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Massive development in works on Hwy. 136
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One of the largest landowners in the county is moving forward with plans for a massive mixed-use development in north Dawson.


Larry Long with Forestar Real Estate Group, formerly Temple Inland, has filed an application to rezone 1,068 acres between Hwy. 136 and Burt Creek Road to mixed use village.


The land is currently zoned residential agriculture and residential planned community.


A site plan for the Villages at Burt Creek shows more than 1,500 housing units, 100,000 square feet of commercial office space and 23,200 square feet for retail.


A school, hotel, day care and recreational facilities are also planned.


Despite the objections of several residents, the Dawson County Planning Commission, voted 3-1 to approve the conceptual plan and to rezone only the acreage south of Hwy. 136, which would be the project’s first phase.


Commissioner Russell Burchard voted opposed the measure.


The planners’ recommendation will go to the county commission, which decides such matters, on April 21.


Weldon Sheriff, whose property on Shoal Creek Road backs up to the site, spoke against the plan.


“The impact of this development could destroy the farm I’ve worked a lifetime to preserve,” Sheriff told the planning commission. “This development is not the best use for this land.”


He cited flooding as one cause for concern, noting the land is currently forested.


Long emphasized the conceptual plan, which has been in the works since 2008, is still preliminary.


He said it may take years to go through the environmental process required before work could begin.


Residential components include single family homes, town houses, condos, apartments and senior living.


Long said development would take place in sequence, beginning with a senior adult village, and could take 10 to 20 years to finish.


“The best market right now is more for adult living, retirement communities … the catalyst for the next few years to get this going,” he said.