Midlothian City Council Denies Approval For Construction of Hampton Inn and Suites/Home 2 Suites   

pic/rendering of Hamptinn and Suites

MIDLOTHIAN—Midlothian Mayor Justin Coffman began Tuesday night’s city council meeting by thanking the Parks & Recreation Board and the NDC Board for their work on the Kindness Eclipses All Campaign and the Eclipse Viewing Party, which saw over one thousand people in attendance during Monday’s Solar Eclipse in North Texas.

“It was a good community-building activity, and the clouds broke just in time, so we got to see the eclipse,” Coffman said.

Justin Coffman selfie
Total Eclipse Midlothian watch party Photo by Justin Coffman

2024-134 Passed

Item 2024-134 on the regular agenda was moved to be presented first and passed unanimously. It was a resolution authorizing the Midlothian Community Development Corporation to award a grant of $157,956.67 to the Midlothian Historic Gymnasium Project, Inc., a non-profit corporation, for the installation of HVAC at the Midlothian Gymnasium located at 700 W. Avenue H.

Place 5 council member Ed Gardner confirmed this was the final bid amount for the project.

Council voted unanimously on the four consent agenda items, including the approval of the March 19 and 26, 2024 council meeting minutes, authorizing the City Manager to enter into a three-year agreement with Granicus for video capture and streaming services, including live captioning and sound search; the approval to expend $118,026.72 for the System Upgrade Agreement for one additional year for all Radio Sites and Dispatch Centers to the City of Fort Worth; and a resolution amending the authorized representatives for TexPool.

The first public hearing of the evening passed an ordinance to change the zoning from Agricultural to Urban Village Planned Development District No. 178 with a base zoning of Single Family on the development of Lot 1 of The Munger Addition. The ask was for the property to be divided into three lots greater than one acre. The new house will have an undersized garage at 450 square feet versus 600 square feet, No Right-of-Way dedication or public road to serve Lots 3, and a 60-foot access easement will be treated as Right-of-Way for setbacks. There was also a request for a waiver for septic and a Special Exception for private gravel drives and driveways.

Planning and Zoning approved the item, as did Council Tuesday Night.

Ordinance 2024-133 Denied 5-1

City Council said no to an ordinance amending the zoning of +/-4.5 acres at the northeast corner of Methodist Way and U.S. Highway 287 Service Road. The change was from a Commercial District to a Planned Development District to allow for the construction of two hotel buildings, Home 2 Suites and Hampton Inn and Suites by Hilton.

After much discussion regarding drainage, the topic of branding came up as well.

City Attorney Joe Gorfida reminded the council that the item pertained to zoning, not the smaller details. The item ultimately failed 5 – 1, with Mayor Pro Tem Clark Wickliffe recusing himself and Allen Moorman voting in favor of the current hotel presentation.

Originally, this item had been approved 4 – 2 by the Planning and Zoning Commission. Their suggestions for changes had been incorporated into the hotel presentation before being brought before the City Council.

Finally, the council was not convinced the hotel’s aesthetic designs were what they wanted.

“We need the highest and best, and I don’t know exactly what that looks like. I don’t think we are far off,” Coffman said. My personal opinion with respect to this is that we are not quite there.”

Gardner voted to deny the item without prejudice. He said he was just not ready for it yet.

Agenda Item 2024-135

A regular agenda item passed for an ordinance amending the Code of Ordinances titled “Utilities” and “Water Conservation and Drought Contingency Plan” in its entirety and re-adopting a new section setting new rules and regulations into place.

Agenda Item 2024-136

Council also voted 7 – 0 on a Fire Department change order in the amount of $58,768 to purchase a 2025 Pierce-Custom Enforcer 100’ aerial platform from Siddons Martin Emergency Group, LLC.

The change was needed, as staff noted: “We are experiencing more situations involving street congestion due to vehicle traffic and parking, which has increased the difficulty in navigating these areas with our apparatus. The aerial platform is the largest apparatus we deploy and the most challenging to turn in tight spaces. This additional equipment will greatly enhance our ability to effectively respond to emergencies and increase safety when navigating congested areas.”

City Council recognizes public safety telecommunicators

With 19 telecommunications operators, Northern Ellis Emergency Dispatch (NEED), serves the cities of Midlothian, Red Oak, and Ovilla. To recognize their important contribution to public safety, the week of April 14 through 20, 2024, is designated National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.

Operating out of the Midlothian Police Department, NEED fields approximately 500 calls during a normal week. Public safety telecommunicators are our citizens’ first and most critical contact with emergency services. By monitoring emergency activities and providing first responders in the field with information, operators are the single vital link between our police officers and firefighters/paramedics and citizens. They contribute substantially to the apprehension of criminals, suppression of fires, and treatment of patients.

Telecommunicators must complete and pass several state-mandated courses.
Midlothian’s telecommunicators are also certified in Emergency Medical Dispatch protocols.

“Telecommunicators are a special breed of first-responder who work behind the scenes, balancing the need to be professional and expedient and at the same time compassionate,” said Midlothian Police Chief Carl Smith during a City Council ceremony held Tuesday night to recognize the city’s telecommunicators.

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