The subject property – commonly known as the Dowell Property – is a roughly 55-acre tract generally located .6-mile east of Highway 5 and approximately .25-mile south of Harry McKillop Boulevard on Couch Drive. To the west of the property is the site of the city’s prior landfill. The southern portion of the property is bounded by Wilson Creek.
The property is undeveloped and is currently used for grazing livestock.
Does the city have any current plans for improving the property?
The city acquired the property in 2008. No physical improvements have been made to the land.
The 2017 Parks Master Plan identifies this general area as a potential location for a future park, although at this time the city has not prepared any conceptual plans or identified timelines or funding sources to deliver any improvements to the property.
The city’s primary intent for this property is to provide for an expansion of the citywide hike and bike trail system which includes linking Lake Lavon to U.S. Highway 380 along the Wilson Creek corridor. Should this land be offered to third-party purchasers, any development plan will include a hike and bike trail across the southern portions of the property to maintain the goal of expanding and connecting the overall trail system.
Why was this property selected?
City Council selected this property for these reasons:
The property is currently undeveloped and there are no plans for improving the land.
The location of the property next to the city’s prior landfill site limits its potential development opportunities as a public park.
A hike and bike trail will still be built across the property if it is developed for private use, which meets the original intent for acquiring the land.
There exists strong interest in this sector of the city for private development that will return this parkland to the tax rolls.
Under Texas law, proceeds from the sale of the property shall be used exclusively for parkland acquisition or the improvement of the city’s parks system, thereby supporting ongoing efforts to improve existing park features and acquire more desirable land.
What is the process?
A proposition will appear on the November Election Ballot that will ask “Yes” or “No” to the qualified voters for a grant of authority to the city to sell the property.