Council awards recognitions, restricts smoking in Parks, denies new PD

During its regular July 21, 2020 meeting, the Forney City Council met to issue recognitions, consider farmers market, Silver Crossing PD, hockey league, e-Library, smoking restrictions, solicitors' rules.
(watch official video)

  • Mayor Penn presented a Proclamation to Connie Claxton for her 50 years working at Whataburger.  Watch Video
  • Mayor Penn presented a Certificate of Recognition to Jerry Henry and Lowe's for their donations of masks.  Watch Video
  • Mayor Penn presented a Proclamation for Elphaney Dewberry's 100th birthday.  Watch Video
  • Mayor Penn presented a Proclamation for Parks and Recreation Month.  Watch Video
  • Approved as one consent item:
    • a Supplement to the Agreement for Street Lighting Service regarding Eagle Ridge Phase 4 103 Lots ZG.
    • authorizing a contract for Professional Services to Gallagher Construction.
    • a revised preliminary plat for Overland Grove.
    • advertise a request for qualifications (RFQ) to perform services to complete America's Water Infrastructure Act: Risk Assessments and Emergency Response Plans and all related issues.
    • a final plat for Travis Ranch South, a residential subdivision located west of F.M. 460 and north of U.S. Highway 80 in the City of Forney extra-territorial jurisdiction.
    • the project acceptance from the construction of the 5 Million Gallon Ground Storage Reservoir Pump Station No. 2 Project.

  • Approved the acceptance of public improvements for the Preserve at Gateway development.
        Mr. Myers asked for verification all the improvements are good - Mr. Zook said yes.
  • Approved a final plat for Travis Ranch, Phase 1H, a residential subdivision located west of F.M. 740 and north of Lake Ray Hubbard Drive in the City of Forney extra-territorial jurisdiction.
        Mr. Myers asked about parkland dedication; Mr. Morgan said this plat was submitted before the new ordinance was adopted.
  • Approved providing for the redemption of certain outstanding bonds of the City, including the adoption of a resolution pertaining thereto.
        Ms. Woodham explained this was part of the bonds sold to improve roads- the agreement was city would receive $2,009,570 annual payment from TxDOT + 10 cents per car.  Since 2013 have had additional payments, have received the max $4,019,140 since 2016.  This allowed city to redeem $15 million in bonds early, saving $7.6 million.  This will approve paying off additional $2 million in bonds.
  • Held Public Hearings -
    • Approved an Ordinance for a Conditional Use Permit for a farmers market to operate on the property located at 210 E. Broad Street.
          Mr. Morgan said Mr. Gray spoke a few months ago about permitting process, the city modified the requirements.  Mr. Gray has 37 years experience, will operate solo but add other vendors later.  This will not affect FAC farmers markets if they chose to hold them later - they are still permitted.  One response from the public was received, in favor.
          There was no public input.  Mayor Penn said she was excited about this.
    • Denied (without prejudice) an Ordinance rezoning 53.94 acres from Light Industrial district to a mixed use Planned Development district with multi-family, office and general retail uses. The property is located east of North F.M. 548, south of Don T. Cates Drive and is identified by the Kaufman County Appraisal District as property id's 7769 and 7770.
          Mr. Morgan said it's N. of AMC, S. of Steve Silver.  Mixed use, 520 MF & 40 townhomes, + Office sections.  5 phases proposed.  320 MF in phase 2.  120k sq ft must be in before phase 4.  200 MF + 40 townhomes.  Includes extension of Ridgecrest road.  Forney has had recent MF growth w/ Emerson & Gateway.  council indicated don't need more MF.  P&Z denied w/o prejudice, but that request was different as it had 720 MF units, a big difference.  This would require 3/4 vote of council.
