Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Flower Mound P&Z approves The Point

The Point concept plan.

Flower Mound’s Planning & Zoning Commissioners on Monday night recommended Town Council approve rezoning The Point mixed-use development during its Dec. 18 meeting.

And, although the rezoning– from Planned Development (PD-31) with Campus Commercial (CC) to Planned Development (PD-156) with both non-residential and residential to comply with the CC land use within the Lakeside Business District (LBD) area plan– passed, there was trepidation. For several of the commissioners, it was the project team participants that tipped the scale in favor of the 5-1 vote; Commissioner Laile Neal was the nay vote.

Leading the presentation on The Point project was Direct Development’s David Watson, who listed the other partners: civil engineer Larry Cates of Cates-Clark; LandDesign; JHP Architecture; commercial real estate firm JLL (Jones Lang LaSalle); Hilton Hotels; and, Trammell Crow Residential (TCR) multi-family real estate developer.

Based on the project principals involved, “I will trust that the quality will be there,” said Mike McCall, vice chairman of P&Z, to validate his vote of approval.

The 35-acre development, located north of Long Prairie (FM 2499), west of Silveron and south of Lakeside, is a project ultimately meant to attract Class A office space to Flower Mound by creating a work-live-play, walkable urban-like setting for a targeted demographic of professional millennials who will fill the work cubicles inside the multi-storied offices.

Kendra Stephenson of Portmanteau Consulting, local representative for the project, said that the wording of the Planned Development (PD) and Development Agreement (DA) phasing will guarantee the staging of the development construction.

The first component will be the green space, the pedestrian features, the first 350-multi-family units; then the hotel must be complete and open, before any additional residential units will be built. She added that some sewer infrastructure improvement worth $500,000 at the southern section is being done initially.

The developers and town staff have worked since the project’s Oct. 23 workshop preview to solve the many issues of concern raised by the commissioners. Among the remaining unresolved issues is a lack of any minimum amount of commercial uses (floor area of number of stories/height); parking along FM 2499; and, the final plan for Silveron Boulevard, which is dependent on the upcoming thoroughfare amendment.

Richard Myers, the managing director of Realty Capital, local developer of Lakeside DFW, said he was a “first-time speaker as an individual” with his concern about another development. Although he’s interested in growth and is impressed with the development team, “I hope the town will push the quality [level] for the vitality element.”

He was also one of many voicing a concern about the view from FM 2499 overlooking the office building’s “parking fields.”

Also speaking as a town resident was Scott Tarwater, developer of Flower Mound’s first hotel, the Courtyard by Marriott at The River Walk, as well as the future Unscripted Hotel in Lakeside Crossing just south of Lakeside DFW on the western side of FM 2499.

Tarwater’s family were pioneers who settled the land area in 1868 prior to the creation of Lake Grapevine and his ancestors built “the old house” located in Lakeside Village back in 1905.

“Hilton offers 13 levels of products and Hilton Tru is a very limited product,” he said, adding that The Point’s development team has a history of producing quality products and hoped that will continue.

Other specific elements of The Point’s design include: 32 Carriage Houses, 24 multi-family, commercial-ready units– 18,000 square-feet– as part of the 585 multi-family units; restaurants; The Green and Point Park open spaces with walking trails and a perennial stream; in addition to two multi-level Class A office buildings with parking fields/facilities along the FM 2499 boundary.

When Watson asked the question: “Why hasn’t Class A office [projects] been developed in Flower Mound over the past 30 years?” the answer is simply– it needs to be an area that mimics an urban setting– the ability to ride a bike or walk to shopping, schools, dining or entertainment within 10-minutes to attract an employee pool of young professionals.

It was summed up with the proverbial, “Which comes first; the chicken or the egg.”

The much-anticipated “elephant-in-the-room” related to the rezoning request, the issue of park land dedication and fees related to mixed-use districts, remained a source of confusion. The fees paid by developers are deposited in the town’s Parks and Recreation budget.

It was also pointed out that residents living in The Point will not confine their “play” options to those offered within the development, but will also use the town’s many parks and recreational facilities.

“You know there’ll be things like basketball teams formed that’ll use the CAC, which is already in need of expansion,” said a resident. “That’s only one example.”

The need to address the Town’s Code of Ordinances related to Parks and Recreational Areas was raised during the Dec. 7 Parks Board meeting, specifically related to The Point’s fee requirements and review by the Parks Board under the development’s original zoning. A 2008 requirement for Mixed-Use developments within the LBD sets a different fee formulation for the “urban setting” projects.

The request to rezone The Point is so it can qualify for the 2008 fee formulation, rather than the town’s Park Land Dedication and fee payment formulation, as based on single-family residential standards– the town’s only residential-related formulation– which is determined as follows: 3.3- acres of land per 100 dwelling unit lots = 0.0336 acres/dwelling unit lot; 0.0336-acres/dwelling unit lot times 577 dwelling unit lots = 19.3872 acres of Park Land Dedication required; or Payment of cash, in lieu of the otherwise dedicated park land, is determined as follows:

  • $376,000.00 per acre is the fair-market value of land within the development as determined by the town and the developer; $376,000.00 per acre times 19.3872 acres = $7,289,587.20 payment of cash in lieu of land to satisfy Park Land Dedication.

That dollar amount of more than $7.2 million added to the Parks and Recreation budget would be more than enough to fund a new tennis facility for Flower Mound.

The 2008 LBD mixed-use district Park Development fee formulation is determined as follows:

  • $1,388.00 fee per dwelling unit lot times 577 dwelling unit lots = $800,876.00 in Park Development Fees.

In addition, exempting some developments from review by the Parks Board– relying only on town staff and P & Z Commissioners– was a major “red flag” for all the commissioners.

“Adding this to our list of already heavy-lifting duties is too much,” said Commissioner David Johnson. “I don’t understand why any project would be exempted from Park’s consideration; and, why do we [the town] only have one formula, based on single-family residential?”

As a former Parks Board President of 10 years, McCall agreed that review of developments by the board is essential.

“The Parks Board is a resource and they’re the experts with the vision,” said Paul Stone, a former Parks Board member, P&Z Commissioner and Town Councilman.

P&Z Chairman Perfecto Solis summed up the need to address the town’s Code of Ordinances Chapter 90, Article VI, Division 8, entitled “Parks and Recreational Areas” as a Town Council agenda item.

The request to amend the ordinance was unanimously tabled until an official discussion with Town Council can be held.

The Point is scheduled to be considered by the Town Council as an item on its Dec. 18 agenda.

CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette News Department

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