Tanglewood neighborhood avoids re-zoning

By Joey McReynolds

Tanglewood won’t have to worry about its neighborhood looking too different after a unanimous decision from the Fort Worth City Council.
At the June 2 Fort Worth City Council meeting, members of the Tanglewood neighborhood association expressed concerns over recently expired deed restrictions that prevented homes from being built on lots smaller than 10,000 square feet.
The neighborhood association was concerned that without the deed restrictions, developers would be begin to build homes on smaller lots.
Cara Kennemer, the development committee chair of the neighborhood association didn’t want to see that happen in Tanglewood.
“Developers re-build homes in our neighborhood all the time,” Kennemer said. “But this was the first time one expressed interest in splitting [one large lot] into two different lots.”
This prompted a petition campaign that started in December. The association wanted to rezone certain parts of the neighborhood.
According to the City Council Agenda, a request was submitted to change zoning requirements and prevent developers from breaking up lots or adding additional homes to one-home lots.
The form for the zoning request stated, “a significant increase in units per acre or reduction in lot size should be discouraged for new development immediately adjacent to existing development or platted and zoned property.”
After receiving 176 letters in support of the proposal, the Zoning Commission recommended approval by a unanimous vote.
After hearing about the proposal, W.B “Zim” Zimmerman, the representative for District three, moved for approval from the council. The proposal passed unanimously.
The President of the neighborhood association, Deborah Freed, said that the approval of their proposal was extremely important.
“What we have seen is that when the re-plotting begins it tends to just keep going,” Freed said.
Freed also said that part of the re-plotting would include removing trees. “Tanglewood is a natural forest and we want to keep that look and feel.”
Along with the aesthetics, the addition of more homes on existing plots created other concerns.
“Tanglewood Elementary is extremely over-crowded,” Kennemer said. “We are bursting at the seams. We can deal with what we have but we don’t want any additional homes,” she added.
Kennemer said the Tanglewood Neighborhood Association met with the case manager, Beth Knight, who provided more information.
“Beth talked to us about how removing trees in a neighborhood means that more heat is absorbed,” Kennemer said. “Those are things we didn’t even think of, but they are important to consider.”
For now, no plots will be broken up in the neighborhood; however, deed restrictions are set to expire south of Bellaire Drive soon.
When addressing the council, Kennemer said she would be back in the future to address this.
“We are just really grateful for the council’s support,” Freed said.