          Mr. Thomas spoke to Mr. John Kendall (Bohler Engineering) stating 6 weeks ago they spoke, and when he relayed council had no appetite for more Multi-Family (MF), Mr. Kendall said townhomes were not feasible.  He also told P&Z townhomes were not feasible.  How did they become viable in two weeks? Mr. Kendall said they sharpened their pencils and considered giving up that land, dedicated to this project going forward.  Just the road is $7.5 million. Townhomes will be expensive.  He heard from other council members about townhomes.  They have invested a lot of money in the project, they decided to take a large cut on this; they are making a sacrifice.  Mr. Thomas said the layout still shows all the MF, is there a new layout? Mr. Kendall said they've spent $120k, wanted to get a feel from council - they believe townhomes should be on the S. side (near WalMart).  They've lost about 10 acres to provide 40 townhomes.  They have a project in Frisco putting 52 townhomes on 10 acres. 
          These will be owner occupied townhomes, a live-work-play environment.  Mr. Thomas asked if zoning could control percentage of rental units - Mr. Thatcher said no, could have HOA to maintain property.  Mr. Thomas said they are bein asked to vote on something P&Z didn't see.  Mr. Morgan said the text has been updated to reflect townhomes.  Mr. Thomas said it's a problem there is no layout, it's P&Z function to get that worked out.  Mr. Kendall said they are not asking for any loopholes or shortcuts.  Mr. Carson suggested they could return to P&Z to present modified plan.  Mr. Thomas said his issue is P&Z didn't get to vote on this plan.  He could see this being a viable development.  Mr. Kendall said they would be happy to do that.  P&Z also brought up traffic concerns: their staff counted 150 trucks per day from Steven Silver, they could offer a drive to allow Steve Silver to go through their property and use the stoplight.  Mr. Carson said P&Z asked about cost of the roadway, will the developer pay for the road? Yes.  Mr. Myers asked if the developer would also provide the easement to Steve Silver - Mr. Kendall said that could be negotiated, he hoped they would participate.  Mayor Penn said townhomes are ok, but not 500 apartments.  Mr. Moon said not comfortable with any apartments.  Mr. Kendall said for this to be viable, it's imperative to have residential beyond townhomes.  This is almost $100 million development.  Being 800 ft from main road, behind trees and between industrial and retail, best use for residential.  If there is a specific number of apartments that would be acceptable, please let him know.
          There was no public input.
          Mr. Myers said there's always concern about apartments, not all of which is warranted.  Retailers will be increasingly uncomfortable opening up - mixed use allows people to live, shop, eat and work there, this will help with traffic.  Mixed use will be more popular in the current market.  Better for businesses to have easy customer access.  He does have concerns about having said not being able to have townhomes, how can they be sure can sell high end units now? Be good to return to P&Z for review.  Ms. Powers also leery about apartments, is a proponent of townhomes, would like to see more.  It should be viable here as no other townhomes, high-end should be very successful.  Mr. Kendall said they have minimized what they make off the project, townhomes are viable but at a lower margin.  If they go before P&Z they will present two proposals, this one with 520 MF and 40 TH, 2nd w/ 400 apartments and 155 TH. 
          Mr. Johnson said a product just don't have in Forney is quad-plexes, like The Block in Richardson.  That is a smaller market.  He's not anti-apartment but have had many apartments built recently, Gateway can build more, Windmill Farms just built huge apartment complex, behind Kroger, Wellington Place (Ridge) at 460 & 80 may have some.  Some people have negative views of apartments, but need a mix of products, even though Forney is 95% SF.  He's concerned about the number of apartments, happy with the retail, but in this market that will be a hard draw.
          Mr. Bhadresh Trivedi, developer, said townhomes became viable because they wanted to work with the city.  It makes a difference to have them in phase 4 after the retail and infrastructure is in place.
    • Approved an Ordinance for a Conditional Use Permit for an All-Terrain Vehicle Dealer/Sales to operate at 10500 E. U.S. Highway 80.
          Mr. Morgan said currently operate next door, which would remain as a showroom.  P&Z recommended, staff confirmed there have been no violations with this business.  Mr. Myers asked if this would only allow new items displayed outside.  Mr. Morgan said if the majority is new, that would match the definition.  Mr. Cooper said he bought a unit there, they rebuild used chassis, probably 75% new.  Mr. Myers expressed concern about setting precedent for displaying used autos for sale; Mr. Morgan said there's a specific ordinance for used auto sales.  Mr. Morgan said units displayed would have to be stored inside, outside of business hours.

