City Council Meeting – April 15, 2008

I sure hope everyone got their taxes done on time!  Council Member David Prince, a tax CPA, was the happiest person in the room tonight as he survived another tax busy season.  Tonight’s meeting was packed with reports and presentations which resulted in a long night.  We finished up just after 11.  I was impressed that some of the current candidate’s for office stayed until the end.

This evening started with 3 proclamations:

  1. Sarah Polasek, Volunteer Coordinator for Turning Point, accepted a proclamation naming April sexual assault awareness and prevention month. Turning Point’s mission is to provide programs and resources that enable victims/survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and homelessness to regain control of their lives.  To learn more visit their website http://www.turningpointinc.com/index.php
  2. Pippa Couvillian, Environmental Services Division Manager, accepted a proclamation naming April 26, 2008, Frisco Earth Day.  The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970.  In 1990, EarthDay went global with 200 million people in 141 countries.  Frisco will celebrate Earth Day with Chunk Your Junk and our Clean It and Green It Program.  They will be help on April 26 at Ikea from 8 am to noon.  Last year we had 648 people take advantage of the program.
  3. Angela Lunsford accepted a proclamation for Records and Information Management Month.  Nan Parker and Tracy Kelly were also recognized.  Our records management office works very hard to stay on top of the numerous daily requests made of them.  Congratulations to Nan Parker who’s daughter celebrated the birth of twins this week!

The Reports section was very full this evening but contained a great deal of information:

  • Mayor’s Youth Council – I was honored to be invited by Mike Simpson to serve on the Mayor’s Youth Council Advisory Panel.  Mayor Pro Tem Jim Joyner also serves.  The 2 of them are being term limited this year so it will be my responsibility to carry forward the momentum with our new Mayor.  The MYC has 33 kids representing all of the High Schools, up from 17 last year.  Their goal is to bring to Council the perspective of the youth so we can make more informed decisions.  This year, they have helped us generate many great ideas that we are working on implementing.  Their big project this year was to survey the students in their respective schools to find out what their biggest issues are.  The survey showed concerns of drug and alcohol abuse as well as activities for teens.  They put together a drug program that next year’s MYC should implement.  In addition, they have given us ideas on skate parks and teen centers that we will further explore in the coming year.  Another big project was developing their website.  You can see it at http://www.friscotexas.gov/government/mayorsyouthcouncil/index.aspx?id=5948
  • It was our treat to have Michael Morris, NCTCOG Director of Transportation, in attendance.  Mr. Morris gave us a presentation on the pending transportation crisis in the state.  Much of the information included things you have heard me mention on this blog before such as funding short falls, gas tax indexing, toll ways, etc.  It was a very nice presentation for those in attendance.  Many of the topics discussed will be regular items on our agenda in the coming year.
  • NTEC, North Texas Enterprise Center for Medical Technologies, gave us their annual report. NTEC is supported through a public-private partnership including the Frisco EDC.  Their goal is to be an incubater or emerging companies in the Medical Technologies field.  Oxysure is a company that started in NTEC and this year opened up a 16,000 sq ft space of their own after graduating from the NTEC program.  NTEC’s new building will open of October of this year and will allow them to add more companies to their program.  The long term vision is to use NTEC to help build a technology park in Frisco.  To learn more about NTEC, visit their website at http://www.ntec-inc.org/
  • The Police Department mentioned the upcoming Shattered Dreams Program.

    On April 17-18th, 2008, the Frisco Police Department, in conjunction with the Frisco Fire Department and Frisco Independent School District, will present Shattered Dreams at Wakeland High School.  The two-day program is designed to educate students, parents, and the community about the serious issue of underage drinking and driving, by providing a realistic experience and encouraging them to make positive choices.  It is held on the Thursday and Friday before Wakeland’s prom, an occasion on which teenagers are most likely to consume alcoholic beverages. 

    Shattered Dreams, targeted at underage drinking and driving, involves the dramatization of an alcohol-related accident staged in front of the school.  While the entire student body watches, police, fire, and other emergency personnel will respond to the scene.  The “victim” students will be transported by ambulance and CareFlite to Centennial Medical Center, while the “deceased” student will be transported by Turrentine Jackson & Morrow Funeral Home.  The “drunk driver” will be arrested and transported to the Frisco Detention Facility for book-in and arraignment.

      (When the program first originated in the mid-1990s, the fifteen minute time period represented how often someone was killed in an alcohol-related accident.)  As the students are pulled from class, a police officer will read the student’s obituary that was written by their parents.  At the end of the school day, the Living Dead, crash victims, and drunk driver are taken on an overnight retreat to enhance the learning experience. 

