Godley residents fight back against Johnson County development, flood of growth

·2 min read

Godley residents out to preserve the character of the town many escaped to are putting up a fight against the flood of growth.

More than 50 people on Tuesday packed city council’s modest chamber to protest a new housing development, but the preliminary development plans were nonetheless accepted.

Proposed neighborhood Carrell Farms, a project from Dallas-based TCCI Land Development, is slated to contain about 1,700 lots ranging in size from 4,000 to 6,000 square feet. Prices will start at about $200,000.

As planned, the development would abut Starlight Ranch, a community with 170 lots on one to three acres and homes starting at $500,000.

Godley, according to multiple newcomers who spoke at the meeting, is a rural haven from crime. A “low-income” development, as residents described it, would change that.

“Low income housing is not the answer,” said Clinton Jones. “You throw enough rats in a cage, they start to eat each other.”

Michael Strickland, who was later escorted out of the meeting for calling Mayor Acy McGehee a coward, asked council, “Are you going to be Joe Biden or are you going to be Ron DeSantis?”

Furthermore, the bones of Godley aren’t equipped to handle the influx of population caused by 1,700 new homes, residents argued.

Kayla Lain explained she owns six acres of land, and during the February freeze, was without water for seven days. “Can you imagine several thousand more homes, if we have another freeze like that?” she asked.

Carrell Farms is one of several upcoming housing developments affecting Godley, which is located about 30 miles southwest of Fort Worth in Johnson County. Developer Terra Manna last month broke ground on Silo Mills, an 840-acre neighborhood with 2,500 home sites on Farm to Market 917. Homes will start in the upper $200,000s.

After a raucous public comment period in which residents claimed the council showed a lack of transparency throughout the process of approving the development, the group went into an unplanned executive session for purpose of discussing “contemplated litigation.”

By opting not to take action on a preliminary plat for Carrell Farms, the plat was, in effect, accepted, said city attorney Cass Calloway. The next step is approval of the final plat.

“When a properly prepared development comes through Fort Worth [City Council], you’re gonna get some push back,” said Jeff Spiegel, developer of Starlight Ranch. “They’re gonna be heard. That isn’t happening here.”

“I believe there should be more transparency,” admitted councilman Michael Papenfuss after initially refusing to speak to media.

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