Earlier this month the Forney Planning & Zoning Commission denied approval on the final plat for Gateway Parks Phase 7. Therefore on Tuesday night the Forney City Council was legally required to take the plat request under consideration for final approval.
Director of Development Peter Morgan said “the Planning & Zoning Commission voted 5 to 2 to deny the plat. During the discussion they noted that they are simply not in favor of 6000 square foot lots, and did not want to vote approval of the plat.”
Explaining Morgan stated “Due to their recommendation of denial, a super-majority to overturn the P&Z denial recommendation is necessary by the City Council to approve the plat.”
A heated conversation transpired regarding approval of the plat in which Council Member’s Johnson, Penn, Powers, Moon and Myers were in favor of approving the plat based on the same old excuse about how the developer is legally adhering to outdated development standards.
Both Mayor Rick Wilson and Council Member Cory McGee were highly opposed to approving the plat which is located adjacent to Grandview Estates on the southwest edge of the city limits.
Mayor Rick Wilson stated “Here’s my frustration with this whole development. We seem to always be regressing backwards. With the amount of infrastructure that was put in that the city is committed to, to some extent, it’s just unfathomable to me. Forty-five million dollars and we get 50 foot lots. This project to me, is a project that has completely fallen on its face.”
Wilson said “We’re not moving forward on anything that they promised us eight years ago. We don’t have the retail. We don’t have anything that they promised us, but we’ve got a debt that is up to $45 million dollars. We’re just not getting what this community deserves for the amount of funding that was appropriated or discussed. This is just totally unacceptable to me.”
Disrespectfully obvious in his allegiance to Hunt representatives, Council Member Shaun Myers took exception to Mayor Wilson’s opinion of what the citizens of Forney are receiving from Hunt development efforts.
Council Member Myers said “I hear you complain about Gateway but I never hear you offer a solution. I never hear about having a meeting with them. Every time they come in here, they say ‘we can sit down and talk about it’. But all you do is beat them up again. We’re going to be going through a process right now with the developer. So let’s go through the process instead of beating them up at every meeting. It gets old.”
Council Member Mary Penn made the official motion to approve the Gateway Parks Phase 7 final plat and her motion was immediately seconded by Council Member Robbie Powers.
Council Member’s David Johnson, Kevin Moon and Shaun Myers agreed with Penn and Powers and also voted to approve the final plat for Gateway Parks Phase 7.
However because a super-majority of 6 out of the 7 votes cast was required to overturn the denial by the P&Z Commission, the nay votes cast by Mayor Rick Wilson and Council Member Cory McGee resulted in the denial of the plat approval with an official super-majority vote of 5-2.
Over the past eight weeks there have been five public meetings in which Hunt developers or economic development experts have made presentations and or communicated with the council regarding the status of the Gateway Project.
The taxpayers of Forney were officially notified on April 15, 2018, barely two weeks ago, that they are in an enormous amount of long term debt for infrastructure repayment on the Gateway Project.
The taxpayers of Forney are encouraged to watch the published video clips of this meeting, or to visit the city website to view video of the entire Tuesday night council meeting.
And to pay specific attention to the cavalier attitudes projected by Council Member Robbie Powers, who has been on the council since 2006. And Council Member Shaun Myers, who seems to believe that the feelings, wants and needs of Hunt developers eclipse the long term financial stability of the citizens of Forney.
Written by: Denise Bell