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News Review
Week In Review, Dec. 7, 2012
Posted Date: 12/7/2012

Week In Review Image

Dec. 7, 2012
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. A list of links for stories in this edition is available at the bottom of the page.


Last Week for Heights to be Open
Heights Recreation Center will be open regular hours through Saturday, Dec. 15. After that date, the nearly 50-year-old facility will be closed and soon demolished as part of a project to construct a new facility, which is expected to open next to the old location in May 2013.

During the closure, Heights Recreation Center classes and programs will be held at Huffhines Recreation Center, the Richardson Senior Center and the new Gymnastics Center, which will open in January 2013. Stay posted on all changes through the City’s website at

Heights Recreation Center’s new facility will include a high school regulation-sized basketball court, larger fitness and cardio areas, updated locker rooms, larger classroom space and much more. The $11.8 million project is funded through the 2010 Bond Program.


Santa's Village Continues
Santas Village Dec. 2, 2012
Santa’s Village will be open from 6 to 9 p.m. tonight through Sunday and Dec. 13-16. The Village is just north of Richardson City Hall, 411 W. Arapaho Rd.

Guests may stop by each of the 17 tiny dwellings, which feature a variety of holiday activities. Santa Claus will be on hand to visit with children, but the line will shut down before 9 p.m. each evening.

Santa’s Village is free and open to the public. For more information, visit


Christmas Parade Award Winners/NETWORK totals
More than 1,200 toys and donations totaling more than $2,400 were raised for The NETWORK of Community Ministries through Saturday’s 41st annual Christmas Parade.
There were 115 groups from the Richardson community in the parade, which ran along Coit Road.

Winners were announced in a variety of categories Saturday evening before the opening of Santa’s Village. Winners included:

  • Good Shepherd Catholic School—Spirit of Giving
  • JJ Pearce High School Cheerleaders—Spirit Award
  • Adventure Guides Wolverines—Grand Marshal Award
  • Cub Scout Pack 871—Chairman’s Award
  •  Berkner Ramblers—Mayor’s Award

Click here for a complete list of award recipients

The parade will be rebroadcast on CITV (channel 16 on Time Warner Cable and channel 99 on AT&T U-Verse) Dec. 11-Jan. 1, at 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The video will also be available on demand at


Council, CPC Discuss Bush Turnpike Development
The City Plan Commission on Tuesday recommended approval of the re-zoning of two large tracts comprising nearly 200 acres of vacant land situated along the south side of the President George Bush Turnpike between the DART Red Line and Wyndham Lane, north of Renner Road in east Richardson. The two re-zonings include an amendment of the Form-Based Code and Regulating Plan for a 38.5 acre tract west of Plano Road and new Planned Development standards for a 147-acre tract east of Plano Road.

The smaller tract, west of Plano Road, is part of a planned 57.1 acre mixed-use, transit-oriented development originally approved in early 2011. The proposed amendments pertaining to this site primarily represent adjustments to the planned street network and open space and block configuration to better accommodate a large employment center that would also include retail space, a hotel and urban apartments.

Proposed changes to the zoning on the larger tract east of Plano Road would geographically reallocate existing approved land uses and realign the long-planned east-west arterial street, Infocom Drive, farther to the south. A key aspect of the proposed re-zoning includes concentrating potential multi-family development in the northwest quadrant of the tract, farther away from existing neighborhoods located south of Renner Road.

The City Council is scheduled to consider the proposed changes to both tracts of land at its meeting on Monday, Dec. 10.

At its work session Monday, the City Council discussed the prospective development just south of the Turnpike and how it will likely affect Tax Increment Finance (TIF) District No. 2, which includes that area. The City Council established TIF No. 2 in 2011 to help speed development. The TIF uses funds generated through increased real property tax values realized from new development within the district over a 25-year period to reimburse the developer for up-front costs incurred to install necessary public infrastructure and other public improvements.

It is estimated that the City’s taxable value for the final year of the TIF in 2036 will be $1.5 billion, and that the TIF area will generate $149 million directly to the City in its first 30 years.

Watch the City Council work session presentation at


Council Discusses Heights Recreation Center and Aquatics Center Fees
The City Council at its Monday work session discussed proposed fees and operating hours for the new Heights Recreation Center, which is set to open in May 2013, and Family Aquatics Center, which is expected to open in May 2013 if construction stays on schedule or June 2013 if weather delays hamper construction.
Heights Rec Center
The proposed hours for Heights Recreation Center are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 1 to 6 p.m. Sundays. The new schedule would keep the center open for 10 more hours than at the current facility and match the hours of operation at Huffhines Recreation Center.

Recreation Center fees are proposed at $7 per daily visit or $60 per year for adult residents and $14 per day or $120 per year for adult non-residents. Fees for children and senior citizens are $5 per day or $35 per year, and family memberships will be $135 per year for families up to four members. All the membership fees are in line with fees at other similar size municipal recreation centers in the area.

