Flower Mound Leader > News
Hayden comments on rezoning and SmartGrowth concerns
By Tom Hayden, guest columnist
Over the last several days, members of the Flower Mound Town Council have received several notes and comments regarding the LISD’s proposed rezoning, and we are all very concerned about the impact this may have on many of our town’s residents.
The town council is following the proposals carefully; however, any decisions regarding with School District rest solely with the LISD.
Additionally, a few form letters have been received from residents expressing concerns that a recent amendment to the town’s SMARTGrowth program resulted in the LISD’s consideration of the realignment of school attendance zones in Flower Mound. In actuality, there is no link whatsoever between the two issues.
One of the initial components of the SMARTGrowth program when it was adopted in 1999 was whether local public schools had adequate school capacity to accommodate students; however, at no time did the SMARTGrowth program ever address school attendance zones since that issue legally is in the sole discretion of the school districts in the town.
Since the adoption of the SMARTGrowth program, all area public school districts have uniformly maintained that there is adequate school capacity for all planned or existing residential developments in the town.
Prior to adoption of SmartGowth in 1999, as well as thereafter, the LISD has periodically and uniformly review school attendance zones throughout the district, and indeed have made several alterations in Flower Mound. These reviews occur regardless of any policy action by the Town Council relative to the school component of the SMARTGrowth program.
Several years ago, a previous town council removed the state roadway component of the SmartGrowth program as it applied to service levels along highways. Since the construction and funding of state roadways do not fall under the jurisdiction of Flower Mound, it was determined that requirement could place the town in legal jeopardy in the event a development project was denied due to a lack of state funding for highway construction. Last year a similar discussion revolved around the “schools” portion of SmarthGrowth since every school in the had assured the town that there was adequate school capacity to serve all existing and new development, the town could face legal jeopardy if it denied a development project while at the same time the school districts were assuring the Town they would serve that development.
The town’s Planning and Zoning Commission recommend the deletion of the school component from SmartGrowth, although the council ultimately chose to only to amend the wording that section.
The school component actually furthers discussion and communication between the town of Flower Mound and LISD (as well as districts in the town) regarding education facilities - and without placing the town at undue legal risk.
Lastly, a few of our residents have inquired about a proposed Toll Brothers development along Flower Mound Road and what impact it would have on the school attendance zones. Toll Brothers has met with many members of the community about the proposed neighborhood of approximately 200 homes. Some residents have indicated that 1,600 new homes would be built, but Toll Bros. has only indicated to the town approximately 200 homes are under consideration. Further, at this time no Toll Brothers development is this area is scheduled to come before town Council and project is only in the discussion phases. This development has no impact on the current school attendance zones.
We understand too many of our residents this is an extremely important issue, and we are following it closely, visiting with board members and the LISD superintendent to express concerns raised by our residents since any final decisions do not involve the town of Flower Mound, but rather with officials of the LISD.
Please feel free to contact me if I can answer any further questions.
Mayor of Flower Mound