Council grants waiver, debates fences, wants to sell land

During its regular Jan. 16, 2018 meeting, the Forney City Council met and in summary:

  • Chief Sherwin introduced new officer Josh Martin who has had 6 years experience with the US border patrol.
  • Public Comment - none.
  • Approved in one motion as consent items:
    • Consider approval of a Resolution Ratifying the Appointment of the Interim City Secretary
    • a Resolution calling the May 5, 2018, General Election. [Comenta y considerar la aprobación de una Resolución que ordena la Elección General el 5 de mayo de 2018.]
    • a final plat for the Juan Aguinaga Office Addition, east of Pinson Road (F.M. 740) and north of Redbud Drive.
    • a final plat for the Prescott 741 Addition, north of Interstate Highway 20 and east of F.M. 741.
    • a site plan for Victory Shops at Forney 2, north of U.S. Highway 80 and west of Marketplace Boulevard.

  • Held Public Hearings -
    • Re: an Ordinance granting a request for a waiver of the 300-foot spacing requirement between a place of business selling alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption and a church, public or private school, child care center, or hospital, for a Forney Arts Council special event at properties located within the Central Business District and at 210 E. Broad Street.
          Mr. Morgan briefed council, stating 210 has been removed, so the request is just for the CBD. The FAC will be having a wine tasting event. Staff provided notice and in the paper, 2 responses - one property owner in favor, the other is the FISD stating opposition.
          Kendall Milton spoke in favor of the request, to bring people to the new downtown. FDBA is in favor of it. Mr. McGee said Kroger has something similar. Mayor Wilson said important to not make mistakes on the first one. Mayor Wilson asked if this would require future requests - Mr. Thatcher said this would be just for this event.
          Ms. Sandi Blair spoke, stating it's a bit premature, not enough retail. Insurance to cover this is very expensive. She's in favor of downtown, but needs more retail, it's difficult for mom & pop stores to get downtown.
          No action was taken, it will be considered after executive session.
    • Considered an Ordinance amending the City of Forney Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance to amend the requirements for residential fences.
          Mr. Morgan said this was requested by Mr. McGee. Staff did a review, primary changes are removing chain-link, using steel posts in 3-ft concrete footing; keeping fences in good repair, not leaning more than 1ft. Mr. McGee asked about the fine in penalty clause - Mr. Morgan said that is the std language, they would give a warning and allow 7 days then consider.
          There was a long discussion about fines and chain-link.
          Mr. John Carr spoke - why have fences? He agrees with better products. Passing a blanket ordinance takes out any variance, which isn't preferable. He recommends removing the 8-ft limit. Chain-link will last 50 yrs, next to precast concrete. Maybe should write the ordinance regarding lifetime of materials.
          Deferred action until after executive session. Mr. McGee asked if the proposed ordinance was based on other cities - Mr. Morgan said that and P&Z, who did vote to remove chain-link. There was a debate about desirability of chain-link. Mr. McGee said post holes, about 2ft down you hit hard clay, difficult for home-owners to achieve 3ft depth. Mr. Thatcher asked what direction council would provide for staff. Mayor Wilson suggested sending back to P&Z. Mr. McGee suggested new fences with metal post min 24', restrict repairs to like materials. Ms. Powers wants to be sure existing fences grandfathered in. Ms. Penn asked if someone could request a variance to build chain-link - Mayor Wilson said they could present their case. Ms. Powers asked about other cities - Mr. Morgan said most do not allow chain-link. Mr. Thatcher said it's a matter of policy.
    • Approved an Ordinance amending the City of Forney Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance to add a definition and regulations for Intradermal Cosmetics (Permanent Makeup) to operate as an accessory use.
          Mr. Morgan briefed the council - staff was contacted about adding this use, which is allowed by TX state health services. Many nearby cities have added this use. Ms. Penn said she supports this, Forney would miss out on a lot of business.

