Ranchette Estates Residents Welcome Construction of Faith Church, Express Concerns about Proposed Design
The Fairview Town Council began its May 7, 2019 meeting by inviting Lovejoy High School independent Studies student, Surya Manikhandan, a senior at the school, who will attend Purdue University in Indiana in the autumn to study Aerospace Engineering, to present his research project. Manikhandan, quickly won the hearts and minds of the council and residents in Council, resulting from his elegant, poised and impressive presentation.
Manikhandan’s mother and faculty advisor, Ms. Brooks, proudly looked on. The project focuses on how to provide enhanced personal security to very large crowds that assemble for important religious celebrations such as the Haj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and many Hindu festivals throughout India and South Asia. Manikhandan, made extensive use of inexpensive drones in demonstrating how his concept may provide new opportunities for celebrants to locate members of their parties from whom they have become separated.
Mayor Darion Culbertson presented a Proclamation declaring May as “Motorcycle Safety and Awareness” month in the Town of Fairview. Members of two motorcycle clubs joined Culbertson for the ceremony.
More than a dozen residents of Ranchette Estates, which is located adjacent to and west of Highway 5 between Windmill Lane and Murray Road, spoke to the Town Council about their concerns regarding the size and scope of the proposed campus for the Faith Church of Collin County. There are 62 property owners in Ranchette Estates. Two supported the construction of the Church in letters to the Town Council.
In 2014, the Town Council approved a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for this project. But, since that time, the owners have revised the phasing and building design, therefore, a revision to the CUP is required. With this application, the new overall site plan reflects the development of three (3) total buildings and a pavilion, with associated parking and landscape areas for the 2.9 acre site.
It is anticipated that the completion of the entire proposed project may take up to fifteen years. Ranchette Estates residents expressed support for the addition of the church, most prefaced their remarks by welcoming the church to Fairview, but then expressed broad concerns regarding the size, especially the proposed height, of the sanctuary, as well as the positioning of a fellowship hall within 35 feet of Murray Road, a Pavilion and the inclusion of a bell tower. Most who spoke in opposition to the current proposal expressed concerns that the new proposals seems “out of character with the neighborhood”, others say, “It’s too big”, others including Councilmember Roland Feldman asked if the bell tower would become a noise intrusion issue into the neighborhood.
Josh Hamilton, of HP Civil Engineering, representing the Faith Church of Collin County speculated that the bell tower would be activated only as a call to services. The Town Council tabled the proposal to the June 4th meeting of the Council to allow additional discussion to take place among the project’s principals and residents of Ranchette Estates. Mayor Culbertson observed that, “Ranchette Estates is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Fairview. Any new construction, I believe, has to blend into the existing neighborhood.” Several council members expressed similar sentiments. The principal objection seems to be the height of the fellowship hall at 40 feet rather than the original proposal at 30 feet high.
In other business, in September 2018 the Town Council ordered the construction of a new fire truck to replace a 2009 model. The new truck is about to be delivered and it is necessary to arrange for short-term financing. Staff recommends that BB&T provide the financing based upon its favorable financial terms at 3.09% interest over ten years with no early payoff penalty. The 2009 model truck will be sold. The proposal was unanimously approved by the Town Council.
Municipal Mosquito Control and Testing, a company that provides Fairview with surveillance and testing of mosquitos, contract is now due for a contract extension. The company provides weekly testing and reporting on West Nile and Zika Viruses throughout the town. Patrick Prather, owner of Municipal Mosquito Control, shared that his company provides sixty-nine municipalities in North Texas with mosquito testing. Fairview receives standard mosquito traps that gather mosquitos for testing and monitoring. Staff recommends the contract extension. Another provider of similar services proposed a contract that was substantially more expensive. The Town Council adopted the staff’s recommendation that Municipal’s contract be extended.
The next meeting of the Fairview Town Council takes place at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, June 4