The proposed plan includes opening the Family Aquatic Center for a 91-day season that includes daily use from Memorial Day to Aug. 18 and weekend use through Labor Day. The Center would be open a week before the other four City of Richardson pools and remain open one week after they close and weekends until Labor Day. Proposed hours of operation for Heights Family Aquatic Center are 8 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. for swim class programs and noon to 9 p.m. for public use.
Heights Aquatic Center
Fees at the Family Aquatics Center are proposed at $4 for residents and $8 for non-residents. A season pass is proposed at $45 for residents and $65 for non-residents. Children up to 3 years old would be admitted free. A family season pass for up to 4 members will be $150.

Watch the presentation to the City Council at


City, UT Dallas Earn Dream Study Award
The City of Richardson and UT Dallas were honored by the Greater Dallas Planning Council (GDPC) at the annual Urban Design Awards event Dec. 5. The two entities received a Dream Study Award for their UT Dallas North Campus Transit-Oriented Development master plan, which creates a framework for potential development near the proposed UT Dallas DART Station along the Cotton Belt Rail Line.

The GDPC recognizes organizations and municipalities that are working to build a sustainable future for the Dallas region. The Dream Study Award recognizes an unbuilt project that displays sustainability efforts in the planning process. The UT Dallas North Campus Transit-Oriented Development master plan was initiated in the fall of 2008 when the City of Richardson, UT Dallas and Dallas Area Rapid Transit decided to collaborate to plan a transit-oriented development near the proposed UT Dallas DART Station and campus.

The site included in the master plan, the UT Dallas North Campus, is located north of the existing academic facilities along the Cotton Belt rail corridor, which is owned by DART. The proposed UT Dallas Station would link the campus to D/FW International Airport and function as the focal point for the new pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use environment.

Click here to read complete press release.


Fire Department Toy and Food Drive Ends Dec. 14
The Richardson Fire Department is working to collect toys and food for The NETWORK of Community Ministries through Friday, Dec. 14. Donations of unwrapped toys may be made at any Richardson Fire Station, the Service Center or at City Hall Room 106 or Room 202.

Gift suggestions include Lincoln Logs, CD players, gift cards, radios, arts and crafts, Barbie dolls and clothes, pen and pencil sets, makeup and fleece blankets. Wheeled toys such as bicycles, scooters, wagons, skates or tricycles are not given as gifts through the program.


Richardson NNO Places Second in the Nation
The National Association of Town Watch has awarded Richardson second place for the 2012 National Night Out competition, which showcases citizen participation between police departments and the communities they serve.

Richardson has been recognized as one of the top National Night Out communities in the nation for the past 19 years and was awarded 1st place in 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2010 for communities in the 50,000 to 99,000 population category.
NNO logo
The Richardson Police Department had 187 registered neighborhood block parties for 2012 in addition to various crime prevention programs throughout the year that served the residential and business communities.


Holiday Events at the Eisemann Center
The following lists several holiday shows that will take the stage at the Eisemann Center this weekend and next week:

  • Comedian Steve Solomon will perform “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish and I’m Home for the Holidays” at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The one-man show is part of the Eisemann Center Presents series and features wild stories and characterizations of Solomon’s friends and family members. Tickets cost $38 to $45.
    Steve Solomon
  • The guitar quartet The Romeros, known as the “Royal Family of the Guitar,” and Concerto Málaga, conducted by Massimo Paris, will present works celebrating Christmas with tunes from Spain, Germany and the U.S. at 8 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets cost $45 to $65.
  •  Jeffrey Siegel’s Keyboard Conversations® series will continue at 7:30 p.m. Monday with “Claude Debussy: Clair de lune, Fireworks and Beyond!” Each piece in the show will be played in its entirety with a question and answer session following the concert. Tickets cost $25 to $30.
     Keyboard Conversations
  • Dallas Repertoire Ballet will present the holiday classic “The Nutcracker” at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets cost $10 to $50.
  • The Vocal Majority Chorus will present “Christmas at the South Pole” at 8 p.m. Dec. 13-15 and 2 p.m. Dec. 15 and 16. Tickets cost $10 to $43.

Tickets for all shows are available at or by calling 972-744-4650.


¡Navidadmania! at Library
The Richardson Public Library will host ¡Navidadmania! from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13, in the Basement Program Room. The event will include a Christmas celebration entirely in Spanish with holiday games, crafts and stories for the whole family.

For more information, call 972-744-4358.


Richardson Woman's Club Holiday Bazaar
The Richardson Woman’s Club will host a Holiday Bazaar from noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 13-15 at Founders Hall, 2005 N. Cliffe Dr. The bazaar will feature a variety of vendors selling jewelry, handmade gifts, Christmas wreaths and ornaments, purses and much more.

For more information, call 972-238-0841.


Richardson Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
Angelina and Prince came to the Shelter from the same household because their family developed severe allergies to the cats. They are seven years old and believed to be brother and sister. They are both altered and up to date on vaccinations. They are very calm, friendly and would be great with kids. Contact the Animal Shelter (972-744-4480) about Angelina and Prince or other animals available for adoption.

AngelinaPetoftheWeek  PrincePetoftheWeek 

For information about other animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s Facebook page at 


Related Links
City Council videos:
City Council agenda:
City Council meeting documents:

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