,” Horky said. “And the duplexes detract from that.”

The neighborhood association also wants to encourage people to lay down roots in the area, Horky said.

“It is our experience in the Paschal Neighborhood Association that those who participate to improve the neighborhood are owners,” Horky said.

Discussion about the number of duplexes in the neighborhood first began at a January 2006 neighborhood meeting when property owners began to notice as many as six modern duplexes were built in the past three years, Horky said.

Adam Stone, treasurer of the Paschal Neighborhood Association and 2004 TCU graduate, said homeowners felt something was going on in the neighborhood they didn’t think was in their best interest.

“You’ve got two-story duplexes right next door to each other,” Stone said. “These are just huge, cheap duplexes that look fine right now, but they’re not going to look fine in the future.”

Some student renters feel the rezoning could have a negative affect on the TCU renting community.

“It might get rid of some options for some students in the future,” said Josh Schweser, a senior graphic design major and duplex renter in the Paschal neighborhood. The price of renting in neighborhoods closer to TCU is higher, and the Paschal neighborhood is an area where the rent is not as much, Schweser said.

Duplex renter and junior nursing major Noemi Martinez said she doesn’t think the rezoning will have a big impact on her ability to find rent in the area.

“It wasn’t difficult to find rent,” Martinez said. “There’s enough duplexes already to go around.”

Currently, the neighborhood is about 88 percent single-family homes and 12 percent duplexes, Horky said. She said the neighborhood association thinks there is a good balance between the two and wants to ensure it stays that way.

“I believe there’s enough housing to accommodate students,” Horky said.

Mills said the ordinance would likely encourage the building of more student housing, such as townhouses and apartments, in other areas closer to TCU.