Council to vote on agreement to pay $148,000 for seven parking spaces, sprinkler system approval


At its June 4 meeting, Lewisville City Council is expected to pass an agreement that would pay building owners more than $21,000 per parking space in exchange for the owners to sign onto an agreement that would install a sprinkler system in all nearby buildings, which the city has already set money aside for. Additionally, they are expected to amend ordinances on substandard structures and temporary food establishment permits.

The city has reached a deal with John and Magda Haugen, owners of the Haugen law firm on 101 Main St., that will finally allow the city to install sprinklers in its historic downtown buildings. In in April 2017, fire chief Tim Tittle and fire marshal Tim Ippolito expressed that, because the buildings are so close together, there is no realistic way to fight a fire in that part of Old Town without an alarm and sprinkler system in place. The city had already budgeted $869,390 to install a sprinkler system in October 2014, but in order to use city money, all building owners had to participate, and the Haugens would not sign on.

In January, the city was negotiating three separate issues with the Haugens concurrently — a deal to bring them in on the shared sprinkler system, a development agreement for facade improvements and a deal to buy back parking spaces affiliated with the Haugen property. City Council member Bob Troyer said at the time that all three of these deals were being negotiated separately, but they have appeared on this meeting’s consent agenda as one single, connected item. The city did not immediately respond to a question about whether or not these deals were negotiated together.

If passed, the development agreement would see the Haugens spend up to $151,645 on exterior facade improvements, of which the city would reimburse them for up to $57,000. The rights to install a sprinkler system in the building are attached to the development agreement. The purchase agreement, which is distinguished in the background material but still provided for in the same agenda item, also provides that the city will purchase the Haugens’ rights to seven parking spaces located in the alley behind the property for $148,000.

The parking spaces behind the Haugen Law Firm are currently reserved for use by the office during business hours. (Photo by Leopold Knopp)

That works out to a little more than $21,000 per parking space, and represents more than a quarter of the value of the entire property, which the Denton County Appraisal District currently lists at $515,759. The deal is the first item on the consent agenda, which is a list of items that are considered self-explanatory and expected to be passed without much discussion.

Also on the consent agenda, the council may repeal and replace some of its substandard structures ordinance with more specific language and revise its ordinance regarding temporary food establishments.

The need for a revised substandard structures ordinance was discussed at the last meeting. Neighborhood and inspection services director Wayne Snell said the current ordinance leaves too much up to individual judgment. Background material said the reworded ordinance will be more objective, clarify that the ordinance also applies to commercial properties and will make it easier to understand and enforce.

The temporary food establishment changes were requested by Old Town Brew House and Witherspoon Distillery, according to background material. The breweries are requesting to allow up to 12 temporary food establishment permits per year, instead of just six, and eliminate the requirement that they be spaced 60 days from each other. Temporary food establishment permits are required by the city in order for non-restaurant businesses, such as breweries, to serve food, as they would during a crawfish boil or an outdoor barbeque. The ordinance amendments Lewisville is considering would only apply to local TABC permitted wineries, breweries and distilleries in the Old Town Design District.

In public hearings, the city will consider passing a new I-35E Corridor Overlay District, which would replace the Corridor Redevelopment Plan passed in November 2014. The original redevelopment plan created standards for building in certain areas around I-35E in Lewisville in order to help make the city look better to commuters driving through, and piggybacked off of the new construction that would be driven by the I-35Express project, which was then just getting underway. The ordinance was last discussed at the April 16 meeting.

The proposed Corridor Overlay District. (Image courtesy City of Lewisville)

The city will also consider granting a special use permit for a five-pump 7-Eleven on the southwest corner of Bellaire and Business 121, replacing the Chevron and the Royal Discount Tire on that corner. There is already a 7-Eleven gas station half a mile north on the other side of I-35E.

During the 6:30 p.m. workshop session, council and city staff will discuss the Garden Ridge Trail Project.

City Council meetings are held at 7 p.m. every first and third Monday of the month in Lewisville City Hall, 150 Church St. They usually feature a workshop session around 6 p.m., during which a majority of the discussion takes place. These meetings are open to the public.