spradley

KAUFMAN COUNTY, Texas — A newly-elected Mesquite City Council passed a resolution last week opposing the financing mechanism of a proposed multi-million, 622-acre development in Kaufman County, just south of Forney, which was approved in a heated 4-3 vote by outgoing members of the council.

In late 2020, the then-Mesquite City Council passed a resolution approving a master development agreement with Spradley Farms — a proposed 652-acre mixed-use development projected to build 2,500 single-family homes on 622 of the acres with commercial components on the remaining.

The project is located on a triangular tract of land on Farm-to-Market (FM) 2757 between Interstate 20, Union Hill Road, and Malloy Bridge Road, also known as FM 740.

The 6-1 vote, last Monday night, approved a resolution repealing the previously approved resolution, which supported the creation of the Spradley Farms Improvement District of Kaufman County, and expressed opposition to the creation of that district.

The resolution also requested denial of the development's application to form the district with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and disapproved of the persons named in the petition to serve as the initial directors of the proposed district.

The developer calls the council's complete 180 on the project a "breach of contract."

Mayor Bruce Archer, in a statement on Facebook, called the latest vote a "victory for the people."

"The development itself appears to be a nice development, but the financing mechanism proposed by the developer is not financially healthy for the taxpayers of Mesquite," stated Archer who said the agreement would call for $53 million in taxpayer funds to reimburse the developer in loan interest over the next 35 years — something not previously done with other developers.

"Prior to the previous council vote, myself and other council members urged the developer to look at other forms of financing that would not require such a burden from Mesquite and still allow them to do their development, but they have insisted that what they call a Municipal Management District is the only way for them and there is no compromise," he stated.

The Nehemiah Group, the Arlington-based developer of the project, has sent Archer a letter stating action taken by the new council to undo what a previous council had approved would be a breach of contract, a representative of the developer told WFAA-TV.

Its unknown what lies ahead for the development or if legal action will be taken. A records search, as of Monday morning, with the TCEQ does not list a submitted or pending application requesting the formation of the district.