Jan. 27, 2017
Here is the latest edition of Week In Review - a series of weekly messages from the Mayor and City Council to help Richardson residents and businesses keep up to date on events at City Hall. If you would like to sign up to receive this in a weekly e-mail click here.
City Council Approves Downtown Mixed-use Development
|Rendering of planned development
A proposed mixed-use development at the northeast corner of Central Expressway and Main Street was approved unanimously by the City Council Monday. The 14.5-acre development will include residential, commercial and restaurant space. It is the first significant private sector development in the downtown area since the adoption of the Main Street/Central Expressway Form Based Code last year.
The project is bordered by Main Street on the south, Central Expressway on the west, Greer Street on the north and Interurban Street on the east. It includes the Chase Bank office building, which will undergo minor modifications under the development plan. All other existing structures on the property will be removed.
A highlight of the development is the mixed-use portion planned for the corner of Main and Interurban streets. In addition to 15,000 square feet of retail/commercial space, it will have multifamily units located above the retail space, surrounding private courtyards, and a 700-space parking garage, which will be shared with tenants from the Chase Bank building. Immediately to the north of the mixed-use area will be townhomes with private yards and garage parking. The for-lease units will be two or three stories each and average 1,800 square feet per unit.
Also planned is a 6,500-square-foot restaurant, which will face Central Expressway and be built immediately north of the Chase Bank building. (The existing barbecue restaurant at the corner of Greer Street and Central Expressway is not part of the development.)
The City Council passed the Main Street/Central Expressway Form Based Code in October 2016, which established development standards and expanded the boundaries of the district, rezoning about 540 acres while making the area more walkable for pedestrians. The Code aligns with the City Council’s vision for the Main Street/Central Expressway Corridor established in 2013 and the City’s 2009 Comprehensive Plan to encourage reinvestment in the community and revitalization of older areas.
To view Monday's public hearing regarding the new development, click here.
New Pool Hours Announced for 2017
City Parks and Recreation staff presented a new pool schedule to the City Council Monday to be implemented this summer. It provides an additional weekday of swimming at the neighborhood pools while decreasing some operational hours. Heights Family Aquatic Center will have a consistent, easy-to-remember schedule of noon-8 p.m. every day, eliminating weekday morning hours and closing one hour earlier in the evening.
To view the complete schedule, click here.
The changes were developed based on attendance patterns, customer feedback, typical schedules of other aquatic centers and lifeguard input. The new schedule more effectively meets the needs of those who use Richardson’s pools while also better accommodating lifeguard demands.
To view the presentation given at Monday’s City Council meeting regarding the schedule changes, click here.
Local High School Student Videos Help City Recruit Lifeguards
Due to a nationwide shortage of public pool lifeguard applicants that’s been occurring over the past few years, the Parks and Recreation Department is taking an innovative approach to lifeguard recruitment, partnering with students from Richardson High School (RHS). Students in RHS’ Communication Arts Program were invited to produce videos suitable for posting on websites and sharing on social media, showing that a lifeguard position is an interesting and fun part-time summer job. The videos were made public this week.
Two talented student teams created the videos, one featuring interviews with actual lifeguards and another utilizing images and music in a “montage” approach. To view the videos on YouTube, click here and here.
The Parks and Recreation Department started the upcoming season’s recruitment efforts during the recent holiday break by reaching out to previous staff. After an initial round of hires, there are still lifeguard positions available that need to be filled by May 22 in order for all pools to run on schedule and for all staff to be fully trained before the start of pool season.
To support continued recruiting, the new videos will be prominently featured on the City’s website, introduced on the City’s social media channels and shown at local schools, houses of worship and community organizations during in-person presentations, and at a City-sponsored job fair March 14.
In addition to the lifeguard positions, the City will hire up to 30 other seasonal positions including swim instructors, swim team coaches and pool cashiers. Interested applicants should visit www.cor.net/lifeguard or call 972-744-4001 for more information. To invite City staff to your organization to share seasonal employment opportunities, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Park at CityLine Officially Named
The new 13-acre park planned for the east side of the CityLine development officially got its name Monday, when the City Council voted in favor of approving a resolution naming the area Fox Creek Park, after the creek that runs through its middle. Scheduled for completion in early fall of this year, Fox Creek Park will feature greenspace, benches, trees, drought-tolerant native landscaping, a picnic pavilion, a playground and concrete trails that extend the existing Owens Trail, including a 12-foot-wide concrete-and-steel bridge over the creek. It will be located at the northeast corner of Foxboro Drive and Renner Road, extending north to CityLine Drive.
Fox Creek Park will be the 38th park in the City’s parks system, made possible through a partnership between the City and CityLine developer KDC, with funding supplied by TIF revenues.
