Written by Phil Cerroni
The City of Coppell is opening a one-stop development and property improvement resource center designed to meet the needs of citizens seeking to make property improvements and potential development partners bringing new business to the city. Beginning March 4, the Engineering, Planning, and Building Inspection Departments will relocate to 265 E. Parkway Blvd., adjacent to the Coppell Town Center (City Hall). Placing these three departments in the same facility aids the City with providing a higher level of service to citizens and business partners who need assistance regarding anything related to the development, permitting and code compliance processes.
The departments will begin moving Feb. 28 while still remaining operational. Regular business will resume for the departments on March 4. The move will provide development services with 12,000 square-feet of space where all relevant approvals can be provided at one convenient location.
Currently, Engineering and Planning are located in Town Center. Building Inspections is located at 500 Southwestern Blvd.
“Having the departments separated in the current situation makes it hard on people who need to work with all three departments,” stated director of Engineering and Public Works, Ken Griffin. “Moving these three critical entities onto the Town Center campus will make it much easier for developers to take care of business with the City.”
Working as a team, staff will be able to provide a more coordinated, streamlined and customer-friendly approach when launching development projects in Coppell.
The building at 265 E. Parkway will eventually house Fire Administration, which is now located at 500 Southwestern Blvd. Parks and Recreation Administration will move to Town Center at 255 E. Parkway Blvd.
“The goal is to have all of our administrative offices on the Town Center campus,” said city manager Clay Phillips. “Moving Fire, Building Inspections, and Parks to this campus accomplishes this goal. The consolidation of administrative offices in a central area will not only enable staff to work much closer, it will also allow citizens and the business community the opportunity to come to the Town Center campus for all municipal services.”
Once the moves are complete, the City expects to sell the Southwestern Boulevard building.
Source: City of Coppell
Last Updated on Monday, 25 February 2013 09:41
Written by Phil Cerroni
By Jess Paniszczyn
Whether you love meeting actors, discussing popular sci-fi or just appreciate the art of comics, the Dallas Comic Con: Sci-Fi Expo offered something for you. The two-day event presented at the Irving Convention Center on Feb. 9 -10 featured Back To The Future with Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson (Marty’s mother, “Lorraine”) and James Tolkan (“Principal Strickland”).
“We just came out here with my dad,” John Crump said indicating his three friends. “He found this online, but it’s been a lot of fun. It was definitely worth it.
“People dressing up in costumes were probably the best part of the event. I came in street clothes the other day, and I got the cape and the light saber here, so I kind of got dressed up when I got here. You want to get into it once you get here.”
Nearby, his friends James and Chris Gregory held vicious looking weapons featuring brass knuckle type handles, one of which ended in a mean looking spike and the other with a bone crushing blade.
“This was our first time here,” James said. “I bought the zombie slasher because I’ve always liked out of the ordinary types of things, and I really like it. It is a zombie killer, so soon we will be ready for the zombie apocalypse.
“Costume watching was the best. I love seeing people getting into character and enjoying the event.
“We met Sam Witwer (actor, Battlestar Galactica, Being Human) and got to shake his hand. We met Hercules (actor Kevin Sorbo). Those aren’t the only ones. There are tons of actors here.”
“You can go up in the ballroom and meet all these actors,” Ronnie Rice added. “They just sit down and talk to you. My favorite part of the event was speaking with Sam Witwer. He was really friendly and we had a great conversation. I called my friend, and I actually got Sam to take my phone and talk to him. That was really cool.”
“The people here are great,” Chris said. “You just go up to some random person and say, ‘Is it alright if I take a picture with you?’ and they say, ‘Yeah, come on.’ One of the fun parts is getting pictures of all the people in costumes.”
“Everyone should come to Comic Con, but you should bring at least $500 to have the most fun possible,” Crump suggested. “If I had $500, I would probably buy a fully geared up costume: light saber, robes, mask, everything. You have to go all out when you get here, because no one cares, they are doing the same thing you are. It’s a great way to have fun.”
It was a love of art that drew Taffeta Darling to the Sci-Fi Expo
“I came out to see my favorite artist, Adam Hughes (artist of Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan),” Darling said. “I was also able to buy some new prints and to get some stuff signed by George Perez (artist of Superman, Wonder Woman, Avengers.)
“Yesterday, I really enjoyed the Back to the Future panel. I was excited to go in there and see Christopher Lloyd and Lea Thompson, who looks incredible by the way. It was fun to hear them talk about their experiences.
“We are going to keep coming out and supporting these guys, because they are doing everything they can to bring us good guests at reasonable prices.”
Dressed in her own creation, Appaloosa Red recounted some of the many celebrities she had met over the weekend.
