FORNEY, Texas — The City of Mesquite and the developers of Spradley Farms, a proposed 622-acre mixed-use development in Kaufman County, have agreed to mediation in an ongoing legal dispute.
In January, a newly-elected Mesquite City Council passed a resolution opposing the financing mechanism for the proposed development.
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. Developers proposed to build 2,500 single-family homes on 622 of the 652-acre development, 200 acres of open space, and 30 acres of commercial development.
Before the end of term for several outgoing Mesquite city council members in late 2019, a resolution approving a master development agreement was passed in a heated 4-3 vote. The January vote approved a resolution repealing the previous action by the council.
Following that action, the developer filed suit in Kaufman County against the City of Mesquite, its council members, and mayor for, among other things, breach of contract.
“I am pleased the property owners have chosen to work with us to try to resolve this matter in good faith," read a statement issued by Mesquite Mayor Bruce Archer on Monday. "The City Council has been very clear that they support the Spradley Farms development and the opportunity it brings to the Mesquite community."
"Nevertheless, concerns exist regarding the formation of a separate political subdivision with taxing authority in our city limits and the amount of taxpayer dollars that would be paid to the developer," continued Archer's statement. "We are hopeful that we can come to an agreement that brings about a great new home development but without undue burden to our taxpayers in our many older neighborhoods. I believe we can accomplish both goals and I look forward to meeting with a spirit of mutual cooperation and good faith.”
"While I appreciate the Mayor’s statement, it is not consistent with the city’s actions since their last election," Scott Gray, one of the attorneys representing Spradley Farms, stated in response to a request for comment from inForney.com.
"Despite us reaching out to the city prior to filing suit, Mesquite has made no effort whatsoever to reach a resolution," Gray continued. "Forcing my clients to spend money on attorneys to make the city uphold their end of the agreement is hardly supporting the Spradley Farms development."
Mediation between the two parties is scheduled for May 11.