Tech Terrace Neighborhood Association prepares opposition to planned student housing development
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The Tech Terrace - U.N.I.T. Neighborhood Association expected to present its opposition to the City of Lubbock Planning & Zoning Commission Thursday but the developer of a proposed student housing complex removed the zoning case from the agenda, according to the Association.
“City staff has conveyed to us that they said they will refile it again,” Don Richards, Association member, said. “They’ve got until October 19 to refile whatever they want to do and put it on the November 3 agenda. We don’t know what they’ve got in mind. We’ll see.”
Richards chairs the Association’s “Godbold ad hoc committee,” which was formed to lead the opposition to a five-story student housing facility between 19th Street and 20th Street, west of University Avenue. The residential buildings and parking garage would sit where the Godbold Cultural Center and Cafe J are currently.
“We think a nice, small luxury hotel there, 120 rooms with a restaurant, I think that would fit in nice,” Richards said. “When you start going above four stories, you start exceeding anything we’ve ever had before. This would clearly exceed it with 700 students and over 500 cars. We think they’re low on their cars, especially when they have visitors. They’re going to have some retail space. It’s going to create a real traffic problem, because just the way the streets are configured, you can’t help but dump a lot of traffic into the interior of the neighborhood.”
Richards said the Tech Terrace - University, Nineteenth, Indiana, and Thirty-Fourth, Neighborhood Association is not opposed to development, including this one, but does not believe it should go where proposed.
“The association voted unanimously to oppose this project,” Richards said. “We’re not opposed to any or all projects, and we’re very pro-development, but didn’t feel like this was the right project to be placed where it is in the neighborhood.”
In early September the Planning & Zoning Commission postponed a decision on the case, which would rezone the area to a Commercial-Apartment District. It was also the subject of a District 3 meeting with the developer, Chicago-based Up Campus Properties, and Councilman Mark McBrayer.
“We haven’t seen any changes in their plans,” Richards said. “They revised their plan once but it still was basically the same plan now.”
Richards told KCBD the concerns about the complex extend to the architecture, but the safety of the neighborhood is the priority and he hopes to see a traffic study done on the project.
“This creates a number of safety hazards,” Richards said. “It will divert a lot of traffic in through the neighborhood. The kind of the characteristic of our neighborhood, we have a lot of children or family, a lot of things going on and this would be very disruptive. We think it would create a negative impact on the neighborhood.”
According to the Up Campus website, it’s guided by pride in ownership of its properties.
“Our properties and projects provide living environments for all stakeholders in the near-campus community: Grad students, Young Professionals, Undergrads, University Faculty/Staff, Neighbors, Retail customers, Office users, and the community at-large.”
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