Southside residents at odds over proposed College Station overlay

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Neighbors in College Station's Southside community are on opposite sides of a zoning fight.

The city is looking at new building rules and whether or not to approve an overlay.

Earlier this summer a majority of property owners in that area submitted an application for a neighborhood conservation overlay.

The city tells us if approved, residents are requesting three things.

Rules would put in place requiring minimum lot sizes of 8,500 square feet.

Buildings could also have a maximum height of 33 feet and there would be provisions to protect established trees of 8-inch caliper size that are outside the construction area.

"It seems that there's some fear-mongering going on maybe some bad information being put out there about what we're trying to accomplish," said Angela Hindman.

Hindman says she wants the Southside Neighborhood to keep its historic charm.

"I totally understand it seems un-American to tell somebody what they can and can't do with their property. I would just say that you know in most neighborhoods here in town they have HOA's," she said.

She says they've had community meetings and worked to get input from residents.

Dr. Kenneth Matthews' home was built in 1929.

He says they aren't trying to push out college students.

"It wasn't a punitive plan. It was made to preserve and increase the integrity of the neighborhood," he said.

But others worry those opposed to this overlay aren't being represented.

"To make some changes that are going to infringe on my property rights. Because my property rights are important for us. We bought in this area based on some rules and conditions," said Carlos Candia.

His home is the sixth oldest in the city.

"You know neighborhoods have all sorts of rules and tell you what you can and can't do with your property that's not a new concept," said Hindman.

The city says if this overlay is approved any future changes would have to go through the whole process again.

The Planning and Zoning Commission is expected to make a recommendation on September 20.

The city council should debate the issue next month.