EARLY— The Early City Council paved the way for a multi-million dollar townhome complex after approving a zoning change at 202 Trailer Drive.

Within phase one of the project, Trafalgar Homes hopes to have 61 units available with an overall goal of 85 units, including clubhouse, fitness room and laundry rooms and four full-time employees overseeing the estimated $6 million property.

“The total investment that they’re proposing to invest in our community is about $6 million,” Early Assistant City Administrator Larry McConn said. “Using some conservative numbers for its appraisal value, if it’s appraised at $4 million, coming back to the City of Early is going to be about $22,000 a year, Early ISD about $56,000 a year and Brown County about $25,000 for a total coming to our community of about $103,000 in just property taxes alone.”

McConn said Trafalger Homes operates properties in Stephenville, Erath and Johnson County, as well as the Indian Creek Townhome complex in Brownwood. According to Trafalgar’s website, they maintain more than 500 multi-family units and 100 single-family homes.

“They’re not new to the market,” McConn said. “It’s an honor to work with them with what they’re doing over here and that they’ve chosen our community to build in. This development is true market housing. It’s not an apartment complex.”

The Early Planning and Zoning Commission received concerns from citizens living near the proposed complex regarding issues with traffic and property taxes. One of those citizens, Kimberly Wyatt, said she was concerned the townhome would lower her property value and exacerbate traffic concerns. Wyatt lives on Old Comanche Road and said turning left to take her children to school is already a hazard.

“It’s already a concern. Getting out and turning left to take my kids to school is already a struggle,” she said. “I’m concerned. You’re talking about adding 80 to 100 people with vehicles coming out of there every day. I want to know what is going to be done in terms of infrastructure for that. Also, as a homeowner, I’m concerned about property value.”

Although City Administrator Tony Aaron could not speculate on what the townhome complex would do as far as property values, he did say the city is already working to remedy the road project.

“The street width right now for Trailer Drive is 30-feet wide. We have the right-of-way to expand that up to 52 feet,” Aaron said. “Obviously, opportunities allow us to have new revenues to improve that area. That road is in need of improvement. You have a ditch on the east side of it that takes away the ability to drive … It’s just one of those situations, when you look at development, you can’t always have the road prepared for the development, but once you get the development you can start preparing the road.”

The council unanimously approved the ordinance, which was followed by Andy Hansen of Trafalgar Homes announcing the name of the complex - Bear Creek.

“We’ve worked closely with Larry and Tony,” Hansen said. “I don’t know if you realize this, but these are two of the best. These guys know how scary it is for developers to come into town and try to navigate a path.”