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Watauga Residents Fight Off Massive Development Plan

WATAUGA (CBSDFW.COM) – A group of residents in Watauga is claiming a victory after a developer pulled its application to re-zone several lots off of Hightower drive for mixed use development.

Watauga is home to roughly 25,000 people.

For several months the group opposing the zone change in the city was organizing, signing petitions, and sounding off in front of city leaders about their displeasure with the plan known as the Hightower Commons.

The project would have developed vacant lots near Hightower Drive and Whitley Rd. into apartments, townhomes, and retail space right near homes.

Renay Jones, a long time resident of Watauga said, "People's opinions were no, not in this town that is not what we want. Why can't they just build homes?"

The group who opposed the development said the plans would disrupt their quite community, which is mainly made up of single family homes.

Scott Prescher, also helped organize the community member and said , "When we had almost 800 people show up at city hall that was twice as many people voted in the May election", about their efforts to fight the re-zoning.

A spokesperson for the city of Watauga confirmed the developer, Sun Scope pulled their application for re-zoning last week.

The company did not respond to a phone call inquiry by CBS 11 News.

Watauga's City Manager Andrea Gardner declined an on-camera interview, but later through the city's public information officer responded to an e-mail inquiry with a "no comment" when asked about her or the other city leaders views on the matter.

In that same e-mail she said, "Only time will tell" as to whether this recent outcome could affect future development plans in the city.

While Gardner did not offer any specifics on the issue the residents who took up the fight believe they pulled off a victory because of their efforts to push back on the plans.

Prescher added, "I think that showed the developer and the city this is not what we wanted."

The neighbors say they realize the vacant lots along Hightower Drive will not stay undeveloped forever, but they hope their recent fight sends a clear message to anyone who wants to re-zone and re-develop their neighborhoods into anything that doesn't fit their small town's quiet character.

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