Council approves more than $1 million investment in new apartments, transfers landfill contract


City council approved more than $1 million in city investments for a new apartment complex and separately approved the sale of its trash hauling contract with Waste Management to now work with Republic Services. Council also discussed steps toward making amendments to the Old Town Mixed Use 1 zoning district.

$1.5 million city investment into new apartments

Council approved a 315-unit apartment development on the southwest corner of College and Leonard on the outskirts of Old Town, a block away from the train station. Part of the agreement includes the developers providing a connection to Old Town Station, among other amenities.

According to background material, this $45 million development will be the first in Old Town attached to a parking garage. The total city investment in this project is between $1.5 and $1.75 million.

The agreement explains the city will provide a maximum grant of $500,000 toward the parking garage, waiving the entirety of the estimated $480,000 of development fees associated with the project, make an estimated $275,000-$445,000 worth of improvements to Leonard Street, reimburse an estimated $175,000 of water and sewer impact fees and provide off-site utility and drainage improvements for the project at an estimated cost of $100,000 to $155,000.

Landfill contract transfer approved

In regular hearings, Council approved the transfer of its waste hauling contracts from Waste Management to Republic Services. Waste Management, which has collected Lewisville’s trash since the 1970s, is attempting to sell off all of its contracts in the area as its local landfill, DFW Landfill, nears capacity.

Each individual city must approve the transfer, and it will only be worth Republic Services’ money if enough cities do so. The contracts cannot be amended without Council approval, and Waste Management employees are expected to transfer over to Republic Services. Lewisville’s current contract runs through Dec. 31, 2024, with a 10 year extension option written in.

Eric Ferris, deputy city manager, told Council routes and schedules will remain the same.

“There’s no change in service,” Ferris said.

Ferris added Republic will try to hire already existing employees at Waste Management.

Councilmember Neil Ferguson said he’s familiar with how the landfill business works after spending time with it.

“Both teams are completely comfortable with this request,” Ferguson said, referring to Republic Services and Waste Management. “This [isn’t] the city’s first rodeo as far as contracts. We’ll mostly just see print colors change, and that’s about it.”

Old Town Mixed Use 1 Zoning Update

During the workshop, Council also heard a presentation on the future of the Old Town Mixed Use 1 zoning classification.

At the previous City Council meeting Oct. 1, Council denied a zone change request that would have brought 16 townhomes into a single-family neighborhood in Old Town. Staff found city policy sent conflicting messages on this proposal, with the Old Town Master Plan encouraging zoning classification for that neighborhood, but also encouraging its preservation. Council almost unanimously rejected the proposal, with councilmembers TJ Gilmore and Ferguson saying the zoning was intended more to be used on the east side of the downtown area.

City planning director Richard Luedke said staff found townhomes changed the character of the neighborhood too much to the point that it strayed from the Lewisville 2025 plan. Staff focused on promoting preservation of the neighborhood and recommended making several amendments following that guideline.

Luedke presented the amendments, some of which suggested removing townhomes, multifamily dwellings, private utility plants and cemeteries from the current use lists. Staff also recommended reducing minimum lot areas from 7,500 square feet to 5,000 square feet and reducing minimum primary dwelling unit size from 1,700 square feet to 1,500 square feet.

Luedke said there will now be two “layers of protection” for any future developments in the zoning district.

“[It will have] to go through an Old Town design review committee to make sure it matches the neighborhood,” Luedke said. “It’s also subject to the single family rental program and [must] be inspected for health safety.”

Luedke said these proposed amendments and precautions create a more desirable community.

Councilmembers agreed these recommendations add value to the properties without changing too much. They agreed the next action will be approving these amendments separately, which Council will see again within the next 30-60 days.

New developments and buildings

Council also approved an economic agreement with RO Properties for a three-story multi-use building in the heart of Old Town, 170 W. Main St., that background material describes as “a catalyst for redevelopment and new development in the Old Town core district.” The three-story development will feature retail on the first floor, office use on the second and loft space on the third floor. Developers Randy and Ronda Owens said in January they already had tenants lined up for these lofts.

