On Wednesday night and then again on Thursday night, Forney Community Development Director Peter Morgan explained how the city is now being provided “walking trails” in lieu of the originally planned dedicated park space promised by Fox Hollow developer.
At the Wednesday evening Parks Boards meeting, Director Morgan and Parks Director Richard Curry detailed for the members of the board the walking trails being provided by Fox Hollow developer Jim Bell.
Explaining the situation Director Morgan said “the preliminary plat shows 250 lots. It went through a zoning change about a year ago at the council. They amended the concept plan because they wanted to increase the lot sizes. The lot sizes went from about 8,400 to about a 9,000 square foot minimum. With that change they took out a small area of park land that was going to be adjacent to Henderson Elementary. That was approved by City Council.”
Morgan stated “With that city council approval does mean, is that that is how they can go forward and develop. So they don’t have to necessarily come in with a park land dedication or with a natural acreage dedication, if they are going to develop according to that approved concept plan. And that is what they’re doing. They are showing a trail that runs along the southern portion of the property and runs over to Monitor and right next to Rhea Elementary. It would be my recommendation to this is accepted only because it has to be essentially.”
Disappointed in what is ultimately being provided the residents of Fox Hollow, the Forney Parks and Recreation Board of Directors voted unanimously against accepting the “walking trails” in lieu of dedicated park land.
Park Board Member Anne Enlow made motion to “not accept park land dedication as written but for staff to get with developer to work out a more suitable park land dedication and for those wishes to be passed on to P&Z and council.”
Fox Hollow developer Jim Bell was not present at the Wednesday night Parks Board meeting.
On Thursday evening Community Development Director Peter Morgan addressed the Planning and Zoning Commission regarding the Fox Hollow ‘walking trails’.
Fox Hollow developer Jim Bell was present and seated just behind Director Morgan and next to Council Member David Johnson.
This time Director Morgan stated “This plat did go before the Parks and Recreation Board yesterday evening and the Parks and Recreation Board did not recommend approval. They are not happy that there was not any park land that was provided. Not necessarily that it was in violation of the zoning or the sub-division ordinance, just that they were not happy, they were not pleased with the lack of park land on this residential phase.”
Newly appointed P&Z Commissioner Anthony Shimkus asked “Not to be too specific on the nature trails but is it going to be more of a nature trail or is it going to be a concreted sidewalk, just out of curiosity.”
To which Fox Hollow Developer Jim Bell confirmed “It’s going to be a concrete sidewalk.”
P&Z Commissioner Steve Cunningham made motion to approve the plat as written, and his motion received an immediate second from Commissioner Keith Wilkins.
All P&Z Commissioners voted their approval, and the Forney City Council will consider final approval of accepting “connecting concrete sidewalks” in lieu of dedicated park land from Fox Hollow developer Jim Bell at their Tuesday night August 7th City Council meeting.
Written by: Denise Bell