Parkstone residents upset over traffic from construction
June 4, 2014 at 1:04 a.m.
Homeowners in the Parkstone subdivision are furious about what they expect will be increased traffic in their neighborhood once construction of The Duke Apartments is completed.
The $19.2 million project behind Victoria Mall is about three weeks into what will be a 15-month process to build a 252-unit complex.
Subdivision resident Terry Zarbock, 62, passed around a petition May 24 after the construction started with the intent to deliver it to Victoria city officials.
"I'm concerned with the traffic," she said. "There are little kids who ride their bikes around the neighborhood."
She and her husband, Ron Zarbock, 67, both retired, bought the lot for their home on Glacier Court almost nine years ago and said they decided to move into the Parkstone subdivision because it was quiet and peaceful.
Now, there is a large apartment complex going up, and about 80 residents signed the petition because they are unhappy about the lack of safety for children and because they weren't notified that Parkstone Drive would be used as an apartment entrance, Terry Zarbock said.
The petitions have not yet been delivered to city officials.
To access the construction site at 301 Parkstone Drive, she said, construction workers took down part of a fence that lines the edge of the subdivision.
"We didn't know they were going to open it," she said. "We just want them to close it when they're done."
Jared Mayfield, the city's director of development services, said the project was treated no differently than any other large apartment projects that have started this year in Victoria.
"We followed what we were required to do," he said. "We don't have to notify them that there is a new apartment complex going up nearby."
Parkstone Drive is a city-owned street, which he said was built for public use. Although the developer built the road, once it is complete, the city takes ownership of it and is responsible for maintaining it.
"I sympathize with the neighborhood's concerns," Mayfield said. "There are pieces of Victoria that are experiencing growing pains."
Brooke Horadam, who lives on Carlsbad Drive adjacent to the construction site, said she and her husband signed the petition.
"We weren't notified or given the opportunity to protest that it (Parkstone Drive) would be an entrance before it was decided," she said.
But according to Peter Caye, managing partner with The Giddings Group, the entrance for The Duke Apartments will be off the Victoria Mall drive. The clubhouse and main office for the complex will face the mall. The entrance that the construction trucks are using on Parkstone Drive is a temporary one, he said.
"We're working with the city and the mall to have a drive near the Courtyard (Marriott)," Caye said.
All of the properties owned by The Giddings Group, he said, have two entrances for emergencies. The second entrance will be gated and kept closed for The Duke residents, he said, and will require a personal identification number for entry.
"The 301 Parkstone Drive address is a temporary address used for permit purposes," said Caye. Once the drive off Victoria Mall is complete, it will have a different address, he said.
Henry Buckner, 65, who also lives on Carlsbad Drive, can see trucks driving in and out of the hole in the fence from a bench in his garage.
He's lived in the neighborhood for about two years, and he's disappointed the apartments are coming in and disturbing his subdivision.
"If I knew it was going to be like this, I wouldn't have bought the house," he said. "I don't think it's fair."
The hike in traffic when the construction project is complete is Buckner's biggest concern. He and his wife moved to Parkstone from Shiner because it was really nice, he said.
"We haven't had any problems here," he said.
Caye is confident residents in Parkstone will be pleased with their new neighbor. The Duke will be completely landscaped. Trash compactors and receptacles will be hidden from view by trellises and plants, and Caye expects most traffic will flow through the entrance facing Victoria Mall.
"We're building Class A apartments," said Caye. "We're going to make people very happy once we're done."