Council re-reconsiders Wellington Ridge

During its regular May 07, 2019 meeting, the Forney City Council met and in summary: proclaimed a lot, heard about Cedar St. problems, approved lease-only development, approved Wellington Ridge, prepared to restore Lady Liberty. (watch official video)

  • Presented Proclamation for Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month, May.
  • Presented Proclamation for National Police Week, May 11 - 16.
  • Presented Proclamation for Economic Development Week, May 6 - 11.
  • Presented Proclamation for the 50th Anniversary of Municipal Clerks Week, May 5 - 11.
  • Mr. Thatcher said normally canvass election results on first meeting after election, but haven't received official results from county, so will have special meeting next Tuesday, as well as consider vacancy created.
  • Public Comment
    • Mr. John Daniel has been complaining to staff about maintenance and code violations in the area, he's concerned about road maintenance. Willard Air Conditioning has outgrown their building, parking in the fire lane and on the streets, causing safety issues. He was told no-parking signs will be put on one side, that's not good enough. Cedar street should be 4 lanes. The city didn't properly repair holes in the street when they worked on water lines. There is a house that should be torn down; another house has 9 dogs, horses, goats; another home has 3 pit bulls chained up; another home has appliances in front yard; he's here to document the problems on the roads before someone gets killed, they need help to get this cleaned up.

  • Approved as one consent item:
    • the quarterly investment report ending 3/31/19.
    • the project acceptance for the Aimee Street Sanitary Sewer Improvements Project.

  • Held Public Hearings -
    • Approved an Ordinance to amend the Meadow Ridge Planned Development to allow for amended residential standards for 18.3997 acres of property. The property is located north of N. Gateway Boulevard and south of Reeder Lane.
          Mr. Morgan said this will be small Single-Family (SF) detached homes, maintained as one lot. Layout is similar to Multi-Family (MF), has gated access, PD does allow for siding, they removed stucco as approved use. He presented a slide show from the developer from a similar development. The one bedroom units contain two per structure; 2 and 3 bedroom units are individual structures. All units are for lease.
          Mr. Griffis with nexmetro spoke, they have several locations, about 87% full. They consider this a hybrid product, a home that is maintenance free. They are not restricted to 55 plus. Rents will be 1225, 1715, 1925. They do background, financial and criminal checks. Ceilings are 10 ft, every room has windows. There will be a pool & spa area, and a game area. Including yards, 49% green-space. Mr. Johnson said likes not having identical structures. Mr. Griffis said each floor plan has 3 different layouts. Mr. Johnson said this has been needed quite a while. Brooklynn village was presented as this, but didn't happen that way. Not everyone wants to buy a home. Mr. Myers said he visited the Plano site, pictures don't do it justice, it doesn't feel like MF, and this caps MF in Gateway for 2 years.

