North Texas

Large Apartment Complex Proposal Worries Growth-Weary North Fort Worth Neighbors

The north side of Fort Worth is growing faster than anywhere in Tarrant County. Now, a proposal to build a big apartment complex at Highway 287 and Harmon Road is getting a lot of attention, as many neighbors worry another sudden burst in population could push the area too far.

The Frandsens moved to north Fort Worth as a family of four.

"We felt like we were moving away from the hustle and bustle and it was nice and quiet and there were trees around," said Cortney Frandsen.

Five years later, they've had their own population boom in a three-year-old daughter named Abby, and they've watched the rooftops around their yard begin to multiply.

"It's really kind of caught us off guard," Frandsen said.

Now there could be many more neighbors moving in. The city zoning commission will consider a plan to build a large apartment complex on more than 30 acres, just past the family's neighborhood.

The land needs a zoning change, because it's long been slated for commercial property. There were plans for a Target there years ago.

"Because of the recession, that project was canceled," said Tony Perez, head of a nearby homeowners association.

"It concerns a lot of people," Perez added.

There's the question of traffic, with potentially hundreds of families added right next to Highway 287. Perez worries such quick growth could lengthen emergency response times.

"It is a very challenging area, and all it takes is one accident to upset that cart," Perez said.

Then there are the schools. The smaller class sizes the Frandsens moved for are growing every year. Bus routes are getting longer and often held up in traffic.

"Did our route get forgotten, because we're 40 minutes late now," Frandsen said, describing her calls on an all-too-common morning at the bus stop.

There are already large apartments across the highway and neighbors are pushing to keep commercial land commercial, with hopes for a high-end grocery store.

"There's a lot of potential here for us to have a good neighbor that we could support for many years to come," Perez said.

The project went before the zoning commission last week, but the developers asked for a continuance to consider the public's input before moving forward.

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