City Council Meeting – 1/15/2008

We needed a doctor in the house this week as Mayor Simpson and Dr. Jim Joyner battled their way through the meeting while dealing with illness.  We covered a great deal of material in a short amount of time including, the value FISD places in their signs, how our land is divided throughout the city, crime stats, our water usage goals, and a new recycling pilot program.  Want to know how many acres are in Frisco? Read the rest to find out things happening in Frisco.

The most controversial topic this week dealt with the signage outside of FISD schools.  The school district had requested they be allowed to have LED signs outside of the schools to communicate messages to the parents.  There were some concerns about the brightness of the signs in neighborhood schools.  FISD has schools located in 4 cities (Frisco, Plano, Little Elm, and McKinney).  None of the other 3 cities place any restrictions on the signage.  Frisco has made the decision that we want to have a strict sign ordinance to protect the aesthetics of the community.  Staff had recommended that we allow the signs to stay on until 10pm and that FISD reduce the brightness to 50% from 6pm to 10pm.  Planning and Zoning approved the recommendation but changed the time to 8pm.  I drove by numerous schools where the signs currently exist and the brightness was actually less than the current white signs.  I felt the time benefited parents as they can get more information from the school district and I did not find the signs to be a nuisance.  If anything, I felt this was an improvement on what they are currently allowed to do.  The rest of Council agreed as we voted 6-0 to overturn P&Z’s change and move forward with staff’s recommendation.

Speaking of signs, we approved the final language of the sign ordinance.  The updated ordinance will become effective on January 25th.  Essentially, the change made was that Open House and Garage Sale signs are now allowed in private property at the owner’s consent.  Prior to this change, a sign could only be located on the owner’s premises.  Now you may have directional signs throughout the neighborhood.  Please get permission from your neighbors before using their yards.  Please also remember that these signs are not allowed in public property or right-of-ways.

 Some of you may have read in the Dallas Morning News stories of inappropriate content being found on the computers installed in Dallas Libraries.  This is not an issue in the Frisco Library.  We have software that protects against inappropriate content.  In addition, all of our monitors are designed to face the support desk and the public in general so to deter our patrons from surfing inappropriate content.  We want our library to be a place that parents feel safe to send their children.  Kudos to the Library Department for being so proactive.

Council approved a pilot program for the recycling of construction materials.  Frisco has always been on the cutting edge for recycling and environmental programs.  Our department has won numerous awards for their efforts.  With all of the construction happening in Frisco, I felt this was a great idea and a step toward cleaner construction sites.  This will provide builders a close place to bring their scrap materials.  We will then recycle these materials into a mulch product that can be resold.  We also feel this program will ultimately save us money and keep these materials out of the landfill.  The location is going to be near downtown, north of Main Street near the railroad crossing.  This is property the City owns and will be a temporary location before this area begins developing more.  If the program is successful we will look for a new home in a few years.

The Police Department gave us an annual update on crime stating that overall crime was down 14% from last year and burglaries were down 25%.  Their “Lock, Take, and Hide” campaign appears to be delivering results.  Main and the Tollway continues to be our most dangerous intersection so our engineering department stated they would work with the police department to determine if anything could be done to make this intersection safer.

Curious to know what our average emergency response time is?  4 minutes 11 seconds.  Very impressive considering the infrastructure improvements and the Fire Department growth.  It is no wonder Frisco maintains the highest ISO Safety Level.

Water conservation will continue to be a hot topic in the coming years.  Unfortunately, our behavior pattern was not changed by the restrictions set by the drought as our gallons per user per day levels are back up to pre-drought days.  Staff decided to have a single “Water Management Plan” rather separate plans for drought and non-drought times.  We will be looking at ways to make water conservation a continuous mindset for our residents.  The City of San Antonio has been very successful at reducing their gallons per user per day (gpcd) and we need to follow suit.  In December 2007, our gpcd was 145 which is up from 139 in December 2006. In 2008, you may see changes to our policies to encourage our residents to be more mindful of their water usage.  In addition, we learned that HB 1656 will become effective on 1/1/2009.  This requires all cities with a population >20k people to have all irrigation plans inspected by a certified inspector.  Staff updated us that between 500 and 600 ET Controller systems have been installed on Frisco homes.

Population estimate: 98,434

Quick Quiz: How many acres are in Frisco? 

Answer: 19,807.  18,546 are privately owned, FISD owns roughly 550 acres, Parks & Rec owns roughly 553 acres, and the City owns 59 acres.

In Frisco’s 2000 Comprehensive Plan, a major effort was to reduce the # of multifamily zonings.  At that time we had zoning for 60,000 apartments which is far more than the City could support.  The 2000 Comprehensive Plan calls for a maximum of 16,000 apartments at build out (these # do not include those built in mixed-use developments).  25,000 of the zoned apartments have been reduced through the following means:

  • Development agreements
  • Amending the zoning ordinance to allow single-family by right
  • Working with multi-family property owners to reduce the #
  • Amending the zoning ordinance to allowed unit density (MF2 and MF1 reduced from 23 to 19 units per acre and 18 to 15 units per acre, respectively.

