Council Considers a Well-Rounded Agenda

Council Considers a Well-Rounded Agenda

Rezoning, Bond Project Bids and a Fishing Issue are discussed

By Ryan Sullentrup

Mar. 19, 2019 - City Council touched on all aspects of the community in the most recent meeting.

Design Consulting Group, LLC received approval of Council by passage of Ordinance No. 19-03-1118, for a zoning change from Single-Family Residential-20 to Planned Development-Retail to allow a Service First Automotive Center. The application was for a proposed Planned Development (PD) for 2.95 acres of land located on the south side of FM 544, just west of the intersection of McCreary Road. The property is next to the land owned by the HEB Corporation. An interesting aspect of the Planned Development was explained by city staff: “The PD allows the existing single-family residence to remain with the current owners/ occupants continuing to live in the home.  The residence and accessory structures will be demolished at a later date when the current occupants no longer reside within the residence.  This area will be re-established as a natural and environmental floodplain. The City of Murphy's Comprehensive Plan and Future Land Use Map calls for land in this immediate area to be used as "High Intensity Retail". This "High Intensity Retail" area encompasses all of the properties lying east of Maxwell Creek to McCreary Road.”

Where have all the fish gone? The four ponds in Murphy have the designation as a Community Fishing Lake which requires a public pond to adhere to fishing regulations set forth by Parks & Wildlife in regards to licensing, size limits and bag limits according to the variety of fish caught. This designation also allows for no- cost stocking of catfish in the ponds by Parks & Wildlife on a semi-regular basis. Council directed staff to discuss, with the Parks Board, the possibility of designating ponds in Murphy as Catch and Release, only after concerns were expressed in regards to the decreasing numbers of fish in our ponds as reported by citizens. Staff has requested that Parks & Wildlife stock all four ponds in Murphy in 2019, but only City Hall Pond was approved for stocking. With Parks and Wildlife policies failing, a Catch and Release Policy was considered to safeguard one of Murphy’s Quality of Life branding features. A previous private stocking was used to consider the budget impact. According to staff, “In 2015, the City stocked the Central Park pond through private hatchery at a cost of $2,300 for 6-8" Bass (200), 2-4" Bluegill Sunfish (2,000) and 6-8" Fingerling Catfish (800).  Cost for 9" or greater catfish that would survive better in a previously stocked pond will be $4-$5 per fish.” Council directed that signs be obtained from Parks and Wildlife that will be posted alerting fishers to the community fishing policies of the ponds. While the City Hall pond received approval by the State for restocking, city staff was directed by council to increase relationships with the state agency in pursuit of receiving approval for all four ponds to be stocked. This issue will come back during the budget process, to include supplementing what the state agrees to provide and to protect this natural resource and outdoor amenity.      

The preliminary design of the Waters Edge Park Renovation project is in peril. The Waters Edge Park Renovation was approved by voters as part of the Nov. 7, 2017, bond election.  A public input meeting was held at Waters Edge Park on Jun. 30, 2018, in order to garner feedback from residents on desired amenities for the park renovation and a conceptual plan was approved by the Park and Recreation Board on Aug. 13, 2018. The concept plan for the park renovation included the construction of an inclusive playground, a 9-hole disc golf course and an "add alternate" for a unisex restroom facility. The plan was approved to proceed by Council on Sept. 4, 2018 subject to both the work scopes of the 9-hole disc golf course and the unisex restroom facility being bid as additional alternates to the base bid of the all-inclusive playground equipment and contiguous landscaping. The resulting total budget for the design, construction, and management of the park renovation is $850,000. Staff predicted the bid results to Council will reveal that unless savings can be found in other Park’s Bond Projects, the alternative add on options desired in the concept plan will not be viable. The strategy going forward will be to package the project with another in the bid process to achieve savings in scale, allowing for one or both of the alternatives.

In Jan. 2018, council approved an IndoPak Supermarket to be located on the south side of Village Drive, adjacent to the DART right-of-way and directly south of Christian Brothers Automotive. On this night, MJR Engineering received approval of a site plan, landscape plan, building elevations and a construction plat for the property located at 420 Village Drive.

Bluff Creek Estates, Phase One, came back in front of Council and received approval for a new final plat to move forward with the development. City Staff provided a summary of the necessity, as follows: “Bluff Creek Estates, Phase One is located on the west side of McCreary Road, south of FM 544.  A Planned Development (PD) Ordinance No. 17-06-1045 was approved for this tract of land in June 2017.  The construction plat was subsequently approved in December 2017 for 113 single-family residential lots. Phase One contains 106 residential lots, three HOA common area lots and one lot containing the City of Sachse lift station.    Portions of this property are located within the 100-year flood plain.  A Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) has been submitted to FEMA to revise the flood plain limits to remove six lots currently impacted by the flood plain.  While waiting on approval of the LOMR by FEMA, this subdivision has been divided into two phases to allow the majority of the subdivision to move forward.  Once the LOMR is approved, the developer will submit a final plat for the remainder of the subdivision which includes seven residential lots and HOA property.”

Council considered the preliminary design of Project No. 2018-11-Heritage Park Landscape & Irrigation Improvements and Project No. 2018-14- Landscape & Betsy/N. Road/McCreary Irrigation Murphy Improvements. The two median improvement projects had a design, construction, and management cost of 1,000,000 dollars and was approved by voters in the November 2017 bond election. A greater focus on hardscaping rather than planting will be pursued.

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