Around Argyle – April 2022 – Cross Timbers Gazette | Denton County South | mound of flowers

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Commercial development of the I-35W corridor is a top priority for the City of Argyle and is crucial to the future financial stability of the City and the Argyle Independent School District (AISD). Citizens have a right to expect city leaders to work together to achieve business uses on I-35W. Unfortunately, some have chosen to divert the city from this important goal.

For several months an effort has been underway to convince the citizens of Argyle that City Administrator Richard Olson and I are working behind the scenes to promote the interests of developers who wish to build apartments and other housing projects in high density on the I-35W corridor. This campaign has now taken the form of unfounded accusations made at an open meeting of the city council. I must reply.

A bit of context is needed. Since 2017, when citizens reacted to the approval of several major development projects, the city has been controlled by a group of city councilors who have promised to preserve the city’s small-town character, a view I share. . A key commitment of this group was to control density, maintaining a rural feel.

The minimum promise of an acre

Elected officials who took over in 2017 frequently insist that they committed to lots that were an acre or more in size. In 2018, however, the city approved an updated Master Plan and Future Land Use Plan that mentions the one-acre standard, but also added a six-unit-per-acre land use zone. in extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) west of I-35W. The update left the same six-unit-per-acre land use zone (corridor C-3) in place on US 377 south of Old Town. The 2018 comprehensive plan also reaffirmed the forms-based code as city policy, which aims to create urbanized mixed-use areas in selected locations. Form-based code is incompatible with a one-acre minimum standard.

The inconsistencies embedded in this development control policy and land use document are significant, given how the 2017 council has operated since.

Here are some examples:

In 2018, the same developer who created 5T Ranch, a subdivision that many city leaders praise as a success story for Argyle, proposed Liberty Pointe (later renamed Argyle Crossing), in the Argyle ETJ south of Frenchtown Road . Argyle Crossing was to consist of approximately 60 homes and five commercial lots. The developer requested that the city annex the development in exchange for the use of Argyle’s S-1 sewer line that follows US 377. Despite the city’s need for business tax revenue, our leaders chose not to publicize the developer’s proposal and threatened to suspend sewer service unless the developer increases the size of the residential lot. The tactic of denying sewer access failed and the opportunity to annex the property was lost, along with commercial property tax and sales tax revenue. The city was forced to allow the developer to use Denton County’s S-1 sewer line. A tough stance on residence per acre density didn’t work for the city in this case.

In 2019, Hillwood approached the city to renegotiate the 2006 development agreement for the Belmont Freshwater District #2 (Harvest) in the Argyle ETJ. The developer wanted to achieve several goals with the renegotiation, including adding approximately 55 acres to Harvest and increasing the effective density of the Argyle ETJ portion of the development by reducing the amount of wastewater capacity allocated to each residence. . In this case, council was briefed on several aspects of Hillwood’s application at two public meetings, including a projection of 220 homes to be built on the added land, a quarter acre per residence. The package provided for the January 22, 2019 Harvest Development Agreement Amendment meeting also noted the multi-family project on Harvest Way, in the neighborhood now described as Harvest Town Center. Despite adding land to build at a density of at least four houses per acre, the council did not push back against the higher density requested by Hillwood and signed the amended and restated agreement.

In 2021, City Council approved Argyle Landing, which includes lots adjacent to The Settlement of approximately 1.5 acres, but over 75% of the lots will be a quarter acre or less in size.

Elected city leaders routinely accept projects with a density well above the one-acre minimum. Until we can agree on what ‘high density’ means and learn from past mistakes, we must refrain from attacking our colleagues.

Revisiting the Global Plan seems necessary to gain clarity on this subject. Unfounded accusations about apartment promotions should be replaced with a renewed commitment to working together respectfully.

