How We Develop New Neighborhoods in West Texas

The other day a friend and I were driving down an unpaved street when my friend commented, “I wish the city would pave this street.” Since Betenbough Homes is a community developer as well as a home builder, I relayed to my friend how cities and developers work together to pave streets and construct other infrastructure. Since there seems to be little public understanding of this process, I think it might be constructive to explain what goes into developing a community before homes are built on the land. Just to clarify, this is an explanation of the process in Lubbock, TX, Midland, TX, and Odessa, TX, so it may differ elsewhere.

Odessa Texas Street Development North Park

When Betenbough Homes develops a community, we provide most of the street paving, including curb and gutter, at our expense. This cost then gets passed to our homeowners as part of their homesite, which is the land where the house is built. Also, because a wider group of people use the major streets, the city pays for a portion of these thoroughfares. This makes for a fair arrangement, since the city’s revenue comes from you and me as taxpayers. Community developers also pay for street lights, fire hydrants, stop signs and drainage improvements.

Lubbock Street Development New Neighborhood

The same rules apply to other infrastructure, such as water and sewer lines. Of course there are some exceptions in which governments may choose to provide some of these facilities at public expense, but, in general, the bulk of infrastructure costs in a neighborhood are paid by the developer of the neighborhood. In all of the cities in which we develop neighborhoods and build our homes, we must pave streets and have water and sewer lines in place before homesite development and building permits are allowed.

Legends Park Street Development Midland Texas

As part of the development process, Betenbough Homes hires an engineering firm to configure the drainage system and provide the plans for all street improvements and utility services. The city provides specifications and guidelines for all plans, and the plans must be approved by the city that will be home to the new community.

Quincy Park Street Development

Philosophically, the general rule is that the people who benefit from the infrastructure should be the people who pick up the tab for the cost of that infrastructure. That’s a fair arrangement, and I concur with it!

4 thoughts on “How We Develop New Neighborhoods in West Texas

  1. Really good information. It’s much the same with the forest products industry. Sadly, there is much criticism of responsible harvesting of timber. Clear cutting is rare and for the most part, left to history.

    Lumber companies bid on sections of the forest to harvest. Prior to the bidding, a grader walks the acreage with a paint gun that will shoot a stream of paint about 50 feet. Trees that are approved for harvest are shot on the trunk with a blast of blue paint. Those are the only trees that are legal to remove.

    Trees are marked for several reasons including, disease, rot, over growth or maturity. As an example, a Ponderosa Pine that is still growing has a peak on top like a Christmas tree. When the tree is fully mature it develops a “crown” on top – or it gets “bushy” at the top. That tree is ready for harvest because it is now shading the younger under growth, it is taking water and minerals from younger trees and it is ready to be harvested just as any other crop.

    By removing the diseased trees, dead trees, insect infected trees and other problems, the forest is protected and new growth thrives. A properly cut forest is more healthy and beautiful following the harvest. In most cases, a casual visitor would never even realize the area had been cut.

    Part of securing the bid to cut timber includes the building of roads, clearing of brush and cleaning up the debris and limbs you created in the cut. Removing the debris, dead trees and brush further protects the forest from fire. 90 percent of the roads in the mountains were built by loggers who were cutting timber. The road is not an intrusion into the forest, they are required. The forest service plans the road and it must be cut per their instruction. These roads provide access for fire fighting, emergency vehicles and yes, access for the citizens to enjoy the beauty of nature and the forest God gave us.

    Lumber is a gift and it serves mankind in so many ways. At the same time, just as Adam and Eve were given the job of tending the garden, we tend the forest and care for it. In return it gives a gift to us.

    I hope this is informative to any who read it, and maybe even comforting. Life is good. Let’s enjoy it.

    jerry

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    1. Hi Anthony- Costs for developing a neighborhood vary greatly by location, land, etc. Many factors in development are determined locally. Ron will be happy to answer any further questions you might have in detail and can be reached at 806-797-9494.

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