We still have some work to do on this but staff has a great start!

We often get asked if Frisco supports our local Charities.  The answer is “yes!” We support them through a number of ways.  However, Council had made the decision that we would dedicate $1 per capita to donate toward social service organizations.  That total this year was $105,000. Congrats to the following organizations that received funding:

  • Hope’s Door
  • Committee on Aging
  • Frisco Cares Children’s Clinic
  • Frisco Family Services
  • CASA
  • Frisco Education Foundation

Finally, please remember the Winter Olympics are being hosted in Frisco this weekend.  Here is a link to learn more

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9 Responses to “City Council Meeting – 1/15/2008”


  1. 1 Blayne Rush January 18, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Jeff

    As you know, we (Frisco Residents) have been inundated with the City Council member’s “newsletters” over the last couple of years.

    In the beginning when I began receiving your emails, I was “OH, not another one”. I apologize for that thought. To me, your blog has been the most informative of all of them. It me a fresh perspective and for that I thank you.

    Blayne Rush

  2. 2 Andrea Faulkner January 19, 2008 at 5:47 am

    Jeff,

    I would like to know if the city council has any upcoming agenda regarding the concrete/asphalt batch plant located near 121 and Independence? Last year the citizens living in Turnbridge Manor conducted an air quality test and the effects of all three plants combined. The council enacted an environmental policy and within the policy it called for additional tests to be done but didn’t state a time frame or if it was ever going to be done. The way I read it was that it was basically up to the city manager. I believe that the concrete plant is up for license renewal either this year or next and I would like to see if Frisco is going to do testing before then? I live in Turnbridge Manor and the batch plants really have an unhealthy impact on our home and I would like to see something done. Please feel free to contact me if you need and thanks for looking into this.

    Andrea Faulkner

  3. 3 jeffcheney January 19, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Blayne,

    Thank you for your kinds comments. One of my largest goals is to be open and available to the public. I am constantly looking for new ones to keep people infomred on things happening in Frisco. I am always open to new ideas and suggestions.

    thanks again!

  4. 4 jeffcheney January 19, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    Andrea,

    The City has opposed the permit renewal with APAC. We also got many of our state leaders and local residents to voice their opinion as well. It looks like there will be a public hearing to discuss the issues. I will keep you updated on the progress.

    thanks

  5. 5 Andrea Faulkner January 20, 2008 at 4:56 am

    Jeff,

    Thank you for your quick reply. Since the city has opposed the permit renewal, what exactly does that mean will happen with the batch plants? Is it solely up to the city to decide if they can operate or not or it is up to another entity? If their permit is not renewed, will they have to cease operations when the permit expires or could they still operate if they decide to appeal?

    Andrea

  6. 6 jeffcheney January 20, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    Andrea,

    The permit application is approved by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). We only have jurisdiction with enforcing our local ordinance. The letters have been sent on behalf of our residents to TCEQ to consider when reviewing the permit renewal application. It appears as if there will be a public hearing for residents to speak at before TCEQ rules on the permit renewal.

    At this time, I am unsure of the answer to your question as to what happens in the event the permit renewal is not granted and if there is an appeal process.

  7. 7 Andrea Faulkner January 21, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    Jeff,

    Please keep my information and let me know when there will be a hearing with the TECQ. Thanks so much for your help.

    Andrea

  8. 8 Brad Laramie February 8, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    “In Frisco’s 2000 Comprehensive Plan, a major effort was to reduce the # of multifamily zonings. At that time we had zoning for 60,000 apartments which is far more than the City could support. The 2000 Comprehensive Plan calls for a maximum of 16,000 apartments at build out (these # do not include those built in mixed-use developments). 25,000 of the zoned apartments have been reduced through the following means”

    This section discusses how Frisco is attempting to reduce the number or restrict multi-family housing in the Frisco area. I have reviewed a number of news articles (see below) detailing the “boom” in multi-family developements in the Frisco area and am perplexed as to how this is permitted? I appreciate your help.

    http://www.wfaa.com/sharedcontent/dws/bus/stories/DN-apartments_26bus.ART0.State.Edition1.36ceeff.html

    http://www.wfaa.com/sharedcontent/dws/bus/stories/DN-frisco_26bus.ART.State.Edition1.35b3936.html

  9. 9 jeffcheney February 8, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    Brad,

    thank you for your comments. You are correct that multi-family is very hot right now in the market. We are seeing that in Frisco as well as several new apartments are currently under construction.

    We feel that the City could not support the level of currently zoned apartments on ultimate build out if every plat currently zoned multi-family chose to develop as such. If this did happen, we would have an oversupply in multimfamily dwellings. This is why action has been taken to give developers other options by right to develop other products. It is not for restricting for short term multi-family needs but more to protect the long-term vision on the city to ensure we have a proper housing mix.

    thanks


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