Homeowners living near Lovers Lane in Forney will be relieved to hear that four members of the Planning and Zoning Commission clearly had their best interest in mind when they voted 4-3 to deny approval of site plans which would allow a cropping of 146 houses to totally surround the century’s old Crenshaw farm.
The currently undeveloped land is conceivably the last piece of Forney's Highway 80 corridor frontage property, and several P&Z Commissioners as well as property owner John Crenshaw highly objected to allowing this developer to build homes on this property while providing absolutely no green space or retail establishment.
Commissioner John Carr said “This is not about drainage. This is about long term city planning. When we look at what we’re trying to do with the Highway 80 corridor. It’s true that we haven’t had the commercial development that we want on that particular piece of property, some of it due to poor drainage. However it has good access to the highway and it’s very visible from the highway, so it should be developed commercially.”
Carr said “I think as the Planning and Zoning Commission we need to look at the Highway 80 corridor as a place to make money for the city because that’s what it is. I mean every highway area, in every major metropolitan area including the Dallas Fort Worth area, has that. Look at Richardson, they planned all their commercial development around I-75 and it has paid them tremendously. We don’t seem to have that kind of plan and to me that’s alarming.”
Seated at his first P&Z meeting, new Commissioner Mike Thomas (the “BBQ Man”) first incorrectly interpreted the design drawings by stating that the property abutted the back of the Bank of America property which has drainage issues.
After being corrected, Thomas next began an attempt to convince the Commission that this development is what is best for residents living in the adjacent area.
Rudely wearing his ball cap throughout the public meeting, Thomas explained that “he has lived here since 1984” and that if this property was going to attract retail development “it already would have.”
Arrogantly Thomas explained that the “citizens voted not once but twice” against approving a tax that would pay for a Trinity Valley Community College extension campus to be built on this property.
Thomas stated “I know what the citizens want, and they didn’t want it. I was the Chamber Chair at the time, and we supported it, and they voted against it.”
Mike Thomas is referring to a voter initiative that transpired in 2007; eleven years ago.
The last time Mike Thomas was affiliated with the Forney Chamber of Commerce was in 2008. He resigned his membership from the Chamber in 2008, when he joined EDC Board President Joe Dan McBeth in the formation of the Downtown Business Association.
Again only interested in benefiting those who have put Forney in this retail/commercial underdeveloped position, the “BBQ Man” should study the statistics on exactly how many residents have moved to, and invested in, the City of Forney since 2007.
Thomas need only speak for himself, and his business (4-T BBQ). He has no standing to speak for the Forney Chamber of Commerce, nor does he “know” what the taxpayers of this community currently want for the development of their community.
The P&Z Commission and City Council are charged with protecting and providing quality growth for the benefit of all of Forney’s taxpayers, not merely those who have lived here since the 1980's.
Thousands of residents have purchased homes valued at between 200,000 and 500,000 in this community within the past ten years, so it was extremely offensive to hear Thomas blame the actions of the voters of 2007- 2009 on those residing here today.
Totally discounting the many residents who have already moved out of Forney, and those who are currently selling their homes due to the uncontrolled residential development currently underway, Thomas quickly made motion to “approve the development plans as presented” to pacify the developer of this project, and his motion was seconded by Commissioner Kyle Brothers.
Absolutely unwilling to fold in their commitment to the residents of Forney, P&Z Chairman Bringham Wilcoxson and Commissioner’s John Carr, Steve Cunningham and Keith Wilkins voted against approval of this development, therefore resulting in its failure to achieve P&Z Commission approval for its construction.
Written by: Denise Bell