Parking OK’d for medical complex

Councilmembers differ on slot surplus; taphouse restaurant green-lit

Bill Spinks
Midlothian Mirror
An artist's rendering showing elevations of a proposed medical office building on FM 663. A divided Midlothian City Council approved a variance allowing for parking in excess of city ordinances during its April 13 meeting.

Proposed medical office parking wasn’t enough for the Midlothian City Council to give doctors their own orders, as city fathers approved a variance to exceed ordained maximums for excess slots at the council’s April 13 meeting.

Councilmembers voted 5-1 to approve the parking at the proposed FM 663 medical complex, with Ted Miller in opposition and Clark Wickliffe recusing himself from the vote. Miller said there were “way too many” parking spots.

The property, located next to Messiah Lutheran Church along FM 663, had been tabled from a previous meeting. Since then, city planning director Trenton Robertson said additional plans for the site have been submitted, and Robertson said there is a shared parking agreement with an adjacent facility.

Robertson said the building elevation and design plans for that location cannot be finalized until the parking was approved.

Civil engineer Priya Acharya, speaking on behalf of Prime Healthcare Properties, told councilmembers that her client has a similar development underway in Midlothian at U.S. Highway 287 and Presidential Parkway that demonstrates the quality of construction the company provides.

Texas State Optical and Expedian Urgent Care have already committed as future tenants for the new 14,400-square-foot complex, Acharya told the council. The third and final suite for the complex is yet to be contracted, she added.

Responding to a question from councilmember Walter Darrach, Prime Healthcare Properties president Mark Samples said TSO’s peak hours typically start when school lets out and goes into the evening. Samples said parking for the urgent care facility will be needed at all hours.

All councilmembers and Mayor Richard Reno were present.

Other items

• An amended planned development district was approved to allow a restaurant, Union 28 Taphouse, directly to the east of 14th Street, between East Main Street and Highlander Road. The restaurant will be associated with an existing entertainment venue that is tied to an adjacent nursery, Earthtones Greenery. The amendment allows for a food truck court that would be occupied for a maximum of 48 hours at a time during special events.

• A public hearing was set for April 27 to consider a new tax increment reinvestment zone, or TIRZ, for a 966-acre property generally located north of U.S. 287 and east of South Walnut Grove Road.

• A new long-term contract with Trinity River Authority was approved for the supply of raw water from Joe Pool Lake to the city. The new contract stipulates that the city use a minimum of 1.1 million gallons of raw water per day from TRA, and gives the city an increased amount of right of first refusal for up to more than 4 million gallons per day.

• The approved consent agenda included previous minutes, declaration of surplus property, and resolutions authorizing the Midlothian Classic Car Show June 19 and July 10, the Summer Blast in the Park Vacation Bible School June 21-23 and the Midlothian and Heritage High Schools’ Light Up Senior Parade May 25.

• Specific-use permits were approved for an outside storage and display in Eastgate Industrial Park, a temporary residential subdivision sign facing McAlpin Road near the entrance of the Dove Creek subdivision, and a second temporary residential subdivision sign on Walnut Grove Road near the entrance of The Grove subdivision.

• The rezoning of a property in the 1500 block of North 9th Street from Single Family-Four to an urban village planned development for medium density/duplex residential uses was approved. Because the existing duplex predates the city’s zoning ordinance but has been vacant since 2002, it was no longer grandfathered-in.

• A $1.8 million agreement with Freese & Nichols for engineering-related design services was approved in relation to the next phase of expansion of the Auger Road water treatment plant. Also approved was a $439,000 agreement with Felix Construction Company for expansion work at the Auger plant, as well as a separate budget amendment to pay for the agreement using unspent funds from the 2019-2020 budget.

• Councilmembers approved a $130,000 expenditure by the Midlothian Community Development Corporation for design services and two signs in the landscape beds on Midlothian Parkway. Also approved was a $250,000 MCDC expenditure for costs associated with development of a parks, recreation, open space and trails master plan.

• The council amended the city’s master fee schedule by removing itemized emergency services ambulance fees and replacing with bundled fees.

• Following a short executive session, the council approved an agreement for the purchase of a small property in relation to the construction of Hawkins Run Road in the amount of $5,500 plus closing costs.