Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Market Street project goes back to P & Z

The Flower Mound Leader reports that the Flower Mound Town Council failed to approve the Market Street plan at Monday's meeting.

The debate over the Shops at Market Street raged on in Monday’s Town Council meeting. Ultimately, the council tabled the item until their January meeting, but intense discussion preceded the decision. At issue is the urban forest which would be significantly impacted by the development of the Market Street project called the Shops at Market Street.

Despite assurances from the developer to the News Connection that the impact on the urban forest zone would be minimal, critics of the plan say that it would remove several hundred trees, or over 58% of the total forest. Slated for removal is the oldest post oak in Flower Mound, estimated to be 400 years old.

“The site contains a significant amount of protected urban forest which should be protected as the town develops,” Doug Powell, executive director of development services, said. The intent behind protecting the urban forest in the Master Plan is the question the town now faces, Powell said.“What was the intent of the Master Plan? When it was said to be preserved?” he said.

In his presentation to town council, Alton Bowman, founder of the Flower Mound Association, suggested that if Flower Mound allows destruction of the forest, the town should modify its logo and replace the oak tree with a big box grocery store.

Another concern for the town council was the lack of resolution on the issue of the flood plain. Despite much ambiguity about where the actual flood plain lays, the developers for Market Street are requesting approval for their plan based on the contingency that the floodplain would be changed.

A final issue raised during the town council meeting deal with truck traffic. Councilmen Trotter and Lindsey expressed concerns that traffic routed through customer parking areas onto FM 1171 would present serious safety issues.

Consider this statement from the Market Street parent company website:

Since its founding in 1916, family-owned United Supermarkets has adhered to its founder's philosophy of growing and expanding into markets in order to "build up" communities.....One of the greatest privileges we enjoy is to be able to make a positive impact in the communities we serve.

It's ironic that a store which prides itself on being an asset to the community would champion a plan responsible for destroying so much of the character of a neighborhood during its development. If you would like to see a Market Street grocery store in Flower Mound, contact United Supermarkets and tell them you would welcome their development, but they need to find an alternate location for it.

At the conclusion of Monday's meeting, Councilman Trotter made a motion to remand the issue back to P&Z. Joining in this motion were Lindsey and Councilwoman Long. Voting to approve the plan as is were Stone and Tasker. The proposal now heads back to the P&Z board, currently scheduled for January 8, 2007.

No comments: