Updated park dedication policy to go before Council

The City Council will vote Jan. 29 on proposed new measures that ensure adequate recreational areas will meet the needs of a growing Fort Worth population.

The Neighborhood and Community Park Dedication Policy was adopted in 1977 and has been revised several times to meet the open-space needs of a growing city and development trends. The policy applies to neighborhood parks, which are smaller and serve residents within a ¼- to ½-mile radius, and community parks, which are larger and serve residents within a 1- to 1½-mile radius.

Among the recommended changes:

  • For areas outside of the Central City (outside Loop 820), neighborhood parkland dedication would increase from 2.5 acres per 1,000 population to 3.25 acres per 1,000 population; the Neighborhood park development fee would increase from $30,000 per acre to $115,000 per acre.
  • For areas within the Central City (inside Loop 820), developers would be assessed $1,300 per unit on additional units only. The current rate is $500 per unit for all newly-constructed units.
  • The neighborhood park development fee and Central City fee increases would be phased in over a five-year period beginning in March 2019.

A Technical Review Advisory Committee, made up of key stakeholders from across Fort Worth, assisted with drafting the recommendations. In addition, the Park & Recreation Department received a letter of support for all recommendations from the Development Advisory Committee.

The City Council will vote on approving the changes at its next regular meeting, 7 p.m. Jan. 29 at City Hall, 200 Texas St.

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State to stock rainbow trout at Greenbriar Park

Greenbriar Park in Fort Worth is one of five parks in the Metroplex to be stocked with rainbow trout by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department in the coming months.

Greenbrier, 5200 Hemphill, will be stocked on Dec. 28, 2018; Jan. 11 and 25; Feb. 8 and 22; and March 8, 2019. Altogether, about 1,900 trout will be stocked at Greenbriar.

A fishing license and freshwater fishing stamp are required for anglers 17 and older, unless they reached age 65 before Sept. 1, 1995. There is no size limit, but there is a five-fish daily bag limit. No more than two fishing poles can be used at community fishing lakes.

If you’ve never tried trout fishing before, here are some tips.

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Park Village Fountains Update

Work continues on the repair on the privately owned Park Village Fountains. Owned by ShopCore Properties, the fountains experienced extensive plumbing and robotic problems starting in 2017. The most recent repairs have been ongoing on since early summer.

After evaluating their plans, the City has recently given the fountain contractors representing ShopCore permission to continue the repair work. The most recent repairs include the installation of a cover plate that sits at the bottom of the fountain to allow easier and more efficient access to the fountain’s mechanical equipment. In order to perform this work and to ensure the fountain functions safely, the City required the submission of engineered plans detailing the proposed work and the issuance of an electrical permit.

“We’ve been getting a lot of questions from residents about how the repairs are progressing and when they will be complete,” said Planning and Development Services Senior Director Ken Baker. “The contractors have submitted the necessary plans and permits and this week were given permission to continue with the repair work. However, the City has not been provided a timetable on when all necessary repair work will be completed and the fountain will once again be fully functional.”

The Southlake City Council approved the privately-owned lighted fountains as part of the Park Village development in 2013.

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Donated land to be incorporated into existing park

The City Council accepted the donation of 2.98 acres of vacant land from TXU Retail Energy Co. that will be dedicated as public parkland.

The property is south of Berry Street and east of Carey Road in southeast Fort Worth. The donated land will ultimately be incorporated into the existing William McDonald Park. There is an existing water well on the property that will need to be removed or relocated.

Tarrant Appraisal District records indicate the estimated value of the property to be $31,472.

District 5 Councilmember Gyna Bivens accepted the donation on behalf of the city.

“Parkland donations such as this from my former employer enhance the quality of life opportunities for all citizens,” Bivens said.

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City Approves Matching Funds Request for Projects in Bicentennial Park & Bob Jones Park

Two Southlake parks are set to receive major upgrades thanks to a couple of local sports associations and a long-standing partnership program through the Southlake Parks Development Corporation (SPDC).
On October 16th, the City Council, following a recommendation from the SPDC Board of Directors, approved SPDC Matching Funds requests from the Southlake Girls Softball Association and Dragon Youth Baseball awarding more than $112,000 toward park improvements.

The Southlake Girls Softball Association was awarded $37,500 toward the purchase and installation of up to 16 soft-toss hitting stations at Bob Jones Park, half the total project cost of $75,000. These improvements will provide effective batting practice and alleviate overcrowding at the existing revamped batting cages.

Dragon Youth Baseball was awarded $75,000, half the total project cost of $150,000, toward the purchase and installation of synthetic turf on Field 9 at Bicentennial Park. Installing synthetic turf will provide a dependable surface for players to train and will allow them to maintain a consistent schedule by avoiding weather-related closures.

