Lucas City Council Manages Controlled Growth Construction Projects Subject to Comprehensive Review and Approval Process
To the casual observer it may seem like all of the new construction taking place in Lucas, both residential and commercial, just springs up in some sort of random helter-skelter fashion. The fact is, however, there is nothing random about how new construction takes place in the city. It is a very deliberate and detailed process driven by the Lucas City Council.
At its October 4th meeting, for example, the Lucas City Council took up three separate but related agenda items all having to do with a relatively small proposed commercial property that is part of the William Snider Survey, a proposed small commercial construction project consisting of only 1.2 acres of an 18.3-acre tract commonly referred to as Lucas Plaza Phase 2 adjoining Angel Parkway.
The City’s review of these construction plans actually began at the Planning Commission, as is the case with all proposed new development, in late summer when construction plans were first reviewed and ultimately approved. They were then placed before the City Council for another round of reviews.
Issues that came under review included the proposed site plan, architectural renderings and landscaping for the project. In other words, virtually every aspect of the proposed Pennington Partners proposal was subject to the Council’s review. Council members asked probing questions repeatedly of Chris Leavell with Legacy Alliance Holdings on behalf of Pennington Partners. The review process, both at the Planning Commission level and before the City Council, is anything but routine or perfunctory. It is quite comprehensive. The Lucas City Council steers new construction projects throughout the city diligently and with careful attention to the smallest details. Each of the three related agenda items ultimately were approved by the Council on October 4.
A fourth public hearing agenda item before the Council involves concerns about emergency responder vehicle access and maneuverability related to dead-end streets, fire hydrant locations, narrow pavement and unwarranted signage. Fire Chief Ted Stephens shared the department’s concerns about emergency access given that many of the city’s streets are narrow and/or dead-end streets. Chief Stephens informed the Council of actions such as removing confusing signage or replacing outmoded signs with new ones. Because of the size of some of the fire department’s equipment and the extraordinary expense of these vehicles, concerns are constant that a unit might wind up in a ditch or worse while trying to execute a U-turn on a very narrow street. These issues and more will be the subject of ongoing discussion and problem solving. As the population of Lucas and Collin County swells, numerous roadway issues will continue to come before all of the city councils in Collin County.
Did you ever wonder why the tops of some fire hydrants are painted different colors? Discussion before the Lucas City Council clarifies why. It is the result of a standard adopted in 2013 by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a nonprofit association established in 1896, devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. Among its many functions, NFPA conducts research and testing and informs the nation’s fire fighters of its findings and recommendations.
The NFPA standard codes hydrants using four colors for hydrant tops:
Blue indicates a very good flow of water at 1,500 Gallons or more per minute (GPM); Green signals good water flow for residential areas at 1,000 to 1,499 GPM; Orange indicates a marginally adequate flow of 500-999 GPM; and Red means the water flow is inadequate at below 500 GPM. Likewise, how the body of each hydrant is painted signifies other characteristics of each hydrant such as privately owned, public, or out of service.
The next Lucas City Council meeting takes place on Thursday, October 18th. You can preview the agenda and minutes for every council, commission, board, and committee meeting on line at www.lucastexas.us/agendas-minutes/.