Parks Board approves Adult kickball

During its regular June 20, 2018 meeting, the Forney City Parks Board met and in summary:

  • Approved Request by SAJSS Sports Association LLC to Start Adult Kickball League on Public Facilities
        Mr. Curry said this was tabled at last meeting so he could check w/ city attorney, it is legally permissible but the party would have to sign a facilities use agreement predicated on Forney Adult Softball's first right of refusal for field one. The applicant has a non-profit organization that may be used.
  • Approved park land dedication compliance for Lovers Landing Preliminary Plat by accepting fees.
        Mr. Morgan said this wraps around the Crenshaw property, currently vacant, zoned SF-15, acreage requires 2.9 acres for parks, or fees in lieu would be $175,200. Staff has concerns w/ land as that would be a small park. Mr. Curry asked if there was any green space - yes, a stock pond that retain for drainage and aesthetics. Mr. Morgan said he spoke w/ Crenshaws, they realize it's going to get developed, not crazy about this but can imagine worse results for the land. The corner lot is one large residential lot, will be used for drainage. PM said given most of the lots are at 15,000, this one large lot brings them to the required 15,700 average, so that lot is protected. The HOA will maintain green space. Mr. Curry said he hates to see these lots packed in w/ no trails, walkway or green space, but legally nothing can be done.
  • Accepted fees in lieu of park land dedication for the Eagle Ridge, Phase 4, final plat.
        Mr. Morgan said this was formerly Hamblen Estates PD, zoned in 2001, not much documentation. Originally it was going to have 20 acres of parks. It was amended, then in 2008 a preliminary plat approved by council showed 4 acres of park land. Existing phases are around this, early phases escrowed money until this last phase. The new regulations require the dedication up front. This final plat shows dedication that does not match the preliminary plat - the proposal is many small parcels spread out. Staff does not recommend approval as it does not match preliminary plat, and these spread out parcels are not useful.
        Mr. Harrington (along with Mr. Evans and McGriff) explained years ago the owner at the time, spoke w/ Atmos about relocating the gas line. Several discussions w/ Atmos have resulted in a cost estimate is many times the original, and isn't feasible. The gas line will have to stay. He agreed the original text said the park would be 22 acres, but he believes it was a typo, as the exhibit shows 12 acres, 8 of which were flood plain. He said $177k have been escrowed.
        There was discussion about how the 8ft sidewalks were put in at 5 foot width. Mr. Curry said Mr. Harrington's projects tend to be the same, park land dedications are drainage or easements, and that does not serve the public. He said the only real option is to take fees.
        Back on the gas easement, Mr. Harrington said the green space will be there either way, as park land or HOA open space. There is .75 acre outside the flood plain.
        Mr. Eastep said he was on the board back in 2001, and he's really disappointed this is the result after 3 phases.
        The additional fees plus the escrow will be close to $300k. That might be enough to pay for widening the sidewalks, although Mr. Curry pointed out will need to add electricity for lighting.
        Mr. Morgan said the board could deny, require them to redraw it, fees in lieu, or accept, and city council has final vote. Mr. Harrington pointed out the acreage complies with the original concept; Mr. Curry said he was good at pulling out old documents, but they need usable park space, not just space that is an expense for the city to mow. Mr. Evans said they are disappointed too, originally were going to have 20 more lots which made it feasible to give 4 acres, but Atmos Gas made this unfeasible. Their attorneys have said it's a liability for the HOA to have public park space. Mr. Eastep reiterated his displeasure how this compares to the original plan. Asked about redrawing it, Mr. Evans said they would lose 18 lots, or 1/3 of this project.
        Mr. Curry said he still recommends taking fees, because a legal battle might not go well. The fees will go into a park fund which may be used at any parks. Mr. Harrington apologized for the frustration, but he can't control what Atmos wants to charge, which is 10x original estimate. Mr. Skellenger said they have repeatedly deferred park dedication, and now that there is an issue, the parks take the hit. Mr. Evans said they are getting 13 acres of green space, but he realizes it isn't what they wanted.
        Mr. Eastep pointed out this was named after Ms. Hamblen, it really gets his goat this is how it ends up. He asked if they couldn't do something to provide a trail-head, something close to the original plan?
  • Re: park and non-resident fees. Mr. Curry said they could send out surveys to sister cities and bring them the results. Currently get a fee for pavilions and ball field practice, a small fee for tournaments (about $25 / team). No non-resident or adult fees. Most cities get majority of adult league fees.
        Of the youth leagues, only about 30% live in the city, about a third are not even in the FISD. After some discussion, Mr. Curry said in 2010 council wanted to implement a non-resident fee, but that turned into a fiasco as staff isn't collecting the funds, the volunteers can't verify residency, etc.
  • Ms. Witt talked about the Independence Day plans and the final park concert. Mr. Curry said talked with a person interested in using park land on N. side to install tournament-grade baseball complex. Ms. Beasley said next year BBQ cookoff may shrink a little, discussed the final movie in the park and concert, FHS baseball parade, the LED sign has been installed thanks to Lions Club. Mr. Curry said James Hatley has resigned.
  • Adjourned at 20:19.
Wednesday, 2018, June 20