ROWLETT LAKESHORE TIMES QUESTIONNAIRE

What is the most important issue facing the city and how would you address it?

Our most significant issue is making sure that the remaining open land in Rowlett is developed responsibly, and to the highest and best uses available.  These new developments will provide local jobs, increase tax revenues to the city, and improve our city's image. Our city will need to prepare Capital Improvement Plans to support these strategic improvements to benefit all residents of the city. We have to make sure we get this right, as the city's undeveloped land is now less than 25% of the available land within city limits. We absolutely need to make the most of our lakefront, as this is a unique asset for Rowlett. This includes getting it right on Bayside, the Northshore and along Lakeview/SH66.

 

This is why I’m running for office. I am an engineer and businessman, not a politician. Please visit www.frisbieforrowlett.com for more information on key issues for Rowlett. 

What are your thoughts on multifamily developments in Rowlett?

As a candidate for Rowlett City Council I support a diverse selection of housing in our community.  This includes a broad range of housing choices for our residents ranging from affordable housing for working class families, to luxury homes in specific neighborhoods. Of greater concern is the development of apartments in neighborhoods where this type of development is not the best or highest use.

For example, the construction of apartments at Bayside seems like a wasted opportunity to have brought in mixed use or Transit Oriented Development which could have generated significant additional tax revenues for the city, improved the visibility of this prime real estate tract, and made the lakefront more accessible to the local residents.

Once constructed, if apartments are not well managed, our community will be faced with lowered property values and higher crime rates, which will be a burden to our community. Our City leaders and City staff need to make sure we stay true to the Comprehensive Land Use Plan, our planning and zoning ordinances, and the construction codes in order to make certain that when any development comes in, that it is planned, designed, constructed and managed in the proper manner.

The bottom line is that I am not opposed to apartments as such, but feel that we need to make sure that they are constructed in the proper locations, that they are well maintained and properly managed through their lifetime.

Now that the city has reached an agreement with Bayside, what sort of features would you like to see happen for this property?

Bayside is undoubtedly our City’s most high profile development project so far. It is meant to be a gamechanger for our community, so it is extremely unfortunate that the original landowners and developer did not deliver on their promises to build a world class facility.

I feel that they have taken advantage of our city by placing high density apartments with mediocre architectural designs that do not showcase our precious lakefront, and tiny homes on tiny lots on the north side of IH30, without delivering any of the mixed-use development that was originally envisioned.

 

Furthermore, developers completely ignored the potential to use transit oriented development for the future extension of the DART line from downtown to Dalrock.  If you Google transit oriented development, and compare the images you see with the original vision for Bayside, you can quickly understand what an incredibly good fit this can be. 

 

The buyback of the property south of IH30 has cost our community four precious years, and an additional $23 million in cost of the land.  Hopefully, we can now focus our energy on getting back on track with a new development partner that will stay true to the original vision and intent for this project.

 

I have always been a supporter of the original vision, and although it can be expected that modifications and variances to the plan are to be anticipated, we must stay focused on delivering a state of the art, world class facility on this unique property.

This includes the construction of the Crystal Lagoon, the show fountain and trolley, the new marina, and the lakefront trails, as well as the 1.75 M square feet of commercial space which will include a 500 room resort and new conference center. If we only get these amenities, we will have hit a grand slam for our community. Can we do more? Sure.   Let’s encourage the planners and developers to be creative and let’s see what else they can come up with.

 

We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to construct such a fine project within our city, and feel that having a businessman and engineer on council with extensive experience in planning, design and construction of multiple types of developments will be an asset to our city.

What advantages or experiences do you feel you bring to the table?

The strongest asset that I bring to the citizens of Rowlett as a candidate for city council is my experience as a successful businessman and engineer.

In the course of over thirty years of my career as an engineer, I have been involved with assignments ranging from multi-million dollar projects such as the Superconducting Supercollider, the reconstruction and upgrading of freeways such as IH35E and IH30, the extensions of the DART Red Line and Blue Line, numerous private development projects, and even a few custom homes along the way.

 

These projects have improved the quality of life for the communities in which they were constructed.  The commercial, industrial and retain projects that I’ve worked on have led to new employment opportunities in those communities, and have produced significant new sources of tax revenues for these cities.

 

The experience gained as a result of the planning, design and construction of these projects uniquely qualifies me as a candidate for the Rowlett City Council at this time, because it is critical that all new development in our city is maximized. 

 

Our city’s tax base is currently 80% residential and this leaves our city very vulnerable economically.  Currently less than 25% of the land within the city limits is undeveloped, and much of that is envisioned to be developed as commercial, retail or light industrial. 

Rowlett needs well qualified leaders in key positions to handle the challenges and opportunities that are sure to come our way very soon.  The timing could not be better for having an individual with the skills set that I bring serving you on our City Council.

 

Please visit our campaign’s website at www.frisbieforrowlett.com  or visit our YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-ZGEx85wFEWH6Ql2tkxkdg  to get a better perspective on my background, as well as my positions on key issues.

What do you feel Rowlett can use more of and less of?

Our city would certainly be well served if we significantly improve the infrastructure of our city. This includes the improvements to key roadways such as Miller Road, Dalrock, Chiesa, Liberty Grove, Castle Drive and the PGBT’s frontage roads among many others.

 

Of these, the replacement of the Miller Road bridge over Lake Ray Hubbard is critical. Our city is already positioned to widen Miller on both sides of this bridge, but since the lake and the bridge technically belong to Dallas, we are put in a difficult position.  This is why we need to leverage our relationships with Dallas County and the North Central Texas Council of Governments in order to get the necessary funding to replace this obsolete and unsafe bridge over the lake.

 

Similarly we need to continue to work with TxDOT to maximize the benefits of the new bridges over IH30 at Lake Ray Hubbard, as well as improvements to key intersections across Rowlett.

Everybody in town knows how bad traffic gets when there is an accident on IH30, and how long the wait at the traffic lights on Miller or Lakeview can be during rush hour.

 

We could also use more hike and bike trails to join our lakefront parks.  It is ironic that about 2/3rds of our city limit is lakefront, yet our public access to the lake is so limited. I would certainly entertain revisiting our master plan for these and other recreational facilities in an effort to improve our quality of life, encourage outdoor activities, promote environmental consciousness and improve the image of our city.

 

We could use a new municipal center to replace the numerous obsolete or outdated collection of buildings we have scattered across the city. It seems prudent to consolidate these functions into one new City Hall facility, where citizens can deal with city officials more effectively. I understand that our city is looking seriously into this idea, so it will be important to carefully review the evaluations and recommendations that will be forthcoming. We also need to carefully evaluate how we will be paying for this project.

 

We could certainly use less liquor stores across town, but this will need to be taken care of by the market economy. I believe that the City can only do so much in this regard.