The future of a new apartment complex on Samuels Avenue is up in the air for another three weeks after City Council members delayed their final decision until Sept. 12. 

Developer Brewer & Hale is​​ seeking to build a 27-unit apartment complex, dubbed The Harrison, with 21 onsite parking spaces and another 17 offsite parking spaces two-tenths of a mile from the apartment complex. The apartment complex would sit at 521 Samuels Ave.

Current zoning allows Brewer & Hale to build eight units on the site. Neighbors have opposed the project due to high traffic and a lack of street parking on Samuels Avenue, especially near Charles Nash Elementary School

Brewer & Hale sought — and secured — council approval for the project in late 2021. But that approval was undone in court earlier this year, after residents of the nearby Villa de Leon Condominiums sued the city and the developer over complaints that they didn’t receive notification about the proposed development as required by state law and city ordinance.

City attorneys acknowledged in a court filing that the city didn’t mail individual notices to condominium owners prior to a 2021 zoning hearing.  

“This is a tough one because a lot of people have been put in a tough spot because of an error by the city,” said District 9 council member Elizabeth Beck, who represents the area. “None of us like to sit up here and look at you and tell you that we didn’t get it right, but we didn’t get it right.” 

Now the developers are once again hoping to prevail in front of the City Council. They presented their plans during an Aug. 22 council meeting. Developer Bailey Brewer likened the property to the “donut hole in the donut,” as all of the surrounding properties have the less restrictive zoning his company is seeking. 

“We are not asking for variances or exceptions to our favor,” Brewer said. “We are asking to be treated the same as all our neighbors.”

Ten people spoke out against the development, including three parents and parent-teacher association members from Charles Nash Elementary. The school, which sits at 401 Samuels Ave., faces frequent difficulties because of intense car traffic on the two-lane road. 

From left to right, Villa De Leon Condominium owners Jenny Stewart, Kent Bogle, David Balunda and Steve Markwardt stand in front of their building. They are among the owners suing the city over zoning notifications. (Emily Wolf | Fort Worth Report)

Hunter Welling worries about the impact the apartment’s development will have on her fifth grader, who attends Charles Nash. People frequently drive on the wrong side of the road to avoid the school’s carpool lane, she said, and that’s resulted in traffic jams before. In one instance, the traffic blocked a fire truck from accessing Samuels Avenue, Welling said. 

“Adding any sort of development project that does not provide adequate, planned off-street parking just is not viable for this neighborhood,” Welling said. 

Amelia Pantoja, a Charles Nash PTA board member and parent, said the school already has people parking in its lot who aren’t teachers or parents, taking away spots from people with school business. 

She referenced an Aug. 7 “meet the teacher” event the school hosted, where parents showed up drenched in sweat because they couldn’t find parking nearby and had to walk multiple blocks in the heat. 

“A family not being able to attend our event due to parking limitations damages our ability to give families a full experience,” Pantoja said. “Building an apartment complex that does not provide parking for all of its tenants stifles the student experience.”

Regardless of her vote on the Brewer & Hale case, Beck said she will ask city staff to conduct a traffic study on Samuels Avenue and explore potential funding opportunities to make the route to Charles Nash Elementary safer for students and families. The city has provided a mixture of bond funds and federal grants to schools like A.V. Cato Elementary School and Diamond Hill Elementary School for similar concerns. 

The challenge is balancing the desires of what the existing community wants and allowing for good business in the city, Beck said. She doesn’t believe the project will take up parking at the elementary school.

“I know that it is scary to y’all that are next door, but I have seen it in other areas of the district where that parking isn’t required and it seems to work,” Beck said. “If it’s just parking, I think we move forward.” 

Beck is hopeful that the concerns of the Villa de Leon condominium owners will be addressed in a private meeting with developers next week, ahead of the Sept. 12 vote. Frank Starr, president of the condo owners association, said the group was discouraged by Beck’s comments on parking concerns. 

Brewer & Hale’s off-site parking plan is “ludicrous” because people won’t park a quarter-mile away and will try to park in lots or streets where they’re not permitted, Starr said. The condo owners association plans to push the developer to increase the distance between the proposed apartment and the Villa de Leon building. 

“They’ve got to come back with a solution,” Starr said. “We’re willing to compromise. Give us a proposal.”

Haley Samsel is the environmental reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her by email or via Twitter.

Emily Wolf is a government accountability reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at or via Twitter

 At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Emily Wolf is a local government accountability reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Originally from Round Rock, Texas, she spent several years at the University of Missouri-Columbia majoring in investigative...

Haley Samsel is the environmental reporter for the Fort Worth Report. You can reach them at Her coverage is made possible by a grant from the Marilyn Brachman Hoffman...