Reservoir Zoning, Planning a Texas First

Erica Craycraft…

In a first for Texas, our Urban Planning Group is helping Fannin County develop a comprehensive plan and zoning ordinance for Lower Bois D’Arc Creek Reservoir prior to its construction. Many Freese and Nichols groups have worked on various aspects of this reservoir, which is a project of the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD). This will be the first reservoir in Texas to have a comprehensive plan and zoning ordinance before the reservoir is built.

Project Manager Daniel Harrison is leading the first phase of gathering public input, meeting with stakeholders and developing a comprehensive plan to present to the public and Commissioner’s Court. The team will then help the County draft documents and zoning maps for a public hearing after recommendation from the Zoning Commission.

“This is the first time we can plan what will be developed around the lake before it’s filled,” Daniel said. “Fannin County has a clean canvas.” He says the County worked to get special legislation ​passed to allow zoning before the reservoir is built.

A Team Effort

Account director Jerry Chapman is coordinating with the City of Bonham to plan for areas where zoning jurisdictions for Bonham and the County overlap. Associate and Planner Dan Sefko’s previous experience with County zoning in Texas will help guide the project. Dan, Daniel and Planner Chelsea Irby led the first Fannin County Zoning Commission public meeting in August. (News coverage is linked below.)

The team expects planning and zoning to be completed within one year. The Lower Bois d’Arc project reached a milestone last month when NTMWD received a water rights permit for the proposed reservoir. The district is now seeking a Clean Water Act Section 404 Permit to allow construction of the dam.​

News coverage: