On Feb. 19, Murphy city staff updated City Council and residents about a traffic study that was conducted of Moonlight Drive.
Residents of Moonlight Drive over the past several months have been voicing concerns about the high volume of traffic and speeding vehicles they see on their street on a daily basis. In response, the city initiated a traffic study of the street and presented some of the results to City Council during a regular meeting.
Before adjourning for the holidays, the Murphy Planning and Zoning Commission finalized plans for a facility that is sure to be a recreational highlight of the city.
During a Dec. 17 regular meeting, the Commission voted to approve the site plan, landscape plan and building elevation plan for the Plano Sports Authority (PSA) Murphy Center on property located in Murphy Central Park.
Baskin-Robbins could be getting some competition in Murphy. The Planning and Zoning Commission on Sept. 24 approved a site plan and a specific-use permit for a drive-thru window for a Braum’s Ice Cream Store on property located at FM 544 between Brand Road and Murphy Road.
The Murphy City Council on July 3 authorized the city attorney to file a lawsuit against resident George Parker for violating city planning and zoning ordinances on his property, located at 11 and 15 Maxwell Lane.???????????????????????????????????????????
Parker has been using his residence as a commercial tree service business. The city said it informed Parker that if he wanted to continue using his residence for his particular business, he would have to obtain a variance to the Code of Ordinances. The Murphy Planning & Zoning Commission on June 25 denied him permission to obtain a variance.
The Murphy Planning and Zoning Commission on Jan. 23 denied a request from Forestar Real Estate Group for approval of a Specific Use Permit and Concept Plan for a hospital facility located at the northeast corner of FM 544 and Heritage Parkway.
The Concept Plan includes a 20,000 square-foot facility containing an Emerus emergency room, professional offices and a helistop. The site is bordered by the Windy Hill Farm neighborhood, Heritage Montessori Academy, Heritage Parkway and FM 544.
During the public hearing portion of the meeting, multiple residents voiced concerns about the proposed facility and helistop creating safety hazards and excess noise and traffic.
Dudley Carpenter, representative for Emerus, said the company has two similar ER facilities in Aubrey and McKinney. “We feel like Murphy demographics will support this facility,” Carpenter said.
The first floor of the proposed facility is a state-licensed emergency room that has eight beds. The second level is designed for professional office use. “We’re not looking to have 400 beds. This facility is small and unique and the wait time is a lot shorter. People think this facility is a lot bigger than it really is,” Carpenter said.
“The emergency room has the capacity to treat anything that comes in. If a patient needs more than 36 hours of treatment or needs to go to a more specialized facility, we’ll stabilize them here and make sure they’re transported,” he said.
Commissioner Stephanie Merrifield asked if Murphy EMS would transport to the Emerus facility.
“No, this facility is designed for people to come in their car,” Carpenter said. “At the Aubrey and McKinney facilities they [residents] drive there. We don’t have screaming ambulances coming in. On a day-to-day basis we don’t have a lot of traffic.”
Commissioner Steve Levy said he has a lot of issues with the proposed location. “There are a lot of variances in the SUP to make this facility fit. I’m struggling with that,” Levy said. “This would be the largest office-type building in Murphy.”
The Board asked why the site plans contained a helistop.
“The helistop is there because of the level of comfort it provides the staff, knowing that they’ve got access to get a patient to a trauma center immediately,” Carpenter said. “From Jan. 1, 2011, to today, we’ve flown 16 people in Aubrey, which we think the Murphy center will be comparable to.”
Commissioner Jane Jan asked if there was another site in the city that Emerus would consider building the facility.
“We looked at several locations in Murphy and identified this as the ideal location,” Carpenter said.
Multiple residents addressed the Board in opposition of the proposed facility during the public comment period.
“This is the entrance to our community,” said Windy Hill Farm resident Amy Nutz. “We’re concerned with safety; it’s close to the Montessori. We already have the George Bush [ER] facility and the emergency center in Murphy Marketplace. Plus, if the office spaces are leased, that will add more traffic and it’s a busy intersection already. Noise is a major concern. It’s not what the area was intended for.”
Debra Chiarello said she is “vehemently opposed” to the building. “I’m a local real estate agent and this development is a great concern to me,” Chiarello said. “This and Wal-Mart will increase traffic. I don’t see how this development will appeal to anyone who want to buy a home in Windy Hill Farm. It will affect property value.”
“I’ve lived next to a hospital before,” said Brian Firmin. “The noise will impact the residents.”
After hearing residents’ concerns about the helistop, Carpenter said he would pull the helistop from site’s Concept Plan.
After taking into consideration the site plan without a helistop, the P&Z Commission denied Emerus’ application because the proximity of the facility to Windy Hill Farm was not suitable.
The Murphy Economic Development Corporation has developed a new initiative aimed at supporting and expanding Murphy businesses. “Buy Murphy!” will employ a multi-pronged approach to entice residents and outside consumers to shop Murphy.
Geographically, Murphy is surrounded by established (McKinney, Plano, Richardson) and small and growing communities (Wylie, Sacshse), offering consumers an expansive and dizzying array of shopping and dining choices. In Murphy alone, there are 136 businesses, in addition to 30 out-of-home businesses, as of Dec. 31, 2011.
To entice consumers to shop in Murphy, the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) will roll out a business directory, shop local incentive programs, training opportunities, partnerships, marketing and a dine in Murphy program.
The Murphy business directory/database will be launching point for ShopsQA, an online marketing tool that will allow anyone to join the “Buy Murphy!” email list. ShopsQA will provide businesses free features such as links to their websites; directions on Google search; and email blasts used to announce deals, coupons and events.
Through ShopsQA, businesses will also be able to participate in in-house or on-site training from the Collin Small Business Development Center programs through Collin College. Other partnership and training opportunities will be offered through the Murphy Chamber of Commerce, which will conduct one-on-one meetings with businesses to discuss program and marketing opportunities, industry issues and growth potential.
In addition to ShopsQA, the EDC will launch R-TIP and Munch in Murphy incentive program. R-TIP, a receipt turn-in program, is geared to act as an investment to inject stimulating funds into the Murphy market and increase interest for shopping locally first.
For every $250 in receipts submitted to the city by a Murphy resident, they will receive a $25 gift card to the Murphy establishment of their choice. The program will allow a maximum of three gift cards per month per resident.
Munch in Murphy is an outreach incentive program intended as an investment to encourage consumers to think of Murphy restaurants and eating establishments by offering an in-hand incentive—Munch in Murphy Money.
Local establishments that choose to participate in the program will accept $5 Munch in Murphy Money—one per customer per visit—and then will submit it back to the city for reimbursement. The $5 voucher will include a QR code linking to the Munch in Murphy Web page.
Below is a breakdown of Murphy businesses, as well as key demographics that will impact local businesses growth:
Population: 17,700 7-year growth: 300 percent Average household income: $110,000 Median income: $91.163 Average age: 35-44 Homeowners: 89.75 percent Average house value: $255,000
Food: 26 Service: 25 Health: 23
Retail: 14 Spa: 12 Restaurant: 9
Realty: 5 Grocery: 5 Gas: 5
Auto: 5 Bank: 4 Private Schools: 2
Newspaper: 1 (Guess which newspaper was considered a Murphy business? It wasn’t the Messenger!)