IRVING (CBSDFW.COM) – The Irving City Council is going where no council has gone before, allowing the rezoning of property neighboring Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport for single family homes. It’s west of State Highway 114 in an area where there aren’t any homes already built.

“Clearly it’s a non-residential area,” says Irving Councilman Joe Putnam, “the whole area west of Beltline is non-residential. Putting residential there is clearly incompatible with land use.”

Despite Putnam’s objections, the Irving City Council opened up the way for development of property so close to DFW they actually share a common border. The developer wants to take 165 acres of North Texas Prairie — stuck between State Highway 114 and DFW Airport — and turn it into 650 high-dollar homes.

The Hines company out of Houston would not provide an on-camera interview or any conceptual drawings, but did tell CBS 11 News that homes would be in the $350-$650 thousand dollar range. Despite the location, Hines claims there aren’t any overhead aircraft and told the council the homes would have reinforced walls and window panes to soundproof them.

Irving Mayor Beth van Duyne sees no problem with the rezoning. “And if it’s for convenience and for living in beautiful single family homes, a lot of people will do that, and who am I to tell them they can’t?” she said. “Right now we’re desperate for single family homes. We’re in the sixth fastest growing city in the country and we’re looking for places where executives and people who work out here can live.”

The mayor lives in the residential neighborhood currently closest to the north end of the airport. She says noise is not an issue here. “Noise that we found that some of the neighborhoods had experienced; was actually from Love Field.”

But Putnam points out there are other problems. He believes council members were swayed by predictions property tax revenues would be greater for high dollar homes than for warehouses. “The potential tax revenue really should be secondary,” he claimed. And he pointed out the move contradicts the city’s comprehensive plan for growth.

In addition, the property will also be dropped in the middle of an industrial area busy with trucks moving at all hours. But the company has promised to build a sound wall to shield the community from traffic sound. Van Duyne says she’s impressed by the Hines’ plans for the community environment.

“What they were doing for noise abatement, for the streets, and for what types of amenities they’ll have for the eventual owners in their homes.”

Still, Putnam, Hines and Van Duyne all agree a major selling point is that the property is in the Coppell school district, and that alone will attract home buyers.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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