The agenda for the meeting states, “Hold a public hearing to discuss and consider amending the City of Forney Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance, by amending Section 34D, ENT – Entertainment Overlay District, by amending Section 34D.5(B) to include the Mick Spellman Amphitheater in the boundaries of the Entertainment Overlay District and by amending Section 34D.5(C) to permit a private club to operate in the CBD – Central Business District with a minimum of forty (40) dining seats and to provide the CBD with an exemption from the distance requirements to a church, public or private school, child care center or hospital.”
Peter Morgan, Forney Community Development Director and Senior Planner, began the discussions presenting the above agenda items and stating they are all brought together in one item on the agenda but could be discussed separately.
Richard Curry, Parks and Recreation Director, was also called to the podium to help answer several questions regarding the amendment of the Entertainment Overlay District. Specifically a question that was repeated several times by Robert Dobbs, Chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission, “Where is the benefit to the city for selling alcohol in the park?” Both Peter and Richard stated they are working with a promoting company to help determine the types of acts that could and would perform here in Forney, that they have been told alcohol sales with help bring bigger national acts.
Joining Directors Curry and Morgan at the podium, Gina Nash, the assistant City Manager helped clarify by answering, “If we are to get national acts for the amphitheater we have been told that in order to do that alcohol has to be sold. You can't have the types of acts that are brought into these amphitheaters without the sale of alcohol, they're just tied together.” It was also mentioned the acts that the city would try to have would range anywhere from our local artists, to national country singers.
Several of the board members expressed their concerns and opposition for the amendment with many saying this decision is too premature. More information was requested from the board and the item was tabled for further discussion at another board meeting.
In regards to the section regarding the Central Business District Dobbs stated, “ We feel like we are premature to doing any discussion downtown at this time, that there is no plan for development downtown. This is kinda a knee-jerk, if you will, to try to accommodate something we are not ready to accommodate.” He also stated that there will be a future workshop involving the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Forney Economic Development Corporation, Forney City Council including Mayor Rozell, and the City Managers office.