Highland Village Mayor Daniel Jaworski said in his six years on the City Council, two issues prompt residents to email him: garbage collection and speeding.
Exploring ways to combat excessive speed was discussed at length in a work session Tuesday evening.
Council discussed speed limits and received data on speeding occurring in town at the March 28 meeting. Council heard from Public Works Director Scott Kriston and Highland Village police Chief Doug Reim, both of whom presented data and answered questions. Kriston’s information centered on traffic counts and average speeds on certain streets, while Reim’s data focused on crashes. The city had 92 crashes in the last three years with 11 causing an injury. Based on data from Hillside and Lakeside drives, the vast majority of residents are not speeding and are on average driving at or under the limit on residential streets, Kriston said. The data from Lakeside and Hillside showed those streets intersecting with others.
Jaworski said if, hypothetically speaking, there is not a “general feeling” from council to lower speed limits, then police should consider stricter enforcement of existing limits to see whether that can alter behavior, even temporarily. He added city leaders have to listen to residents on the matter and that the council needs to have a “bit more serious conversation,” especially if residents are asking leaders to do something.
Council Member Tom Heslep said he thought some streets need to have lower speed limits and expressed frustration at one point that council keeps discussing the matter but no action occurs.
“We need to do something, and we’ve been talking about this since I’ve been on council,” he said, noting speed limits could be lowered across the city, they could be cut down in some areas, or tougher enforcement could be applied.
Council Member Jon Kixmiller later said there has been no movement on the matter because there is no consensus from residents on lowering speed limits, as he relied on the data and said there is also no consensus from council on what path to take. He said other safety measures could be taken and city officials could look at areas individually.
Also at the meeting, council, after a presentation and public hearing, voted 4-3 without prejudice to approve an application changing the zoning for land where a townhome development would be built.
Council’s vote, however, does not mean the measure passed as a supermajority vote of 6-1 or 7-0 was necessary because the application received a petition of opposition for the development that met the criteria in the city ordinance. The development application received a vote of 3-2 approval from the Highland Village Planning and Zoning Commission in February, and then the application was submitted to council. The developer can bring back the same application immediately or can make changes to the application. Voting for the zoning change were Kixmiller, Brian Fiorenza, Robert Fiester and Heslep, while Jaworski, Shawn Nelson and Mike Lombardo were opposed.
The city received an application from Dusty Broadway of Broadway Builders to change the zoning of a 3.96-plus acre tract of land located at 102 Barnett Blvd., which is presently zoned as SF-40, by enacting a planned development overlay district for attached single-family townhouses consisting of 39 lots. The planning and zoning commission denied the first application in August. The original application called for 60 townhomes at 1,789 square feet each, while the new application asked for 39 townhomes at 2,242 square feet.