At its meeting tonight, Lewisville City Council will vote on an economic development agreement that includes a $148,000 purchase of seven parking spaces. City manager Donna Barron has clarified that the rest of the deal is not contingent on that agreement.
Currently the agenda item, which it is recommended that council approve, includes two agreements with law firm owners John and Magda Haugen — a development agreement and a purchase agreement. The development agreement provides that the city will reimburse up to $57,000 of up to $151,645 worth of facade improvements and that the Haugens will give the city the necessary rights to install a sprinkler system on their property.
The city has had $869,390 set aside since 2014 to install a unified sprinkler system in that 101 Main St. property, as well as all adjacent buildings, but could not install it without all building owners signing on. Because of how close those buildings are to each other, fighting a fire without a sprinkler system is impractical and would likely result in the loss of at least one business. In January, council passed an ordinance requiring buildings in the historic district to have a fire prevention systems installed.
The purchase agreement provides that the city will pay $148,000 for the exclusive use of seven parking spaces behind the property. The entire property is appraised at $515,759. Currently, those spaces are reserved for business use from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, but are otherwise free to use. Barron clarified in a email that, though these deals were negotiated at the same time and appear as the same agenda item, council could back out of one agreement while leaving the other intact.
Barron said the Haugens have only recently began to enforce their 8 to 5 reservations on those spaces, but that the city has received numerous complaints since then. She said the city had wanted to get those parking spaces back independently from their other desires for the property, but the deals shook out at the same time because they were negotiated at the same time.
“It’s a very unique situation,” she said. “I don’t really know where you would have an identical situation.”