“I came out to see Tricia Helfer and the rest of the Battle Star Galactica people,” Red said. “I even made my own viper pilot outfit, because I’m a big nerd.
“My favorite part of the event was meeting Tricia Helfer. And then, almost running into Billy Boyd (actor, Pippin, LOTR) near the bathroom. I’m a little star-struck, so…
“This event was a huge success. It was a really nice opportunity to see so many great faces in one place.”
Last Updated on Monday, 18 February 2013 09:30
Written by Phil Cerroni
By Amanda Casanova
Irving will welcome competing teams of homemade, human-powered flying machines in September for the Red Bull Flugtag.
The event, named for the German word for “flying day,” will feature flying machines, each piloted by a participant that will flutter off a 30-foot ramp and then splash into Lake Carolyn.
Notable crafts that have been built for the event in other cities include a winged dog, a giant soccer ball, an oversized iPhone and a “Wagon family truckster” replica from “National Lampoon’s Vacation.”
The Irving City Council voted unanimously on Feb. 7 to approve a special event permit for the one-day event.
More than 150 people are expected to participate when the event comes to Irving on Sep. 21, according to City staff, and the event could draw up to 50,000 spectators.
Teams will be judged in three categories: creativity, distance and showmanship. Rules include building a machine that floats and uses environmentally friendly materials.
That same day in September, other Flugtag events will take place across the country, including in Long Beach, CA, Chicago and Tampa, FL.
The record for the longest flight in a Flugtag competition is 229 feet. The record was set May 28, 2012 in Germany.
Last Updated on Monday, 18 February 2013 09:48
Written by Phil Cerroni
By Amanda Casanova
The consultant hired to help the City redevelop Heritage Crossing will make a presentation to the public on Feb. 28.
Most recently, the Irving City Council voted to approve the sale of about 20 acres of residential land in the Heritage Crossing area in hopes that contractors purchasing the land will spur development in the downtown district and give life to a long dormant plan to jumpstart Heritage Crossing.
The consultant, Gateway Planning, will make recommendations to the City after spending about 60 days gathering public input and researching the area. The City Council will then hire a developer to oversee any approved projects. Scott Polikov, company’s president, has said he hopes Gateway Planning will be hired for the work.
"Heritage Crossing offers as much potential for a vibrant urban neighborhood as any location you've seen in the Metroplex," Polikov said at a meeting in January. "We hope to attract quality developers both inside and outside the city who are embraced by the neighborhoods."
The company has helped to overturn downtown areas in McKinney, Roanoke and Duncanville.
In McKinney, Gateway Planning helped develop a revitalized downtown area with transit-oriented plans, new businesses and better parking. In 2010, McKinney was named by Yahoo! Real Estate as the fifth best place to live in America largely because of its “gem of a downtown,” the article read.
Some Irving citizens have said they are worried about another plan to revive Heritage Crossing. The City of Irving has seen hopeful plans for the area in the past.
In 2008, developer Delbert McDougal released plans to gut Heritage Crossing and revamp it with new offices, parking garages and apartments. The plan never gained support from the public and last year, the City cut ties with the developer.
Gateway Planning will make its presentation at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 28 at City Hall.
Last Updated on Monday, 18 February 2013 09:22
Written by Phil Cerroni
Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne discussed issues facing the city when she hosted key Texas lawmakers at this year’s “Big City Mayors’ Legislative Briefing” Feb. 8 in Austin.
“I appreciate the effort and interest of state lawmakers in taking the time to brief us on upcoming legislative issues as well as listen to our needs and challenges,” said Mayor Van Duyne. “The meeting provides a tremendous opportunity to discuss significant issues we face in our cities every day.”
Mayor Van Duyne hosted 14 mayors and one council member from across the state who represent the largest municipalities in Texas. They include Betsy Price, Fort Worth; Julian Castro, San Antonio; Robert Cluck Arlington; Paul Harpole, Amarillo; Lee Leffingwell, Austin; Mike Rawlings, Dallas; John Cook, El Paso; Ronald Jones, Garland; Annise Parker, Houston; Raul Salinas, Laredo; Phil Dyer, Plano; Nelda Martinez, Corpus Christi; Mark Burroughs, Denton; James A. Thompson, Sugar Land; Council Member, Ray Lopez, San Antonio.
“I also appreciate the opportunity to network with other Texas mayors because, as mayors of the largest cities, we share many of the same challenges: the effects of a prolonged statewide drought, transportation needs in anticipation of predicted significant future growth and providing solid educational opportunities to ensure our businesses have a deep talent pool from which to draw. We have much to discuss,” Van Duyne said.
Source: City of Irving
Last Updated on Monday, 18 February 2013 09:21
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