    On April 18th, a mock memorial service will be held at the high school, viewed by all students and faculty, in memory of the crash victims and the Living Dead.  In addition to performances by members of the WHS Choir, scheduled speakers include Frisco PD Chaplain Larry Murphy, Dr. Robert Simonson of Methodist Hospital, and WHS Principal Mike Farish.

     

    While it is difficult to measure the effectiveness of the program, if Shattered Dreams saves even one life, it is a success.

 

The regular agenda was also filled with some very interesting topics.  In our April 1 Council Meeting summary, I discussed how I opposed the proposed changes to the zoning ordinance.  I met with staff for several hours earlier in the day to discuss what other options we may have.  At the Council meeting, I made a motion that amend their recommendation as follows: (1) to keep the changes in definition for accessory structure, (2) that we keep the allowed change to build an arbor within 10 ft of your rear property line (currently must be built within the build line), (3) to remove the provision deleting the ability to build patio homes with the zero side option, (4) to remove the provision requiring a 25 ft setback, instead of 20 ft, on SF 4 and 5 zoned properties, and (5) to research a proposal to allow masonry products, such as outdoor kitchens and firepits, to also be built within 10 ft of the rear property line.  The motion carried 5-1, with David Prince voting against.  I am very pleased with the result of staff’s hard work and I believe the revised ordinance will be a better one for our citizens by allowing them more choices and flexibility in accessorizing their homes.

 

Council also approved the Master Plan for Grand Park. Located along and west of the North Dallas Tollway; along and east of Legacy Parkway and north of Stonebrook Parkway, this 275 acre regional park is the first of its kind in Frisco. Initial master planning for the park took place in 2006 and the planning for the Phase I development of the park is currently underway.  This will continue to be a work in process as we determine which elements should go into the Park.  The main part was to get the lake designed as that phase can take 18 months with the Corp of Engineers.  It is also designed to have an amphitheater to host events as large as 40,000 people, an activity lake, a children’s place, facilities overlooking the lake, hike and bike trails, and many areas of open green space.  In my opinion, this will be a park known throughout the region that residents of other cities view as a destination park.  I feel this park very well become what Frisco is known for.

 

You may have heard more about the Arts of Collin County in the news lately.  This is a 3 city partnership between Frisco, Allen, and Plano, in addition to a few member cities.  Since this is a partnership, all expenses have to be approved by all members.  Last night we approved a $100k expense to finalize all of our design plans and bring them into one comprehensive document.  Once we have this final document, we will be able to send the construction out for bids.  To learn more about the project, visit www.artsofcollincounty.org

 

One of our strategic focus areas is to work on the revilatilzation of downtown as well as the integration of historic downtown with Frisco Square.  We often joke as the Mayor being the Flower King and Tony Felker being Trolly Tony for their passion for downtown beautification and the introduction of a trolly system.  The Downtown Merchants presented their vision on how to remake historic downtown which included a branding of “MainTown Frisco.”  The presentation was very well done and they had many great ideas.  It is my vision that downtown will become the heart of Frisco so I am excited to see their ideas.  They will be presenting further information to City Council over the coming weeks, including potential funding strategies for this revitalization project.

 

We also approved another exciting project that you likely will not hear much from for a few years.  However, when it is built, it will become one of the most unique retail locations in the entire country.  Getting Stonebriar Mall on the Frisco side of 121 was a monumental victory for Frisco as we saw the north side explode while much of the southside remains vacant.  The next frontier will be along 380 as we battle Prosper for the major retail developments.  We feel we have positioned ourselves well with the approval of “North Frisco.”  This development is a partnership between Forest City Enterprises and General GrowthProperties, two of the biggest names in retail development.  We have a unique situation with the creek that runs through the middle of the property.  The project is designed to take advantage of this landscape and orient the development along the creek.  This project could potentially include 10.2 million sq ft of retail and office space, 1,000 hotel rooms, and 4,000 residential dwelling units.  This project is likely a minimum of 3-4 years away but an exciting project.  We feel the major anchor tenants will target this property first when they are making their expansion plans.

 

Finally, we finalized our recommendations to staff on forming an advisory panel to help design our Community Theater and Sciences building.  We plan on having members of our community associated with sciences and art help guide us on the facility’s needs.  This project is anticipated to begin construction in 2009.

 

It has been a busy few weeks and I plan another update on things happening around Frisco outside of the Council meetings.  Don’t forget to vote in your local elections!

Advertisements

2 Responses to “City Council Meeting – April 15, 2008”


  1. 1 North Frisco Resident April 17, 2008 at 3:05 am

    Thank you for the excellent updates and FOL. My family appreciates your work.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s





%d bloggers like this: