Midland City Council approves rezoning

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MIDLAND, Tx. (KOSA) - The Midland City Council met on Tuesday for their first meeting of the year and discussed an issue that will impact a certain Tall City neighborhood.

Karol Kitto lives with his wife in the area and he said when he first moved, he never expected to see apartments pop up so close to his house.

The motion to rezone an area in Midlands District 4 for affordable housing was approved by all seven council members.

Many community members attended the meeting and spoke out against the affordable housing, but their council member, Lori Blong, voted in favor of approving the item.

Karol Kitto lives with his wife in the area, and he said when he first moved, he never expected to see apartments pop up so close to his house.

Which is why he and other residents showed up and voiced their opinions on this future project.

The developers and council claim it’s an opportunity that allows the city to grow, but some residents worry this project will bring more traffic to the already-busy street.

“We did some improvements on it, put some garages on it just done a lot of things to it and we would hate to lose it. I do not think we are going to lose it because my wife does not want to move. We are there. It's just not going to be the same,” said Kitto.

The item, which was discussed for over an hour, will give the Midland Development Corporation the go-ahead to rezone an area and build affordable housing for teachers, nurses and first responders.

Lori Blong, who represents the district where these apartments would go up, said she hears the concerns of the residents but voted in favor.

She tells CBS7 News, either way, someone would have left upset with her vote.

“I really do understand their concerns. I would feel much the same way that they do if this was happening in my backyard, and I understand that. I also think that Midland has a housing need. We talked about that throughout the campaign, we continue to talk about it, and we know that it is true,” said Blong.

But for Kitto, the American dream of sitting on his back porch, drinking sweet tea and watching wildlife in the area will be far from reality with the addition of new apartments.

Brad Bullock, the co-chair for the Hillcrest Development, said the developers and city council are encouraging residents to keep voicing their opinions.

They want the neighborhood to continue to grow with the help of the residents currently living there.

“We want to make a community not just for our residents, but the neighbors as well so they can enjoy the walking trails and dog park. It really just increases the value of that area and makes it a community and use it as a recruiting tool for people excited to move to Midland,” said Bullock.

The council members all agree that the project's pros outweigh the cons, and these apartments will benefit all of Midland, not just District 4.