  • Presentation on the launch of the City of Forney E-Library.
        Mr. Cardwell showed the web-page and a video.  Only city residents are eligible to register.He said this is like a physical library, each book has a limited number of copies.  There is an app for your car.  There is still a need for manual verification, up to four days, for registrations.  Mr. Moon asked about audio books - can keep them for 14 days.  There is an app for phones.  Mayor Penn asked how would police this, people could use someones address.  Mr. Cardwell said they were looking at just using the address for verification, he doesn't believe it will be a problem, won't affect the fee the city pays.  Mayor Penn asked what would happen if a second request came in for one address - Mr. Cardwell said would have to know the persons email.  Mr. Thomas asked if could have multiple users from one address - yes.  Mr. Myers asked them to highlight the car use in the video.  Council is pleased about this social-distancing library at this time.
  • Approved an Interlocal Agreement with the City of Allen for Technology Mutual Aide.
        Mr. Cardwell said city of Allen has offered to be host city for N. Texas, Forney and University Park will be charter members.  Last year many cities were attacked by ransomware, cyber attacks against cities are becoming most devastating type of attack and the most expensive.  Forney has been working toward a solution.  Mr. Myers asked if they send fake email to employees to test them - yes, they do.
  • Approved a purchase not to exceed $20,000 with HockeyShot, a retailer of specialty hockey training equipment for multi-sport tiles.
        Mr. Rouvaldt showed a video, described Dek hockey as street hockey on a court.  A plastic sport flooring designed for hockey, in all weather.  It's cost effective for families, much cheaper than ice hockey. 
        Mr. Rouvaldt said Staff met with the company rep. in June.  They could use Mulberry tennis courts, which are seldom used.  The city already has software for scheduling.  Mr. Carson said could pay for this city-run league, about $55k, but having 2 seasons for kids and adults bringing in $50k profit.  Mr. Rouvaldt said looking at $75 / person, 8 teams in each age group.  Mr. Carson said could have a sponsor for first season, could provide equipment for kids first year.  Will require helmets.
        Mayor Penn asked about fees for birthday parties - Mr. Carson said city would supply the equipment, details aren't final.  Mr. Rouvaldt said there is additional spacing at Mulberry, could have picnic tables for parties.  Mayor Penn asked if could do inline skating - yes, by removing the tiles.  Mayor Penn asked when could do this without interfering with other sports - looking at Oct-Nov and Feb-Mar.  Adult leagues could be yearly.  Ms. Powers asked about coaching, would city solicit them? Mr. Rouvaldt said hockey is a little different, will reach out to players who would love to offer coaching.  Mr. Myers said other sports love the game, hockey fans are very passionate.  What about pickup games? Fencing is already around the court, could use electronic locks.  Mr. Myers said this targets a group not currently served.  Mr. Rouvaldt said this is totally recreational. 
  • Approved a purchase not to exceed $30,000 with Sport Resource Group, for a sports containment system.
        Mr. Rouvaldt said this goes around the rink; this could be used for other sports.
  • Approved authorizing the City Manager to issue a Request for Proposals for Solid Waste and Recycling Services.
        Mr. Morgan said had a 5 year agreement, ends in 2021.  The contract has an option for 2 year renewal.  Mr. Myers asked about input to the agreement.  Mr. Myers said would like to see feedback from CDW.  Ms. Powers asked if could add an extra day for pickup.  Mr. Morgan said could add that as alternate, but would substantially increase cost.  Mr. Johnson said did that in Richardson, 2nd day volume was much lower.  Mayor Penn said citizens not be happy with increased cost.  Mr. Carson suggested members contact him with any requests.  Mayor Penn said the quarterly recycle events are very popular.  Mr. Morgan said they included that as alternate, but more expensive.  Mr. Thomas asked if any offered shredding - no.