The economic development agreement includes as much as $40,000 from the city going toward this project, which includes 100 percent of the capital recovery fees. In return, the Owens will invest $500,000 into the project and secure tenants for all three floors.

In public hearings, Council approved a zone change ordinance for a strip of property along Oakbend Drive, extending from Uecker Drive and Rockbrook Drive, changing the area from light industrial to mixed use to allow for a 27-condominium development.

Luedke gave a presentation to Council about the designs of the planned building. He said the development goes for a “mountain lodge concept” to go along with the sloped landscape of the property.

Designs for a new “mountain lodge concept” apartment complex to be built along Oakbend Drive. (Photo courtesy of City of Lewisville)

Jason Rose, the architect associated with the project, said he’s worked with city staff on these designs for more than a year.

“This has been a very long process,” Rose said. “I believe [this] will be a unique product offering.”

Councilmembers Brent Daniels and Bob Troyer praised the designs.

“It’s nice to have a development that doesn’t look like every other one,” Daniels said.

“I’m very impressed with your concept,” Troyer said. “I always wondered what anybody would ever do with [the property].”

Other Council business

Council approved the formation of a Lewisville Complete Count Committee to assist with the 2020 Census, after a presentation during the workshop session from Jennifer Pope, a U.S. Census partnership specialist.

Pope explained the importance of participation during the Census to provide accurate information.

City manager Donna Barron explained Lewisville has a special interest in helping with the Census because the new population count could form different city council districts, especially since the city has plans to annex Castle Hills.

“An accurate count is very, very important,” Barron said. “If we annex Castle Hills, that would determine boundaries for various residential districts. [We could] go from at-large seats to residential seats drawn based on the population.”

Council approved a $465,545 per year contract with Marathon Health to continue the operation of Wellness Works Health Center at 2785 Rockbrook Drive and a $202,500 contract with Ace Pipe Cleaning Inc. for video inspection of storm sewer lines. The city has been contracting with Marathon Health since 2013 for a near-site health clinic. The clinic saw more than 2,000 visits between August 2017 and July 2018 according to background material, with about a 70/30 split between Lewisville and Coppell city employees. Employees covered by the city’s health insurance program are required to complete a biometrics visit at this center.

Council passed an agreement that will allow Lewisville residents to attend a first-time homebuyer class put on by Plano. Per the agreement, Lewisville will pay Plano $2,203 per year to grant all Lewisville residents free access to the class. Lewisville started providing homebuyer education classes in 2005 through Transformance USA, but that contractor ran out of money and told the city it could only continue by charging residents $1,100 per class in 2016, according to background material. The classes were discontinued and Lewisville pursued other options. With this new agreement, residents will once again have free access to homebuyer education classes.

Council also updated the final assessment and service plans for two Castle Hills public improvement districts — district 4, which has been subdivided into different sizes, and district 7, which has had lots added to the original district. Public improvement districts, or PIDs, are isolated areas from which a city may assess special taxes that go toward hyper-local improvements. Castle Hills, which is not a part of Lewisville yet, is split into seven PIDs.

Barron said this will be the last times Council sees this item for these districts because their debts to the service plans have now been paid off.

Council also approved the Journey to Dream fundraiser in Wayne Ferguson Plaza Nov. 3. Council also waived fees associated with this year’s Best Little Brewfest, scheduled for Oct. 20 in Old Town. The total value of the requested waiver is unknown since the permit is still processing, but waivers in past years have run around $6,200 according to background material. In the same item, the city authorized Cloud9 Charities to host its fundraising event concurrent with the brewfest.

Council approved a new interlocal law enforcement agreement that will provide Lewisville jail staff with access to data on former Dallas County jail inmates

Council set the dates and locations for their 2019 retreat for Feb. 14-16, with the first day in Castle Hills and the next two at the Hilton Garden Inn in Lewisville. Council also accepted a 14.8 acre tract along Timber Creek, centered on the area passed over by the Hebron Parkway bridge. The nearby Target has agreed to maintain the area.

Lewisville City Council meets the first and third Monday of every month 7 p.m. at City Hall, 151 W. Church St. in Old Town, usually with a workshop session at 6:30 p.m. at which the majority of discussion takes place. These meetings are open to the public.