HEATH - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has cleared the annexation and zoning hurdles on its way to establishing a church in the City of Heath.

The Mormon church is planning a 26,460 square foot facility on land that is soon to be annexed by the city. The church petitioned the city for annexation along with a request for a zoning change from agricultural to residential. The request covered an eight acre tract of land located at the intersection of Farm-to-Market 549 and Rabbit Ridge Road.

The church lot comprises 5.76 acres of the tract. As a result of a revised plat offered to the city council at the June 15 regular meeting, an area of 1.61 acres is set aside with the option of selling it off for residential lots in the future.

The city received the petition for annexation from Dan Vandiver of Vandiver Associates on March 29. The petition for annexation was approved on May 6 with public hearings held on May 18 and June 1. The adoption of annexation was held at a special morning meeting yesterday.

Though the project must still submit a final plat and obtain a building permit, the city staff foresees a quick approval as the developer has been quick to satisfy the city’s concerns.

“I asked them to set aside the right-of-way on 549,” said Heath City Engineer Pedram Farahnak. “That’s 120 feet. The right-of-way on (Rabbit Ridge) is 70 feet. They agreed to everything. They are doing retention for storm water. They have added a lane on 549, according to TxDOT requirements.

“They’re building three lanes (on Rabbit Ridge Road) to past their second driveway. They have done everything that they are required to according to our subdivision ordinance. They have been very easy to work with.”

Construction on the church and property is set to begin sometime in September with approximately 12 months allocated for completion of the project.

In other actions during the June 15 meeting the council approved the preliminary plat and building permit for Peka Acres Estates, submitted by Larry and Tricia Knowlton.

The request combines two existing lots into one to form a 26.69 acre tract. The tract is located on Myers Road just west of the intersection with Crisp Road.

The council also passed an amendment to an existing plat in Cove Ridge Estates, approved a variance on fence height at 7210 Farm-to-Market 549, and authorized the mayor to enter into an extraterritorial jurisdiction boundary adjustment agreement with the City of McLendon-Chisolm.

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