Happy Tuesday. Sweaters are not out of order today.
With little fanfare – and no doubt in hopes of escaping public notice and an attendant uproar – state Rep. Jeff Zenger reached an agreement with the Town of Lewisville to take nearly $2 million in public money for less than 2 acres of land purchased for $65,000.
Nice work if you can get it.
The deal, which was finalized Feb. 27, was the culmination of a contentious proposal for an apartment complex floated in 2020 by Solomon Development LLC, Zenger’s company.
The Lewisville Town Council turned it down – twice – so Zenger turned to the lawyers.
So after months of negotiations and mediation, Zenger and the town settled for $1.975 million.
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“The real losers in this are the people of Lewisville who will be out $2 million from the general fund that could have been spent for a public use,” said Mayor Mike Horn.
While appearing slick, this particular land deal is perfectly legal and obviously lucrative.
Lawyers hired by the town and Solomon Development saw to that.
The shortest version of a long saga goes like this:
In 2004, Solomon paid $50,000 for .77 acres on Belnette Drive and $15,000 in 2018 for an adjacent .8 acre on North Street.
Then in 2020, Solomon approached town officials with a plan to build a four-story apartment complex (and a restaurant) on the land.
The planning board and town council turned down the request because members believed that the proposal was not in line with the comprehensive land-use plan, nearby single-family houses and