The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

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January 23, 2013

Toll road receives developer support

GREENVILLE — Officials behind a massive development planned for just west of Greenville say they are in favor of a proposed toll road which would pass through a portion of the project.

Matt Tordit with the Walton Development Group appeared before the Hunt County Commissioners Court Tuesday and said the company supported the initiative by the Texas Turnpike Corporation to build the road between Greenville and Lavon, in order to help meet the area’s expected rise in population.

“We believe in the region and the growth potential Hunt County has,” Tordit said.

Last summer, the City of Greenville announced it was planning to provide water and sewer service to the Walton Development Municipal Utility District (MUD), an area covering almost 13,000 acres, approximately nine miles west of downtown Greenville, generally bounded by FM 1080 to the north, County Road 1073 to the east, FM 3211 to the south and FM 36 to the west.

The City of Greenville would extend its extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ) to eventually include the entire MUD, which would give the city the authority to establish zoning standards for the entire district.

A strategic partnership agreement would allow the city to collect sales taxes from within the MUD and earn additional revenue from the sale of water and sewer services as the area develops, while allowing for the application of the city’s subdivision standards and land use regulations to help govern the development within the district.

The district is expected to include areas for residential, retail, commercial and industrial development and might someday develop into a small city itself with more than 21,000 units of housing proposed.

Tordit provided the commissioners with a letter of support from the company and said the development was in the works long before the toll road project had been proposed.

“The expansion of U.S. Highway 380 certainly was a factor,” Tordit said, adding that population estimates indicate between 6 and 12 million people are expected to locate in North Texas in the coming decades.

“It is very likely that several hundred thousand of these people, at least, will wind up in Hunt County,” Tordit said.

A copy of the proposed Walton Municipal Utility District map is available at the City of Greenville Public Works Department, 2315 Johnson Street, or by calling 903-457-3135.

The Hunt County Commissioners Court voted Tuesday to approve a non-binding resolution of support for the potential toll road. The proposal from the Texas Turnpike Corporation also includes a plan to build a new, non-toll road from west to east across North Greenville and connecting with Interstate 30.

Phase 1 of the project would be a privately-owned and built toll road covering approximately 24 miles between just west of Greenville and Lavon in Collin County, along a portion of the Northeast Texas Rural Rail Transportation District (NETEX) right-of-way. The right-of-way has been secured through a long term ground lease agreement between the Texas Turnpike Corporation (TTC) and NETEX through the cities of Josephine and Nevada, to just west of State Highway 278 in Lavon.

The TTC is proposing to build a limited access four lane divided toll road in and along the right-of-way, leaving room for NETEX’s rail restoration plan in the future, in order to help relieve congestion along Interstate 30 between Rockwall County and Dallas County.

Phase 2 of the project, between State Highway 78 and the President George Bush Turnpike will be planned and constructed in the future.

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