By Rodney K. Hays

Editor

The Town Council approved some new park land at last week’s meeting. After tabling the motion at the last meeting, the council took up the issues of 8.8 acres of park land in the proposed Tanner’s Mill subdivision located on the east side of Coleman Street.

According to town’s subdivision ordinance, "a developer dedicate one acre of public parkland for every thirty-five (35) residential units, or in an amount proportionately equal to five percent (5%) of the total acreage, whichever is greater."

According to information in the packet at last week’s meeting, at the Jan. 10, Parks and Recreation Board meeting, Town staff presented a Planned Development Zoning exhibit and Preliminary Plat for Tanner’s Mill that showed 333 single family lots and the dedication of 9.51 acres of park land adjacent to a proposed elementary school site.

Since that meeting, the developer has withdrawn the request to amend the Planned Development and submitted a revised preliminary plat on February 13, 2013, which conforms to the existing zoning requirements in Planned Development-22.

The proposed revised preliminary plat shows 308 single family residential lots. Using the

calculation stated above, the park land dedication required by the development is 8.8 acres. The Town’s Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Master Plan does show a neighborhood park north of this development adjacent to the high school, but due to the zoning of the surrounding area, it is more conducive to have the neighborhood park located within the Tanner’s Mill development. The location proposed will benefit the residents of Tanner’s Mill, but will also be connected to the Saddlecreek and Wildwood Estates developments via the Town’s hike and bike trail system. The proposed revised preliminary plat does not include a proposed elementary school site on the property.

According to the 2007 Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Master Plan, a neighborhood park

consists of the following:

n Be accessible to residents who live within a one-half mile radius of the park.

n May be frequently located adjacent to elementary and middle schools.

n Generally located away from major arterial streets.

n Size to be 5 to 10 acres.

n Located adjacent to local or minor collector streets.

n Parking should be adequate for the proposed facilities it contains.

Information in the packet stated, "the park improvement fee is currently $1,500 per single family unit for park improvements. As depicted on the preliminary plat, a hike and bike trail is proposed to be located within the development. The estimated cost of the proposed park improvements towards the required park improvement fees will be evaluated at the time of final plat submittal."

After staff’s presentation, council discussed the item at length, agreeing that the parkland proposed in the preliminary plat could either be located in a different location in the development’s final plat or could be converted to cash-in-lieu-of-acreage to satisfy the Town’s parkland dedication clause. Council heard from the applicant regarding the developer’s unsuccessful attempts at working with the Prosper school district in dedicating a site for an elementary school within the development.

After some more discussion regarding parking and accessibility, Council approved this item on a 5-1 vote, with Councilmember Korbuly casting the dissenting vote.

In other business:

n Mayor Smith read a proclamation recognizing May 2013, as Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month in the Town of Prosper. At a later point in the meeting, Connie Jean Thompson, Coordinator of the Denton ABATE organization accepted the proclamation.

Then, Mayor Smith called up Police Chief Kirk McFarlin, Assistant Police Chief Gary McHone and Police Officer Sam Owens and read a proclamation declaring May 12-18, as Police Week in Prosper and declaring May 15, as Peace Officers’ Memorial Day.

n The council approved the consent agenda, including a resolution naming Robyn Battle a the new Town Secretary.

n Three citizens addressed the Council. A member of the 2010 Bond Committee requested that Council members maintain a clear vision of what citizens expressed as needs of the Town, including the construction of a Town Hall complex.

A member of the Prosper Historical Society also spoke and urged Council to consider developing an Old Town Program to preserve the history of the area.

And, a member of the newly-formed Prosper Tennis Club Association addressed Council encouraging them to support the establishment of a tennis-based program for Town residents. n Council approved a resolution for an Infrastructure Reimbursement Agreement between the Prosper Economic Development Corporation, the Town of Prosper, Texas, and Preston Development, Ltd., related to the design and construction of certain drainage improvements at the northeast corner of the intersection of First Street and Preston Road.

Director of Development Services Hulon Webb outlined the project to Council in which the Town’s Economic Development Corporation would partner with the developer of this corner tract to connect some drainage culverts, fill in a large water retention ditch and assist the developer in creating a usable space for retail development. After Council briefly heard from the developer, questions arose concerning the type of establishment planned for the parcel. The developer provided some suggested uses, including the possibility of a grocery store. After a few more clarifying questions regarding the financial arrangement, Council approved the agreement unanimously.

n Council approved change order to Tiseo Paving Co., for the First Street (Craig Street to Coit Road) and Coit Road (U.S. 380 to First Street) Improvements Project.

n Council approved an ordinance approving additional appropriations in the amounts of $174,050 in the General Fund and $110,000 in the Water/Wastewater Fund for the Fiscal Year 2012-2013 Budget.

Finance Director Matthew Garrett outlined the rationale and reasons which initiated this item, specifically a reimbursement of the funds raised by the Friends of the Prosper Library back into the Library budget; and a reorganization of the Town’s employee structure, including the reclassification of several positions within the Town, and the addition of several new positions.

Town Manager Harlan Jefferson offered more detail on the restructuring of the organization. After some questions regarding the impact of the change on the next fiscal year’s budget, the Council unanimously voted to approve the ordinance.

n Council discussed a resolution recently approved by the city council in Rockwall, regarding the second amendment to protect and defend the constitutional right to keep and bear arms, and take any action necessary.

This item did not call for action from the Council, but was placed on the agenda for discussion. Four speakers addressed Council expressing support of the proposed resolution. Council asked staff to prepare an action item on this topic for a future meeting.

Council member Meigs Miller was not in attendance at the meeting.