The Waxahachie Planning and Zoning Commission approved a zoning amendment request for the third phase of the Country Lane Seniors independent living development during its meeting Wednesday.

The third phase, on the corner of U.S. Highway 77 and Park Hills Drive, will add 80 independent living apartment units and an indoor swimming pool.

Bringing the item was developer Ken Mitchel, who told commissioners that architecture will match the two existing phases, which have a Victorian look.

In other business, the commission voted to continue a public hearing on an ordinance amendment relating to single family development, landscaping, accessory building and signs until the next meeting, March 23.

Parks board

At last week’s parks board meeting, director of parks and recreation John Smith gave a report on dog parks.

“Dog parks are growing in popularity. There has been a little bit of a grass roots movement coming through Waxahachie for a dog park,” he said. “I have gotten quite a few phones call and e-mails and even the planning director, Clyde Melick, has been contacted. I get lots of calls about youth sports and ‘What can my kids do for activities?’ That’s probably the question that outweighs anything. The next thing I get asked is, ‘Where can I walk my dog? Do you have a dog park? Where can I go leash-off with my dog?’

“Dog parks are very popular and I think that it would be well received in Waxahachie but it does have at a certain expense,” he said. “Right now, it would have to be totally funded by private donations because there are no city funds that are available. As far as I know we have never funded a park by private donations. This would be the first large item that was funded by private donations,” he said.

Smith provided the board with several examples with dog parks in the area, including Bark Park in Grand Prairie, which has two sections for large and small dogs. The parks are all unsupervised; there are no city employees or animal control officers stationed at them. 

The cost for one of these parks is from $200,000 to $300,000, depending on the amenities such as sidewalks and shade-covered benches, Smith said, noting those figures do not include the acquisition of land. Asked if it were possible to put a dog park into an existing park, he told the board yes.

Smith said he will approach the local large corporations, industries and businesses to inquire about sponsorship for the possible park and report back to the board.

Smith also said he is making progress on a signage project for the hike and bike trail that is being organized with an Eagle Scout candidate.

Smith also reported that all of the rule signs have been changed to reflect the new speed limit for bicycles, which has been decreased from 15 miles per hour to 10 miles per hour.

The board approved what will be offered for sale in the city tree planting program: crape myrtles (white and pink), live oak and Chinese pistachio at $200 each. For more information about the tree planting program, contact community relations manager Amy Hollywood at City Hall at 972-937-7330, ext. 284.

Contact Andrew at andrew.branca@wnienws.com  or 469-517-1458.