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Argyle follows correct path

Argyle officials said recently that they will avoid making any hurried decisions as they attempt to implement the town’s comprehensive plan, and we think that’s smart thinking.

The plan calls for aggressive commercial development along the town’s busiest corridors — Interstate 35W and U.S. Highway 377 — and while it might be tempting to move quickly and get development rolling, we recommend careful study prior to taking any action.

Once launched, development has a tendency to snowball, and unless proper zoning guidelines and adequate infrastructure are in place before dirt is moved, the city could fail to reach its full potential.

For the next five to eight months, Gateway Planning Group, a Fort Worth-based firm, will identify the areas in Argyle that need to be rezoned to match the town’s land-use plan. Much of the town is zoned under an outdated comprehensive plan, and the rezoning process is the first step that must be taken, officials said.

In addition to a restructured zoning plan, officials have also discussed capping the town’s residential population at some point to help protect the atmosphere that current residents have come to enjoy.

“The rolling hills is what attracted people to Argyle, and they don’t want that to change,” said Richard Luedke, community services director.

Limiting residential development, however, will mean that dense commercial development will be necessary to offset costs, and that means that infrastructure improvements will be needed to support the growth.

For example, Argyle will need adequate sewer and water infrastructure along the corridors to jump-start development. More than $4 million in sewer system improvements are needed before the town will begin to see heavy commercial development along its major intersections and corridors, officials said.

Town officials estimate that the commercial development they are hoping for will begin in about five to eight years, but that will largely depend on whether or not the improvements to the sewer systems are made and how much the town can afford.

Officials have said they plan to focus on the I-35W corridor, which is where most of the commercial development is expected to take place.

Argyle has great potential, and we encourage officials to be patient and to plan with care. That’s the best way to guarantee that they’ll get it right.

Sometimes you only get one shot, so you have to make it count.