The sewer line to nowhere

Those watching or attending city council meetings may be aware of an ongoing dispute over the Crawford Road sewage line. In 2020, the city council, in accordance with Texas law and city policy, revised its sewage and road infrastructure impact fees. A study of impact charges is required before setting new impact charge rates for commercial and residential licensing. Impact fees collected are based on projected expenditures for city capital projects and are intended to be used for impact assessment projects. The first project on the list of sewer projects in the 2020 study is a sewer line that follows Crawford Road with the stated purpose of supporting development on I-35W. The 2020 study, including the capital adjustments to be financed by the new impact fee tariffs, was adopted by an order of the municipal council on April 20, 2020.

The design of the Crawford Road reconstruction project provided sufficient right-of-way on the south side of the road to comfortably accommodate the planned sewer line. The sewer line south of Crawford Road is not new news to city council members who have criticized the project. It may be possible to provide sewage service to the land west of I-35W without constructing the Crawford Road line, via a line from the town of Denton north of Robson Ranch Road, but this will not be known. only after the city engineer completes a sewage survey. The construction cost of the chosen solution, and the city’s allocation of the cost, will be negotiated as part of a development agreement that takes into account the significant economic benefits that will result from the development of the site.

The city has a legal obligation to plan sewage service at this site, much of which is within our city limits. Public statements by council members questioning the city’s obligations in this regard or denials that city council voted to approve this project as part of our 2020 Impact Fee Study put the city at risk. . The land south of Robson Ranch Road and west of I-35W is the best retail location we have, due to its high elevation adjacent to the freeway and other factors. Traders have shown strong interest in the site. The fact that the current zoning and use of the property is agricultural is irrelevant. Wastewater service for the site is not a “sewer to nowhere” nor is it a special favor for a developer.

The city has hired an experienced and knowledgeable manager in Rich Olson. He has worked tirelessly to advance the interests of the city since joining the staff in the summer of 2020. Mr. Olson’s effectiveness in managing the Argyle Causeway Reconstruction Program, his oversight upgrading numerous systems that provide timely information and customer service to citizens and businesses that do business with the city, and negotiating city-friendly outcomes with developers, to name a few- some of his accomplishments, proved the wisdom of hiring him.

I hope we can set aside the conflict that has harmed our city and diverted attention from urgent matters. Let’s move forward as a community.

Support the Argyle Police Department

Police Appreciation Week begins May 16, 2022 and ends with the ODA Appreciation Banquet on May 20and. Please join me in showing your support for our award-winning agency. If you would like to make a donation to support the banquet, please contact Crime Prevention and Control District (CCPD) Board Chair Bill Reaves at [email protected] or Chief Jackson at [email protected].

The May 7, 2022 general election ballot includes the Crime Prevention and Control District reauthorization referendum and the retention of the 0.25% sales and use tax. I urge you to support ODA by voting for both measures.

Sales and use tax on road repairs

The May 7 ballot also includes maintaining the 0.5% sales and use tax that funds repairs to the city’s roads. The tax represents a significant portion of the city’s road maintenance budget.

Easter celebration

The Town of Argyle partners with the Argyle Lions Club on Saturday, April 9and for Breakfast with the Bunny starting at 8:30 a.m. (all the pancakes you can eat for $5) and the annual Unity Park Easter Egg Hunt starting at 11 a.m. We hope to see many Argyle families!

Argyle Seniors Update
Submitted by Stella McDaniel

We had a great time at our 50s themed lunch at City Hall. Our thanks to everyone who brought delicious salads and other dishes to accompany the pizza. Also the donut shop here in Argyle to furnish the donuts. Our thanks always to the town of Argyle and the police department for your financial support.

If we had held a 50s costume contest, our vice president Karen Kiel would have won with her poodle skirt and all the accessories. Thank you Karen for making our 50’s lunch so special.

We had the honor of having among us several members of the municipal council. Thank you also for our new members. Our next lunch will be Friday May 6th. We will honor our mothers. If you have a photo of your mother, bring it to share with the group. Our meat will be chicken so everyone is asked to bring a dish that can feed several people or pay $5 at the door.

We’ll play bingo after lunch. We always need someone to help prepare food, make coffee and clean up after lunch. The salary is $50. If you have any questions, text or call Stella at (940) 391-6686. Hope to see everyone at our May lunch!

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