  • Vision 2025 -- Goals and Initiatives: Mr. Carson said staff is on schedule for items listed.
  • Approved 5-1 an Ordinance rezoning 108.2 acres of land from the Mixed-Use District to a Planned Development District with single-family, multi-family and commercial uses. The property is located south of the U.S. Highway 80 and F.M. 460 intersection in the City of Forney.
        Mr. Morgan said this has been discussed at previous meetings, tabled so applicant could research concerns. The 79.3 acres of SF, 10.8 acres retail/office, 17.3 MF for a total 567 dwelling units, plus 77 lots for senior living units. Park board accepted 345 acres. P&Z voted 4-3 to approve, power plant has spoken in opposition.
        Mr. Brad Watson spoke to again state opposition to the rezoning, which does not comply with comprehensive plan. The existing mixed use is appropriate, but hundreds of SF & apartments risk damage to the water line, and residents who would be unhappy living next to industrial. They do not have redundant water supply, there is not. Onsite pond can provide 2-2.5 days depending on level. The potable line for the office is not nearly large enough to supply the daily 11 millions gallons needed. If the 30" line is disturbed, the plant would have to shut down. Relocating the line could cost $4 million, Army Corps might require permits. They have reviewed the Industrial District Agreement (IDA) with Forney, the easement for the water line is in city's name. A rupture in the line could release the treated waste water to ground level. They request denial.
        Mr. Pete Flowers with the development group spoke - they bought land in 2011, 2015 requested annexation, were given mixed use designation. They asked city what they would like there, and city didn't want the amount of Multi-Family (MF) allowed, wanted a nicer entrance to the city. City asked for mixed use, retail and reduced MF. They brought a PD in 2017, were approved at P&Z, no objection from power plant. There was a request by council to delay consideration for city review. That stretched out due to turnover in city staff. They cut MF in half, turned into senior patio homes. Power plant objections are: water line damage - developers work around water lines and easements all the time. They spoke to NTMWD who said maximum time to repair is 24 hrs, and Mr. Watson has stated the pond provide 2.5 days. He believes the real concern is the reverse-nimby. Everyone who buys a home there will know power plant is there. There is a heavily wooded 400 ft buffer. They offered the land for sale, power plant declined. The city mixed use ordinance would allow higher concentration residential development than they have proposed. The power plant just wants it to remain an open field, that is not best for Forney, to have an open field with two batch plants around it.
        Mr. Moon said the land has been sitting for a long time, he likes the age-restricted section. Ms. Penn asks Mr. Thatcher to speak about the easement - Mr. Thatcher said no improvements may be constructed on the easement, development will have to work around it. Easements can be moved, recently moved a gas line in two locations. Ms. Penn asked Mr. Watson why they didn't want to buy the land, since more could be built there. Mr. Watson said prices mentioned were not acceptable, the best option is what the people decided on in comprehensive plan. They have option to put in office and retail there, considering it's next to an industrial property that is vital to the city. He mentioned the millions the plant pay to city, and $400k for water purchases.
        Mr. Johnson said this is difficult property to develop. He is not anti-development, but he has some issues with this. There is much information saying to not allow residential next to environmental facility, because even when people move next to existing utilities, they will complain. It happened in Richardson. The buffers here are not enough. These SF are on small lots, he's tired of always having minimum lot sizes, a boilerplate development. The comp. plan is also an issue with him, he can't support this.
        Mr. Thomas said he's done research - he went out there, you can't see the power plant from there, existing homes across Hwy 80 have a better view. Vistra energy sent them a memo, stating zoning doesn't comply with comp. plan; city attorney has confirmed if they approve, it will change the plan. Existing multi-use zoning would allow more units than proposed. Raw water lines and sewage lines are all over the city, and 84" water line runs along Diamond Creek. He can appreciate reverse-nimby, people have same issue with RR and Hwy 80, city deals with it every day. He spoke with public works director, have a 30" water line feeding HighPoint, can be repaired in maximum 24 hours. They also buy potable water, he doesn't know if they use that for cooling, it does spike on occasion. The city will honor the agreement to provide water. PD proposed gives average size lots, but bigger homes, 2k sq ft minimum, people want that. Many people are excited about senior living area. FISD said get minimal number kids from apartments. Will get some retail and commercial there. Mr. Ketteman has had 0 interest for development over 3 years, retail not likely due to the access ramps. At Kaufman County day, Vistra was their beverage host, lobbying is part of the process. He became aware Sheriff Beavers was contacted about political corruption related to this deal; an investigation has revealed no corruption. He's in favor of this, no one has enticed him, his vote is not for sale.
        Mr. Pete Rosenberg spoke, he's watched the city grow over 12 years; his personal experience is the city has reached its limits. Traffic is so bad people can't get into the city, schools are getting full, need to slow down, have plenty of homes that haven't been sold, apartments everywhere. That property would be great for industrial, he begs them to stop putting in more homes. He said it's a shame don't have a master plan. The intersection at 460 has an accident almost every day. Need something with entertainment.
        Powers, Myers moved to approve this item, all but Mr. Johnson voted in favor.
  • Approved a Resolution awarding the contracts for construction and related services for the city hall security upgrade project.
        Mr. Cardwell said a project was approved before he came here for security upgrade. They might be able to add access control to other buildings. Mr. Thomas asked about the use of key fobs - Mr. Cardwell said various doors will automatically lock on schedule. Mr. Johnson asked how this was funded - with CIP fund, excess funds would allow extending. Mr. Moon mentioned a guy who goes around making youtube videos going into areas - Chief Sherwin said they now have signs stating employees only. Ms. Penn asked if council would have access - can be done. Ms. Powers said the city does need to keep employees safe. Mr. Carson said the project had stalled, Mr. Cardwell was able to get it done in 2 weeks.
  • Items regarding annexations: Mr. Thatcher said this is the last phase of these annexations. He needs to brief council in executive session.
  • Approved a Resolution awarding a contract to SAR and Associates, LLC for the construction services of the Lady Liberty Monument Relocation Project, and all related issues.
        Ms. McQuiston said there were 2 bids, SAR from Kaufman at $194k were lowest bid, which exceeded estimates. Bidders confirmed increases partly due to working in TxDOT r.o.w., material, size of project. Total cost is $345k, within funding amount. Mr. Johnson asked what the final cost would be - $345k. Mr. Myers said there was statement TxDOT increased the cost - Ms. McQuiston said it was due to traffic control. Engineer stated TxDOT requests were for signs, traffic control. Some of their contractors did not participate in bidding. Mr. Johnson suggested reading TxDOT manuals about setting up construction zones - it will increase costs. Ms. Penn asked why wasn't considered in beginning; Ms. McQuiston said they did, soil conditions have required additional costs, some things in adopted 2015 building code added costs.
  • City Manager's report - TxDOT holding a hearing on may 28 NFH; farmers market this sat; first movie in park this thur and fri; splash pad opens may 24; ribbon cutting for new mural this thurs 11 am. Mr. Myers asked if were any incidents are cornhole tournament - no.
  • Council Comments -
  • Held a 22-minute executive session to discuss annexations
  • Tabled until the next council meeting these items:
    • an Ordinance annexing an approximate 44.308 acres, owned by Sharon A. Riggs and Linda C. Martin, situated in the John Gregg Survey, Abstract No. 171, Kaufman County, Texas, Kaufman CAD Property ID 6414, generally located on FM 460, south of FM 740.
    • an Ordinance annexing an approximate 5.00 acres, owned by John D. Gibson and Sarita K. French, situated in the John Gregg Survey, Abstract No. 171, Kaufman County, Texas, Kaufman CAD Property ID 6583, generally located on FM 740, east of FM 460.
    • an Ordinance annexing an approximate 7.304 acres, owned by John D. Gibson and Sarita K. French, situated in the John Gregg Survey, Abstract No. 171, Kaufman County, Texas, Kaufman CAD Property ID 6582, generally located on FM 740, east of FM 460.

  • Adjourned at 2049
Tuesday, 2019, May 7