One man’s mission to stop the extension of Blackhawk Drive in Friendswood advances Monday to the city council.
Dan Rucker, who owns Friendswood-based Coastal Bend Property Development, wants the city to remove Blackhawk Drive from its major thoroughfare plan.
The plan maps out the city’s intentions to widen or extend the main routes for traffic, but extending Blackhawk north to Beamer Road is something Rucker wants to stop.
Rucker has plans for land his company owns in the northern panhandle of Friendswood he describes as a mixed-use project in the preliminary stages. Extending Blackhawk Drive to Beamer Road would interfere with his vision.
That part of Friendswood is in Harris County where officials are unaware of the road plan, Rucker said.
“It doesn’t marry up with Harris County,” Rucker said.
Precinct 1 in Harris County has no plans to expand or widen Beamer Road, spokesman David Ellison said. The only road construction planned is adding a left lane on each side at the intersection with FM 2351, Ellison said.
Most of Friendswood is in northern Galveston County and its population of more than 40,000 keeps growing and spreading, even into Harris County.
The city adopted the major thoroughfare plan in 2004 and last reviewed the document in 2011, City Planner Aubrey Harbin said.
Her office is recommending some administrative changes to take into account new roads leading to new subdivisions and classifying roads as major thoroughfares, boulevards and collector roads.
Also, the Texas Department of Transportation’s new proposed route for the Grand Parkway would go through the southern end of the city, and the city needs to reflect that in its plan, Harbin said.
Rucker spoke to the Friendswood Planning and Zoning Commission in October 2017 and again in January to request the city drop its plans for extending Blackhawk Drive. He also attended the Thursday commission meeting during which the issue came up again, but Rucker did not speak. He did listen.
At the Oct. 19, 2017, meeting, City Councilman Jim Hill addressed the commission.
“We just don’t have the money to build these thoroughfares,” Hill said at the time.
Commissioners asked city staff to reach out to nearby property owners to get their feedback on the extension.
Two property owners responded. James Gerland sent the city an email in favor of Rucker’s request.
Rucker has “grandiose plans I support,” Gerland’s email stated.
Rucker did not elaborate on what his mixed-use project would involve, but Rucker also developed Timber Creek Golf Club, which also is in the area where the Blackhawk extension would go through.
Developer Nick Deutsch owns a 10-acre tract in the same area that would suffer if the city went forward with extending Blackhawk, he said.
On Monday, Friendswood City Council will hold a joint workshop with the Planning and Zoning Commission regarding the major thoroughfare plan.
Rucker’s request will be the main topic.