  • Approved authorizing staff to proceed with a Board of Adjustment application to request variances to allow for the construction of a changeable electronic variable message sign at Forney Community Park.
        Mr. Morgan said this was discussed during HOT funds distribution; Lions Club has submitted this design. The height and width are greater than ordinance allows. Mr. Myers asked the sign be the same width of the existing sign.
  • Approved an Ordinance amending the EDC budget for Fiscal Year 2017-18 transferring $600,000 from EDC Fund Balance and $400,000 from Trailhouse Road Sewer CIP to EDC Project Expense in support of an Economic Performance Agreement with Forney Marketplace LLC.
        Mr. Ketteman said this is a followup to previous action by council. Mayor Wilson asked if that complied with the performance agreement - yes.
  • Award to LA Fence the contract for construction services for the replacement of approximately 2,100 linear feet of wooden privacy fence along College Avenue (FM 741) and authorized the city manager to sign the necessary contract.
        Ms. McCuiston said there was a disparity with the first bids; the price difference of lowest & second lowest is about 2k but 15 days quicker; they recommend the second lowest due to time difference. Ms. Penn asked about requiring them to meet the time. Mr. Johnson asked if the specification listed number of days; they did not. Mr. Thatcher said that was requested from the vendors. Ms. Powers asks about fence post - metal, 3ft deep, with caps.
  • Approved a market adjustment for Community Waste Disposal for the solid waste collection and recycling services agreement.
        Ms. Woodham said they are requesting 4.5% increase, mostly due to fuel. In the budget, they increased 5% anticipating this. Mr. Johnson said need to pass along increases.
        Nicole presented a slide show from CWD, more recycling was processed last year. Customer service inquiries are up from last year but lower than. Driver incidents are lower. Commercial recycling did 88 tons of cardboard. About 4,000 lbs hazardous materials processed. They have a program to reuse old paint, in various shades of beige.
        She then presented a Keep Texas Beautiful award to Mayor Wilson - only about 10% of Texas cities receive this award..
  • Approved a resolution declaring a “Project” under Chapter 505 of the Texas Local Government Code for the purpose of economic development, and all related issues (First Reading).
        Mr. Thatcher said there is property at Main & Chestnut, no real interest, may need to provide economic incentive, and to combine city and EDC property. This is just a start, the EDC will hold a public hearing, then council could consider a second reading. Ms. Penn asked who had been interested; Mr. Thatcher said would tell them in executive session.
  • Approved new furniture layout (council chambers).
    Mr. Medford said this was part of the Swagit provision for live streaming. Mr. Johnson asked about moving the projection screen, but that was decided against.
  • Took a short recess.
  • Call FEDC Meeting to order
  • Approved the sale of FEDC-owned property at 211 S. Bois D' Arc St., and all related issues.
        Mr. McBeth said the Fosters approached them about
    buying the building at the appraised value of 200k.
  • Joint City Council and FEDC Workshop Discussion
        Mr. Ketteman said the EDC is a type B - type A is mostly heavy industrial, type B came about because of TX Rangers in Arlington, and can do everything type A can. He said EDC responsibilities are business attraction, retention and expansion. Mr. McGregor talked about the need for workforce data, Mr. Ketteman said prospective companies want to know what workforce is available. Mr. McGregor spoke about talents available in 35 minute commute. In Kaufman County, the major talent is metal.
        Mr. Ketteman said we get lumped in with DFW, but are a non-attainment county which restricts emissions, which makes industry more costly. He said this area is good for data centers, certain places can have dual power supplies.
        He showed the multiplier effect - advanced tech jobs provide 7 new jobs, down to fast food which adds 0.1 new jobs. Forney is a commuter town, but Kaufman County is good at bringing workers in.
        Mr. McGregor went through the site selection process. Mr. Ketteman said this will be the year of infrastructure, Forney has the capacity, just need it in the right places.
        Mr. McGregor talked about the 5 year strategic plan, 21 of the 39 items are active. They are working on vacant downtown properties.
        Mr. Ketteman spoke about getting sewer down W. Broad st, for future businesses on the 27 acres of Liberty Hill, and current businesses who are on septic systems, and possibly tying into sewer on N side of 80. They are considering downtown monument signage. There was a lengthy discussion about projects and programs. Mr. McGee said building homes isn't going to pay for rec. centers, need to have industrial. Mr. Ketteman said Mr. Knox is looking to redevelop the property, which is 12 acres.
  • Texas Economic Development 101
  • City growth areas/annexation planning
  • City Facilities/Property/Infrastructure
  • Downtown Economic Development

  • Moved into executive session at 8:44pm re:
    • Gateway Development
    • Project "Big Deal"
    • Project "Business Park"
    • Project "Victorian Village"

  • According to staff, the executive session lasted 2 hours, and action taken was:
  • Approved a request for waiver of the 300-foot spacing requirement between a place of business selling alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption and a church, public or private school, child care center, or hospital.
  • Approved a resolution declaring a “Project” under Chapter 505 of the Texas Local Government Code for the purpose of economic development.
  • Adjourned approximately 10:50 pm.
  • meeting_date: 
    Tuesday, 2018, January 16