City Council met Monday night and voted to pass a parking purchase that will pay a couple who owns a local business almost $150,000 for seven parking spaces. The agreement also gives the city the rights to install a sprinkler system in the building, which is a project the city has set money aside for.
Also passed was the new I-35E Corridor Overlay District, which will replace the Corridor Redevelopment Plan passed in November 2014, and a series of ordinances amending city code, which include substandard structure and temporary food establishment permits.
The city reached a deal with John and Magda Haugen, who own the Haugen Law Firm at 101 Main St., that will allow the city to put sprinklers in buildings located in the historic district. In April 2017, fire chief Tim Tittle and fire marshal Tim Ippolito said due to the buildings being so close together, there is no realistic way to fight a fire in that part of Old Town without an alarm and sprinkler system.
The city had previously budgeted $869,390 to install a sprinkler system in those buildings in October 2014, but all business owners had to agree to participate before city money could be used, and the Haugens would not. Council passed an ordinance in January requiring these buildings to have a fire prevention system.
In totality, the agreement will include the Haugens spending up to $151,645 on exterior facade improvements. The city will reimburse them up to $57,000 of that money. Attached to this agreement is the right for the city to install a sprinkler system in their building. In addition to this agreement, the city will pay the Haugens $148,000 for their 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. rights to seven parking spaces located in the alley behind the property, which would have each space totalling out to a little over $21,000 each. According to the Denton Central Appraisal District, the property is currently listed at $515,759, which means the parking agreement will pay almost 29 percent of the property’s total value.
The Lewisville Texan Journal reached out to the city manager about if these deals were negotiated together and if the sprinkler agreement was contingent on the parking purchase. City Manager Donna Barron said they were negotiated concurrently, but one was not contingent on the other. City Councilman TJ Gilmore echoed a similar sentiment.
“[It was not contingent] in my estimations, but I don’t know what Mr. Haugen’s thoughts were on that,” Gilmore said.
In a Facebook Live video later that night, Gilmore spoke about the difficulty of the issue, saying some have said the city paid too much, but added that had they not done anything, people would have complained about their lack of work and dedication in Old Town.
The new I-35E Corridor Overlay District was also passed after several weeks of continued public hearings. The original plan created standards for buildings in certain places around I-35E in Lewisville in an effort to make the city look nicer to those passing through.
An ordinance to amend the city code regarding temporary food establishment events was also passed. Originally requested by Old Town Brew House and Witherspoon Distillery, the breweries are requesting to allow up to 12 temporary food permits per year, instead of six. They also requested to eliminate the requirement that says the permits have to be spaced 60 days from each other. Temporary food establishment permits are required by the city for non-restaurant businesses to serve food to the public. This can include hosting an outdoor barbeque or a crawfish boil.
Council passed an ordinance allowing a special use permit for a 7-Eleven to be built on SH 121 and Bellaire Boulevard, which will replace a Chevron and Royal Tire Discount. They also held a public hearing on the juvenile curfew ordinance, which was adopted in 1994. The ordinance is required to be reviewed every three years by law, according to the agenda. Nobody spoke at the public hearing.
Council also repealed and replaced the substandard building regulations. According to background material, the current ordinance is difficult to enforce and does not address all structure types. According to background material, the new ordinance will make more objective standards, clarify the ordinance includes commercial properties and make the ordinance clearer and easier to read.
Prior to the meeting, council held a work session to discuss the Garden Ridge Trail Project. The presentation gave an update and outlined what will be happening next. The next steps include design, bidding and contracting and construction, which they estimate will be a 14 to 18-month project.
City Council meets at 7 p.m. on the first and third Monday of every month in Lewisville City Hall, 150 Church St. A workshop is usually held an hour before the meeting. The meetings are open to the public. Their next meeting will be on June 18.