Property Taxes Due Jan. 31
Property taxes owed to the City of Richardson are due Tuesday, Jan. 31 and should be paid to either the Collin County or Dallas County Tax Office, depending on where the property is located. The City of Richardson contracts with Collin and Dallas counties for the collection of property taxes.
Collin County residents can make city, school and county tax payments at the Collin County Tax Office branch, 920 E. Park Blvd., Plano, 972-881-3014. Dallas County residents may pay city and county taxes at the Dallas County Tax Office branch, 516 Twilight Trail in Richardson, 214-653-7811. RISD taxes are billed by and paid to the RISD tax office at 970 Security Row, Richardson, 469-593-0500.
Rotary Club Presents Annual City Employee Awards
|Pictured from left: City Manager Dan Johnson, Chris Acuff, Cynthia Sandlin, Rotary President Wayne Millsap and Rotary Member Wayne Mayo.
Assistant Parks Superintendent Chris Acuff and Senior Administrative Secretary Cynthia Sandlin were recently named the 2016 Supervisor of the Year and Employee of the Year, respectively, by the Richardson Rotary Club. The awards, given by the club since 1992, are specially designed to recognize City employees who made significant contributions during the past year.
Acuff began his City of Richardson career as a part-time helper with the Parks Maintenance Division in the summer of 1993, right after graduation from Garland High School. That November he was hired into a full-time Maintenance Helper II position and worked his way up to becoming Park Maintenance Supervisor, earning licenses and certifications along the way. As of Jan. 1 of this year, he was named Assistant Parks Superintendent. Acuff was recognized by the Rotary award for improving maintenance operations and employee morale as well as for his dedication and work ethic. He has been involved in the planning and execution of Richardson’s Family Fourth Celebration, Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival and the Corporate Challenge opening and closing ceremonies.
Sandlin has been with the City for more than 16 years, starting as Facilities Operations Assistant in 2000 and promoted to Senior Operations Assistant in 2006 and Senior Administrative Secretary in 2012. She was recognized for her contributions and positive, can-do attitude when the Solid Waste Division experienced vacancies in key administrative and leadership positions, as she assumed extra duties amidst also dealing with recovery from a serious vehicular accident. Like Acuff, she is heavily involved with the City’s Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival and coordinates all the Solid Waste Department’s activities in support of the Festival.
Last Day to Tree Cycle Jan. 31
Richardson residents who still have unflocked, natural Christmas trees needing disposal can “tree cycle” through Richardson’s Brush and Bulky Item Collection service (BABIC) until Tuesday, Jan. 31 via two options:
- Call 972-744-4111 by 11:59 p.m. the day before your designated recycling day and request a BABIC pickup, then set the tree out at the front curb for collection. Make sure to request that the tree be mulched.
Note: Trees must not be artificial. All ornaments, tinsel, tree stands, nails, lights, etc. must be removed.
- Drop trees off at the Municipal Service Center, 1260 Columbia Dr. The site is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
To find out your designated recycling day, check online at www.cor.net/recycling or call 972-744-4111.
“State of the City” Feb. 1
The public is invited to join the Mayor and City Council for the City’s annual “State of the City” Address, Wednesday, Feb. 1 beginning at 6 p.m. in the Eisemann Center’s Bank of America Theatre. The event takes a look back at Richardson's milestones/accomplishments over the past year and previews what’s in store for 2017, and includes special guests, innovative video produced by CITV, light refreshments and musical entertainment.
Admission and parking are free.
RISD K-12 Student Art Exhibit Opens Feb. 1 at Green Mezzanine Gallery
Artwork created by Richardson Independent School District students in grades K-12 will be on display in the Eisemann Center’s Green Mezzanine Gallery Feb. 1-26. The annual exhibition was created by the Eisemann Educates program and provides a venue for young artists to showcase their talents and get a taste of life as a professional artist. A reception at the Gallery honoring the students takes place Tuesday, Feb. 7 from 5-6:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
Regular Gallery hours are Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and during all public events. Admission is free.
Photo Contest Ends Sunday
There are just a few more days to submit photos to the City’s annual photo contest—entries will be accepted through Sunday, Jan. 29 at Huffhines Recreation Center. Photographs may be entered in one of 14 categories, including Still Life, Cityscape/Architecture, Furry Friends, People, Scenic/Landscapes, Sports & Action, and Anything Goes; a maximum of two color and two black/white entries may be entered per category by each participant. Entry fee is $5 per entry for students and $10 per entry for adults over age 18.
