When developer Jerry Fisher pitched his proposed recreational vehicle park to the Belton (Texas) City Council in May, he said the resort would be a boon to attract additional sales revenue to the county seat.
According to the Temple Daily Telegram, that was not enough for the council to approve the preliminary plat for Fisher’s planned 100-site Heart of Texas RV Resort — located on the east side of Interstate 35 and near Toll Bridge Road — Tuesday (Sept. 26) evening. In a 3-2 decision, the city’s legislative body killed the plat.
Mayor Marion Grayson, Councilmen David K. Leigh and John Holmes voted in favor of disapproving the plat. Councilmen Dan Kirkley and Guy O’Banion dissented, being in favor of the plat. Mayor pro tem Craig Pearson recused himself from the vote and Councilman Paul Sanderford did not attend the meeting.
The Council’s conclusion came a week after the Planning and Zoning Commission overwhelmingly disapproved the plat 7-1.
Two aspects of the proposed plat killed it: Belton wanting the developer to set aside $131,905 for a future sewer extension and $119,960 to help improve Toll Bridge Road. The developer wanted variances from the city’s requirements.
The city is still in the midst of designing its sewer extension that would run from near the Bell County Expo Center down to Shanklin Road near the interstate. The project is estimated to come with a price tag between $5 million to $6 million. The extension would stop 1,000 feet shy of the planned RV park.
For O’Banion, the street improvements were reasonable for the city to require. But, he said, the sewer funding was a lot to ask for a developer.
“Housing development is a little different, but when you’re talking about a development like this, it is a pretty big ask to cough up that kind of money,” O’Banion said. “It could make it cost prohibitive to even do it because we are putting in a sewer line and, you know, we want them to cough up that money for their part of it right now.”
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