Allie Spillyards

Long Planned Rowlett Lagoon in Jeopardy

City leaders in Rowlett are reviewing an agreement with Bayside Land Partners after learning of several proposed changes to a plan to bring a $1 billion mixed use development to Lake Ray Hubbard.

For years they have anticipated the creation of Crystal Lagoon - a resort-like attraction anticipated to be a draw for the city.

But in a special city council meeting Thursday, Bayside presented changes that would eliminate three major aspects of the 262 acre development including the lagoon, a one-acre show fountain and a trolley.

It also plans to reduce entertainment, restaurant and retail space in favor of more residential development, which is already underway.

City council pushed back.

“We have a plan and a vision that we have developed jointly with our developer, and we think that we need to fulfill that original vision,” said Mayor Tammy Dana-Bashian.

It is a change in plans that could impact families like the Cavanaughs. 

“What we had planned based on what they had planned was to possibly buy a house right here in the lagoon area," said Bill Cavanaugh. 

He and his wife Nancy have kept a boat docked at Bayside for nearly 12 years.

While they said they have no plans to move the boat, they are unlikely to move into the new development if promises made several years back aren't fulfilled. 

Still the mayor said it is too soon for a change of plans or to call the project unsuccessful. She said the city is reviewing its agreement with Bayside and evaluating its options.

“Their proposal yesterday varied greatly from the original vision. So they told us they don’t have the desire to fulfill the original vision,” said Dana-Bashian.

The mayor said it is too premature to say what those options might be. For now, it is about assessing the impact that the new proposal could have on the city and its residents.

“We understand the desire of this community. We understand the need for this in our area and very, very important for our city. So we are absolutely going to do everything in our power to deliver the original vision," said Dana-Bashian. 

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