CORRECTION: This article has been updated to correctly identify John Webb in the third photo and to correct the identity of the retired U.S. Army chaplain who led the prayer of invocation.
As the Town of Prosper continues to grow at a rapid rate, the Prosper Town Council continues to work towards maintaining the town's authenticity and aesthetic and above all else, its safety.
The June 13 meeting was initiated by a prayer led by Carl Rau, retired chaplain from the U.S. Army. After which, town council approved the modification of the speed limit on La Cima Boulevard from 45 mph to 40 mph. This action was taken to help increase safety following incidences after school on La Cima Boulevard.
Not so easily decided was the issue regarding the approval of an ordinance that would allow a specific use permit for a water metering station that will serve the Artegia development. The permit would be for approximately 0.1 acres at the northeast corner of Fishtrap Road and FM 1385. The property was previously zoned as retail and would therefore require a specific use permit to operate. This being said, the community of Artegia had already procured the necessary easement for the facility prior to the meeting.
“That is already a tough spot to look back at,” council member Kenneth Dugger said. “I'm just concerned about the safety issues related to this location.”
The town council eventually approved the permit after discussing the visibility of the intersection. Also approved was the voluntary annexation of approximately 5.7 acres on the west side of Custer Road about 1,300 feet south of Frontier Parkway by Rheas Mill Baptist Church.
The most controversial topic of the evening involved a public hearing for a request for a variance to the sign ordinance. The Tribute Senior Living center in the Prosper Town Center put in the request to maintain their current metal framed signs along Hayes Road, Preston Road and First Street. One resident spoke out against the signs.
“That sign on Hayes Road faces directly into Cedar Ridge,” Andy Franco, a Prosper resident, said. “Why is a sign required that far from First Street? I can see the need for a sign at Preston and First. But that one on Hayes, you don't need a sign. You can see where it is. I don't want to look out my back window and see a sign.”
Franco was the only resident to speak in opposition, but council members were also concerned about making any kind of variation to the current sign ordinance.
“What we would be setting the precedent for is allowing temporary signs,” council member Jason Dixon said. “And if we do it for one, more will come and want the same thing. Documentation is critical to this decision.”
Following lengthy discussion, the item was tabled until such time as the applicant is able to provide all necessary documentation to Prosper Town staff and it has been reviewed. Another proposed amendment to the sign ordinance was rejected at the meeting. An amendment regarding banner signs was discussed but ultimately the council voted to leave the sign ordinance unchanged.
As the Town of Prosper deals with the business side of growth, council members also turned their attention to the safety concerns of a growing population with the approval of the purchase of a new ambulance. The ambulance will be purchased for $262,982 from the available $263,000 in CIP Windsong Ranch Fire Station. The Town Manager, Harlan Jefferson, was also authorized to execute a Medical Director Agreement to provide medical director services for the Prosper Fire Department.