City Council Meeting – 12/18/2007

After a few weeks with shorter than normal meetings, this week had a slightly longer agenda.  However, we finished up before 9 pm which is below our average.  We have been spoiled the last few meetings but I expect the shorter meetings to quickly become a distant memory as I expect a very busy 2008!  Please check out the full article to keep updated on things happening in Frisco.

At the first of the meeting, the Mayor gave a City Proclamation to Centennial High School students for their work on Titan TV.  They received several national awards for their efforts.  Check out some of the work for yourself here.  It is very impressive!  I am going to contact them about doing some work for our website 

We also had the pleasure of hearing a very touching request from Carol Story.  The Story family used to own the land that has now been developed as Stonelake Estates.  When they sold the land to the developer, part of their contract was that a park be named after their son, Stephen, who was killed in a car accident during the 1990’s.  The City was not a party to that transaction and therefore, she made a request that we honor her son in naming the park Stephen’s Green.  Stephen enjoyed the outdoors and this is also a famous park name in Ireland.  The Parks & Rec Board and the City Council all agreed that it was the perfect name for this park and we are happy to honor the former owners of the property.

The most exciting part of the evening for me was the approval on an agreement with Sports Village USA to bring an indoor multi-use facility to Frisco.  This facility is designed to have 12 basketball/volleyball courts, 2 turf soccer fields, and a center competition court with bleacher seating.  The offerings will include football, basketball, soccer and volleyball.  This facility will be built with a public-private partnership.  The City of Frisco will issue $12.5 million in debt to build the facility.  Sports Village will donate the land to Frisco and the city will own the land and the building.  Sports Village will pay the debt service of the facility through lease payments and operate the facility and programming.  This facility will be a great asset to the City.  With 3 young children myself, I know it will be my 2nd home for the next 15 years.  Congrats to staff on a job well done in bringing this to Frisco!

Are you an architect at heart?  Probably not, but most of us want Frisco buildings to look unique and nice.  If you agree, you will be excited about our new form-based code (FBC) manual we approved.  What is form-based code?  FBC is the theory of focusing on the building and not necessarily the intended use.  As many cities age, commercial tenants will come and go. Have you noticed driving through some older cities how they will have large vacant space?  We have that in Frisco with a few of our older grocery stores.  This is because many of these buildings were constructed for a particular tenant, such as a grocery store.  When that tenant leaves, you are generally limited to only filling that space with another grocery store. This discourages reinvestment in the properties and ages the area quicker. We recognize that and want our buildings to be sustainable over decades.  By focusing on the building, any tenant could come in and replace a tenant.  In the grocery store example, we would design the facility to have multiple elevation points and break up the facade to appear to be multiple buildings.  As a result, if the grocery store moves out, we can replace them with 4-5 smaller shops if the market demands that.  This philosophy encourages reinvestment in our community as we age.  FBC also focuses on materials and architecture of the buildings.  You may have noticed that all of our new retail structures have architectural design elements and are beautiful buildings.  The aesthetics of construction not only make our buildings more attractive to tenants over the long-term, but it will also help keep our city beautiful for decades.

Do you live in NW Frisco?  We all know how important Eldorado will be to you!  While we are waiting that to be constructed, Panther Creek will bring much needed relief to the area.  Staff has been working very hard to get that road complete before school starts next year. To facilitate the construction, we approved a performance plan for the contractor to complete the road early.  The contractor we selected bid the project the fastest in 170 days.  For every day they finish sooner than that, they will be paid an additional $6,000. It can’t be complete soon enough!

A few other points of interest from our meeting:

  • our water usage has increased substantially since we lifted the water restrictions.  This has been disappointing as we need to be changing our usage patterns to ensure we have an adequate supply 20 years from.  Our water department visited San Antonio and Austin last month where they showed us their programs on getting their average consumption to under 140 gallons per capita per day (gpcd) and 180 gpcd, respectively. Frisco was 219 gpcd in November and as high as 312 gpcd in September.  We certainly have work to do in improving this and you can expect us to be implementing programs in 2008 to help with our behavioral change.
  • You may have heard that construction is bad across the country.  North Texas has experienced that as well.  Frisco new home permits are down over 50% for the year.  All of the cities in our region are experiencing the same level of slowdown. Part of these stats are due to the record year of 2006 which was an anomoly. Experts expect the slow down to continue through much of 2008 before it begins to improve.  We do budget our permit revenue conservatively so the slowdown has not impacted our budget much.  However, this trend is important for any growing city to keep a close eye on as we plan out for 5 years and longer.
  • Please remember to lock your doors and close your garages.  Of the 17 reported burglaries in November, 10 were either through an open garage or had no signs of forced entry.  In November, there were 8 curfew violations and 6 citations issued.
  • Our red-light camera violations have dropped from over 400 when the program was first introduced to 54 in November.  The 2 cameras are located on the Tollway service roads at Gaylord and Main Street.  Part of the decrease is due to less traffic on these roads now that the tollway is open.  However, the majority of the decrease is as a result of our citizens being aware they are there and reducing the # of red light runners.  This is exactly how the program is intended to work.  In prior entried you read about the RLC committee we are required by the state to appoint. That did get tabled last night as I want a broader transportation committee formed.  We are going to discuss this further in our winter work session in January.
  • For a few years, there has been some disputes regarding the allowable fences in part of the subdivision Griffin Parc.  This are cape cod style homes and they are designed to have 6 foot fences made of cedar with the upper 2 feet being made of lattice.  Some residents have wanted to remove the requirement of cedar and not restrict residents to having the 6 ft fence.  The neighborhood seemed to have a majority in favor of removing the cedar requirement, which is consistent wth the rest of Frisco, but no consensus on the height restriction.  Council decided to approve the change to remove cedar from the fence requirement but made no other changes.
  • The owner of It’s a Grind Coffee House was selected to manage the store in the Frisco Library.  Her current store in located in the Shops of Legacy and I can attest that they have great products.  I think they will be a great addition to the Frisco Library.  Speaking of the Library, staff’s ability to manage their rapid growth has been nothing short of spectacular.  They are currently managing .78 transaction per capital per month and that # is growing.  Keep up the great work!

The last comment I would like to make is to please remember to get a permit if you are planning any home improvements this year.  Also make sure your contractor has gotten a permit and ask to see it.  If you are unsure if you need one, please call the City and ask as staff is more than happy to discuss your project with you.

I hope every has a safe and wonderful holiday season.  Happy New Year!


1 Response to “City Council Meeting – 12/18/2007”

  1. 1 Jeanne Rubin January 3, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    thanks for the update- well wriiten and informative.

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