Friday, September 22, 2023

City Approves Matching Funds Request for Projects in Bicentennial Park & Bob Jones Park

Two Southlake parks are set to receive major upgrades thanks to a couple of local sports associations and a long-standing partnership program through the Southlake Parks Development Corporation (SPDC).
On October 16th, the City Council, following a recommendation from the SPDC Board of Directors, approved SPDC Matching Funds requests from the Southlake Girls Softball Association and Dragon Youth Baseball awarding more than $112,000 toward park improvements.

The Southlake Girls Softball Association was awarded $37,500 toward the purchase and installation of up to 16 soft-toss hitting stations at Bob Jones Park, half the total project cost of $75,000. These improvements will provide effective batting practice and alleviate overcrowding at the existing revamped batting cages.

Dragon Youth Baseball was awarded $75,000, half the total project cost of $150,000, toward the purchase and installation of synthetic turf on Field 9 at Bicentennial Park. Installing synthetic turf will provide a dependable surface for players to train and will allow them to maintain a consistent schedule by avoiding weather-related closures.

These improvements will be made possible through the City’s SPDC Matching Funds program. The program dates back to 1997, with a mission to provide a process for considering requests by petitioning individuals or organizations for the SPDC Matching Funds projects. Proposals are considered on a project-by-project basis and should align with the ongoing advancement and implementation of the Southlake 2030 Parks, Recreation and Open Space/Community Facilities Master Plan. If the proposed project meets the criteria and can help further enhance an existing project, the City Council, following a recommendation from the SPDC Board of Directors, determines the percentage match up to 100%.

Approval of the matching funds requests not only meets City goals to provide attractive spaces and collaborate with partners to implement service solutions, but it also substantially offsets City cost for capital improvements. “It enables the City to leverage its capital funding to implement worthwhile capital park improvements for the enjoyment of Southlake citizens,” said Chris Tribble, Director of Community Services.

Since 2013, the City has contributed more than $300,000 in SPDC Matching Funds and over $600,000 in project costs supporting a total of 5 organizations toward the development and improvements for parks and recreation programs.

The Southlake Parks Development Corporation was formed when Southlake voters approved the special levy of a half-cent sales tax in the mid-1990s. The half-cent, which generates about $5 million per year, is dedicated toward the acquisition and development of Southlake’s parkland as well as park maintenance and other parks-related operational costs. The SPDC is governed by a seven-member Board of Directors that are appointed by the City Council.

To learn more about the SPDC visit their webpage.

Carillon Parc Steering Committee Formed as Project Gains Momentum

Carillon Parc, a new mixed-use commercial concept, is making strides. With the approval of the Zoning Change and Development Plan at the June 19, 2018 City Council meeting, City staff is making preparations for public spaces planned for this large-scale project.

Given the magnitude of the project which will require involvement from numerous city Boards and Commissions, Council decided at their August 21st meeting to move forward with the formation of a project Steering Committee.

The development plan includes a number of public uses including a public library, parks and open spaces and public art. Also, as part of the development of the library, there have been some initial discussions of potentially using the second floor for performing arts and museum uses.

A project of this size will involve several of the City’s board and commissions: Southlake Parks Development Corporation, Library Board, Parks and Recreation Board, Southlake Arts Council, Community Enhancement Development Corporation and the Planning and Zoning Commission.

“We’ve had a handful of projects in the City where you might have one or two boards that might have a common interest in that project,” Assistant City Manager Ben Thatcher noted during his Council presentation. “I don’t think we’ve had anything of this magnitude. And so, that’s why this coordinated effort is there.”

As the project moves forward and development preparations are made, Council will work with these boards and commissions to finalize governance plans for the public spaces, while also working closely with the development team through final construction and occupancy.

The proposed Steering Committee will be comprised of the Mayor, three City Council members, including the SPDC Chair, and representatives from the above-listed boards and commissions. It will assist the Council with the development process and be charged with:

  • Reviewing the City’s comprehensive plan elements for project alignment;
  • Developing and recommending to Council project Vision, Goals and Objectives to establish the framework for public space decision-making;
  • Reviewing and commenting on project funding plan, including budgets;
  • Working closely with project staff, consultants, and developer to finalize conceptual plans for facilities; and,
  • Advising Council on other matters as requested.

Advisory board members serving on the Steering Committee, along with staff liaisons will be responsible for keeping their respective boards informed throughout the process. Advisory Boards will discuss, consider, or take other formal action on matters in accordance with the board’s enabling ordinance.

As plans proceed, City Council and board members will actively seek input from the community and potential user groups.

Strong coordination and community feedback will strengthen the process and the final outcome, resulting in public spaces for residents, businesses, and visitors to enjoy.

Learn more about development in Southlake by visiting the Planning and Development Services web page.