Developer Steve Sorrells praised the "excellent design and plan" which seeks "to bring a quality, single-family subdivision back into Waco's inner city." Waco's newest, most exciting pocket neighborhood offers "eleven lots for custom homes with a very sensitive low-impact design that will be sensitive to the preservation of the natural setting, the park, and the river."
In response, Plan Commission Chairman Jose Villanueva graciously affirmed the design of The Cloister at Cameron Park, noting, "We've all discussed this project from the last work session and . . . we're all really excited about what this could represent for future development . . . along the same lines."
Owner Douglas Henry followed up Mr. Villanueva's comments by highlighting the remarkable interest that prospective lot owners have shown following the first public hearing on the project in December. A wide variety of energetic inquiries, from as far as Corpus Christi and Houston, as well as all over Waco, have come in, and high interest in the lots from people in different walks of life--engineers, professors, doctors, dentists, bankers, and coaches--bodes well for the continuing renaissance of residential life in the heart of the city. He also affirmed efforts to befriend new neighbors living on streets adjacent to the development. "We care very much about this neighborhood, and we want to be good citizens, good stewards, of the friendships and the patterns of life therein."
Video of comments by these three gentlemen is available here between the 18:30-22:25 minute marks.
An unexpected--but ultimately winsome--turn in the public hearing arose with concerns expressed by Eugene and Doris Stribling, who currently live on property just to the northeast of The Cloister at Cameron Park. Mr. Stribling wished that the City of Waco had acquired the property and added it to Cameron Park's existing 416 acres of public land. Mrs. Stribling worried that development of The Cloister at Cameron Park might disturb a swimming pool located on her property.
Steve Sorrells was recognized by Chairman Villanueva to address the Striblings' concerns, and in kind and reassuring fashion sought to set minds at ease. Noting the "very large park area that we're preserving" and its location along a continuous line with the Stribling property, Mr. Sorrells underscored the desire to "keep it natural as part of the beauty" of The Cloister at Cameron Park. We are "very sensitive to taking care of the neighborhood, preserving the natural beauty therein, and being an effective steward of the land."
In a touching demonstration of commitment to amity and shared understanding, commissioners allowed Mr. Sorrells a couple of minutes "off the record" to show plans for The Cloister at Cameron Park to the Striblings, explain aspirations for the development to them, and reassure them of a high commitment to responsive friendship and neighborly hospitality.
Next up: consideration of the Final PUD proposal by City Council on February 17, after which, with council approval, The Cloister at Cameron Park will be ready for construction.