Engage D2 12/4/16: DISD, Trees, Going Hands Free, Single Room Occupancy Housing, Domestic Violence Recap

Engage D2: December 4, 2016

We have a couple of busy weeks here on city council as we finish up 2016.

Of note this week:

Monday, December 5 at 11:30 am – Joint Meeting of the City of Denton City Council and the Denton Independent School District Board of Trustees at the Denton ISD Central Offices, 1307 N. Locust Street, Denton, Texas. The agenda is linked HERE. Of note we will receive a report on the city’s acquisition of McKinney Street and improvements from Woodrow to South Trinity, which will include the addition of sidewalks along the road to Ryan High School. These sidewalks are long overdue and were an important issue for me when I ran for City Council in 2015. We will also receive a report and discuss the transportation partnership formed between the City of Denton, DISD, and DCTA to provide transit for students who are unable to walk safely to and from Ryan High School. This collaborative effort will be important to maintain until all construction is completed along McKinney between Ryan High School and Loop 288.

Monday, December 5 at 1:30 pm – I will chair a meeting of the Committee on the Environment. We will be discussing policy regarding environmentally sensitive areas (ESA) as they pertain to our development code, energy efficiency incentives, and an update on electric charging stations. The agenda and backup materials are available HERE.

Tuesday, December 6 at 11:30 am – Council Work Session for the purpose of receiving a report and holding a discussion with regard to the 114th Congress and outlook for the 115th Congress to include Budget and Tax Issues, Municipal Bonds, Surface Transportation, the Marketplace Fairness Act, and other topics impacting local government. The agenda is available HERE.

Tuesday, December 6 at 1:30 pm – Council Work Session where we will receive a report, hold a discussion, and provide staff with direction regarding the results of Denton’s recently completed citywide assessment of tree resources. You can review the report HERE. I will continue to advocate for sensible policy and management decisions that will improve our city’s efforts to preserve our tree canopy and strategically target our current tree planting efforts. This analysis is a useful benchmark for that effort.

Some facts about our Denton trees:

Trees Slide 1.png

Trees Slide 2.png

Tuesday, December 6 at 6:30 pm – Regular Meeting of the City of Denton City Council in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 215 E. McKinney Street, Denton, Texas. The agenda and backup materials for this meeting can be accessed HERE.

Of note are two items that we are slated to discuss with the public and take action on:

  1. Prohibiting the use of Wireless Communication Devices while Operating a Vehicle. After our last council discussion on this topic council provided staff with direction on further refinement of this proposed ordinance revision. I anticipate some further refinement and ultimately a council vote on this matter on Tuesday night. I believe that there is definitely reason to improve the ordinance that we have on the books currently. What we come away with should be a common sense ordinance that is fair, easier to understand, easier to enforce, and ultimately an ordinance that will help improve public safety on our streets for motor vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians alike. The backup for this item can be accessed HERE.
  1. Public Hearing on a mixed use development in the Fry Street Overlay District. This is the single room occupancy (SRO) student housing project being proposed for the Voertman’s area. This project has been before our Planning and Zoning Commission a few times and has recently been voted down by Planning and Zoning 4-1. If this project is to be approved it will require a supermajority of support from city council (meaning that at a minimum 5 council members would have to vote to approve the project). We will have an opportunity to hear from the public, staff, and developers who are seeking permission for the project. While we do need more student focused housing near our campuses I am not convinced that this is the right type of project. The backup material for this item can be accessed HERE.

The area in question:

Fry Street Overlay.png

District 2 Conversation On Domestic Violence – Notes and Thanks I would like to thank everyone who turned out for the last District 2 Conversation at the North Branch Library. We tackled a tough topic but came away with a better understanding of the scale of the issue of domestic violence within our community and the resources we have to confront it and mitigate its effects on victims. I would like to extend a very special thanks to our speakers Donna Bloom (Director of Legal Services, Denton County Friends of the Family), Sergeant Matt Cain (Supervisor of the Denton Police Department Family Services Section), Investigator Elisa Howell (Denton Police Department Family Violence Investigator), and Detective Chante Wallace (Instructor Denton Rape/Aggression Defense). Donna Bloom has made her eye-opening presentation available for reference and you can access it HERE. The District 2 Conversation will take a break in December but will resume in January of 2017 with details and invites coming soon.

Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, concerns, or ideas regarding upcoming council decisions. As always, I am here to serve you.

Your humble representative,

Keely G. Briggs

Council Member – District 2