These improvements will be made possible through the City’s SPDC Matching Funds program. The program dates back to 1997, with a mission to provide a process for considering requests by petitioning individuals or organizations for the SPDC Matching Funds projects. Proposals are considered on a project-by-project basis and should align with the ongoing advancement and implementation of the Southlake 2030 Parks, Recreation and Open Space/Community Facilities Master Plan. If the proposed project meets the criteria and can help further enhance an existing project, the City Council, following a recommendation from the SPDC Board of Directors, determines the percentage match up to 100%.

Approval of the matching funds requests not only meets City goals to provide attractive spaces and collaborate with partners to implement service solutions, but it also substantially offsets City cost for capital improvements. “It enables the City to leverage its capital funding to implement worthwhile capital park improvements for the enjoyment of Southlake citizens,” said Chris Tribble, Director of Community Services.

Since 2013, the City has contributed more than $300,000 in SPDC Matching Funds and over $600,000 in project costs supporting a total of 5 organizations toward the development and improvements for parks and recreation programs.

The Southlake Parks Development Corporation was formed when Southlake voters approved the special levy of a half-cent sales tax in the mid-1990s. The half-cent, which generates about $5 million per year, is dedicated toward the acquisition and development of Southlake’s parkland as well as park maintenance and other parks-related operational costs. The SPDC is governed by a seven-member Board of Directors that are appointed by the City Council.

To learn more about the SPDC visit their webpage.

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Little Red Wasp Creating Buzz with Second Restaurant Location Planned for Kimball Park

Fort Worth’s popular downtown restaurant, Little Red Wasp Kitchen + Bar, is expected to open a second location in Southlake’s Kimball Park in 2019. The casual eatery will be adjacent to the Cambria Hotel and Offices at Kimball Park inside the third building to be completed at the 15.5 acre mixed-use commercial development.

Known for “fork + knife sandwiches,” including customer favorite Crispy Chicken, in addition to daily and nightly features, like Shrimp + Grits and Spaghetti + Meatballs, Little Red Wasp also serves up unique starters, soups, salads, brunch favorites, imported and local craft beers, and a full bar. Little Red Wasp, the casual sister restaurant to Fort Worth’s fine-dining restaurant Grace, is owned by Dain “Adam” Jones, restauranteur and founder of DAJ Restaurant Management.

“Based on demographics, Southlake is a great fit for Little Red Wasp and Kimball Park offers the perfect, convenient location right along Texas State Highway 114,” stated Jones. “I live in Tarrant County. My chef lives in Tarrant County. Most of our staff live here, too. It’s important for us to be a part of the market we serve and we’re excited to expand to Southlake,” adding that capital is currently being raised for the Southlake location, which is expected to open late summer 2019.

Within Kimball Park, Little Red Wasp will occupy 5,500 square feet of a recently completed building that also has 4,000 square feet of available space designated for a health spa.

Kimball Park is also home to the 175-room Cambia Hotel, which opened in December 2016 and the Offices at Kimball Park, which was completed in August 2017. Major tenants of the Offices at Kimball Park include Keller Williams, Liberty Mutual, Independence Title and Executive Medicine.

“Currently, 100,000 square feet of the building’s total 112,423 square feet have been leased. We recently signed GP Construction and Kindred Homes, both of which are scheduled to move into their leased spaces with the next 90 days,” stated Jeffrey Medici of Medici Development Partners, the developer of Kimball Park. “There are two restaurant lots remaining within Kimball Park and we anticipate moving forward with the development of those lots by the end of 2018.”

For more information, visit LittleRedWasp.com and check for updates on Little Red Wasp’s Facebook page.

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Bob Jones Park Gets A Summer Refresh

Earlier this summer we told you about the upgrades coming to the playground at Bob Jones Park near the soccer fields.

Take a look at our progress! There are new shade structures and new things to jump, slide, run, and twirl on.

Construction of the playground is currently 90% complete and is expected to be ready in the next few weeks. The shade structure is still being fabricated and is scheduled to be installed by the end of September.

Another update to tell you about; the refreshed bathrooms near the softball fields. Those bathrooms have been power-washed, repainted, mirrors replaced and staff has made minor plumbing repairs.

“We appreciated the opportunity to refresh the bathrooms after getting some feedback on social media,” said Community Services Director Chris Tribble. “Although we keep a close eye on all of our facilities, having residents on our team, letting us know when there is a problem, is a great resource.”

Visitors to Bob Jones Park can expect a similar refresh to the soccer field bathrooms later this year.

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Park Village Fountain Repair Update

Contractor work on the privately owned Park Village fountain located on Southlake Carroll Avenue and Southlake Boulevard is ongoing after it was found to require extensive repairs.

In June of this year, ShopCore Properties informed the City about the need to repair the fountain again after previous restorations in 2017. Repairs on the fountain started earlier this summer, and in a statement recently provided to the City, ShopCore management says they have not been given an anticipated completion date, however, repairs have been taking place daily.

“The fountain is privately owned and while there is a developer’s agreement in place, to date no City monies have been contributed towards its construction or upkeep,” said Assistant City Manager Alison Ortowski. “The City has been asked many times about its status. We look forward to repairs being complete and the fountain running the way that was approved by the City Council.”

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