Winning photos in Honorable Mention through First Place receive ribbons; Best of Division winners (Youth, Adult, Proficient) receive a $75 gift card, a plaque and a place in next year’s Best of Divisions exhibition. Judges will choose a Best of Show winner from the three Best of Division winners, who is awarded an additional $50 gift card and has his or her photograph framed and displayed permanently at the Richardson Public Library.
Winners will be announced Feb. 3 and an awards ceremony will be held Feb. 21 at the Civic Center. All winning entries will be exhibited at the Library Feb. 4-19.
The Best of Division winners from the 2016 Photography Contest and works from the 2016 judges are currently on display on the third floor of the Library through Feb. 3. For more entry requirements and a downloadable entry form, go to www.cor.net/photocontest.
At the Eisemann Center:
- “The Original Stars of American Bandstand” Tonight
8 p.m. in the Hill Performance Hall. Tickets are $44-$62.
Travel back in time to 1959 with Shirley Alston Reeves, The Chiffons, Johnny Tillotson, Brian Hyland and Merrilee Rush. With 16 gold records and 75 chart hits, these performers defined a generation with beloved singles such as “One Fine Day,” “He’s So Fine,” “Sealed with a Kiss” and “Let’s Dance.”
Unless otherwise noted, tickets to Eisemann Center events are available at the Eisemann Center Ticket Office, 972-744-4650 and at www.eisemanncenter.com.
- Tina Packer’s “Women of Will” Feb. 3-4
8 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday in the Bank of America Theatre; tickets are $40 for Friday’s performance and $36 for the Saturday matinee.
Master Shakespearean actress Tina Packer conjures William Shakespeare’s most famous female characters, along with actor Nigel Gore in the roles of Romeo and Petruchio. Together, Packer and Gore’s stage alchemy creates a Shakespeare experience that The New York Times calls, “Marvelous!” and The Associated Press hails as “boundless and irresistible!”
Prior to the Feb. 3 show, theater students from UT Dallas’ School of Arts and Humanities will give a free performance at 6:30 p.m. in the Bank of America Theatre. The performance is the culmination of a weeklong residency by Packer at UT Dallas thanks to the Eisemann Educates program. No ticket is needed to attend.
At UT Dallas:
- Kithara Duo Tonight
8 p.m. in the Jonsson Performance Hall. Tickets are $15.
Guitarists Fernand Vera and Olga Amelkina-Vera, a.k.a. the critically acclaimed Kithara Duo, presents a Sabine Madriguera tribute performance. To purchase tickets, click here.
- Reunion VI Launch Party Tonight
6-9 p.m. in the Visual Arts Building. Admission is free.
Join the editors and contributors of UT Dallas’ literary publication, “Reunion: The Dallas Review,” as they celebrate the release of Reunion’s latest volume with an evening of live entertainment, readings, and free food and drinks.
Produced annually each fall, “Reunion: The Dallas Review,” (formerly titled “Sojourn”) is open to public submissions of previously unpublished poetry, short fiction, nonfiction, translation, visual art, drama and interviews. For more information, visit www.utd.edu/ah/reunion/.
- “Tina Packer Talks” Jan. 31 and Feb. 1
In conjunction with her residency at UT Dallas and upcoming performances at the Eisemann Center (see above), actress/playwright/artistic director and former Ivy League instructor Tina Packer will present two free public talks: “Lessons in Leadership and Management,” Tuesday, Jan. 31 and “Shakespeare, Power and Women,” Wednesday, Feb. 1, both beginning at 2:30 p.m. in the University Theatre. For more information, visit www.utd.edu/ah/events.
- Cinematique: Free Screening of “Moonlight” Feb. 1
7 p.m. in the Jonsson Performance Hall. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.utd.edu/ah/events/.
Tales for Tails: Kids Read to Therapy Dogs Jan. 29
What’s a great book without a sweet dog to read it with? Readers in grades K-4 are invited to increase their reading confidence and skills while reading to Heart of Texas Therapy Dogs, Sunday, Jan. 29 from 3-4 p.m. in the First Floor Program Room. There is no charge to participate, but each reader must have a ticket—tickets are available beginning at 2:30 p.m. on the day of the event in the Youth Services area.
For more information, contact Youth Services at 972-744-4358.
Richardson Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
This lovely guy is Weezer! He has been with us at the Shelter since late September and would love to find a forever home! He is a Labrador retriever/pit bull terrier mix. He has already been neutered and fully vaccinated, as well as heartworm negative. Weezer is a very sweet dog who would do best in a home without other dogs and a big yard to play in! He walks very well on a leash and has a very calm demeanor. Come and visit him and see if he can join your family!
For information about other animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s web page here.
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Mayor Pro Tem
Marta Gómez Frey