  • Approved an Ordinance amending Chapter 8, Article 8.09, "Smoking in Public Places," of the City of Forney Code of Ordinances to amend the places where smoking is and is not prohibited in relation to the City's public parks.
        Mr. Thatcher said in April council amended ordinances to include e-cigs as prohibited.  Exceptions are on sidewalks and in parking lots.  Staff suggest taking out those exceptions, leaving only smoking inside their enclosed vehicle allowed.  Mr. Thomas asked why allowing the exception - Mr. Thatcher said it can be such an addiction that consumption may be a medical necessity.
        This is similar to a misdemeanor offense, as in the current ordinance, up to $2k fine.  Mr. Thomas asked how the signage would be regarding vehicle location; Mr. Thatcher said there is no consideration for vehicle location. 
        Some businesses have the same restrictions, but if council wants to have no exceptions it can be removed.  Mr. Moon asked if other cities going to this? Mr. Thatcher said many cities have, some have outright ban, others are like the current ordinance.  Mr. Carson said this came about during July 4, patrons and workers.  Mr. Myers said would need a lot of signage, opens up issues for enforcement.  Chief Lunt said officers won't be looking inside cars to see if smoking, if signs say no smoking in park, won't be a problem.
  • Discussed changes to the City's solicitation ordinances.
        Mr. Thatcher said council requested this, regulates door-to-door sales, this requires those not licensed to purchase a permit.  Mr. Cooper said 6 months is too long, hours too long.  With covid around, don't need these people going around.  Mr. Thatcher said can't regulate religious or political, or groups regulated by the state.  If you have a no-solicitation sign, you ask them to leave and they refuse, violation of permit if issued.  There are some constitutional protections for door-to-door sales.  Mr. Thomas asked if state restricts hours - varies a lot.  Mr. Moon asked how many permits issued - unknown.  Mr. Myers asked about tying hours to darkness - Mr. Thatcher said courts take a hard approach on hours.  Could modify length of permit and fees, not much else.  Residents can sign on to non-solicitation list.  Ms. Powers is it a violation if a solicitor rings doorbell when no-solicitation decal is visible - Mr. Thatcher said that acts as an invitation to leave, a resident could call police. 
        Mr. Cooper suggested keeping fee same, shortening time.  Mr. Thatcher said can research fees in other cities.  Mr. Thomas said the issue is people who don't get permits, why make it harder for those who do?
  • Public Comment - none.
  • City Manager's report - Mr. Rouvaldt been at park dept 8 months, got youth association agreements which will provide revenue, got 10k from tournaments.  local businesses can tell when tournament is in town.  Mayor Penn if could host tournament with council members from other cities.  Mr. Carson said the mayor would need to do the invitations.
  • Council Comments - Mr. Thomas glad to be back; Mr. Myers thanks PIO, Mr. Morgan, staff, library; Ms. Powers condolences to FA; Mr. Moon thanked staff and for the library; Mr. Cooper ,,,; Mr. Johnson thanked staff, Mr. Rouvaldt for taking over, would like to see australian rules football; Mayor Penn asked to keep FA in thoughts, mom in icu, sister just came out of icu, covid has been difficult, thanked DW for finances, Mr. Thatcher and Mr. Zook, Mr. Carson for having great leadership skills, morale is good.
  • Held a 30-minute executive session re:
    • PUC Docket No. 46662; SOAH Docket No. 473-17-4964.WS Petition of the Cities of Garland, Mesquite, Plano and Richardson Appealing the Decision by North Texas Municipal Water District Affecting Wholesale Water Rates.
    • PUC Docket No. 47814; SOAH Docket No. 46-18-1344.WS Petition of High Point Water Supply Corporation, Talty Special Utility District and Markout Water Supply Corporation Appealing the Decision by the City of Forney Affecting Wholesale Water Rates.
    • Markout W.S.C.
    • Project Pinball
    • Project Trailhouse Park
    • Project Victory
    • Project Hummingbird
    • Project Echols

  • Took no action regarding executive session.
  • Adjourned at 2142
Tuesday, 2020, July 21