Q&A: Jim Engel is running for Flower Mound Town Council Place 4

Jim Engel is running for Flower Mound Town Council.

Jim Engel is running for Flower Mound Town Council.

Image description
Jim Engel
Jim Engel is running for Flower Mound Town Council Place 4.

He will run against Tony O. Lawrence and incumbent Don McDaniel in the citywide election May 5.

Community Impact Newspaper sent Engel a series of questions on his candidacy. His written responses, edited for publication style, are below.

1. What do you think is the biggest issue facing Flower Mound?

Managing growth is the largest issue.

2. What are your plans to fix this issue?

With our location in the Metroplex and the growth of the region, it is inevitable that Flower Mound will grow. The challenge is to manage that growth to ensure that we can handle it with the town's infrastructure and not significantly nor negatively impact the quality of life for the current residents. We need to maintain our high standards and quality that make Flower Mound a unique and desirable community. We need more businesses located in our town to generate both sales and property tax, which will help balance town tax revenues and create jobs. Developers will have many proposals for new development. We have limited space remaining in some areas such as our Lakeside Business District. We need to sort through those proposals and only approve those that bring true value to the residents, not just any new multifamily development

3.  If elected, what will be your top priorities?

Several years ago to facilitate growth and mixed-use development in the Lakeside Business District, the Town Council passed an ordinance that allowed 'limited residential' in the area without any definitions or parameters of what that meant. That change permits a proposed mixed-use project to bypass the need to pass a master plan amendment's supermajority vote when changing from campus commercial within the Lakeside area. Recently a development was approved on a simple 3-2 majority vote that brought in 577 apartments, a budget hotel and potentially two small footprint office buildings. The apartments, which covered 75-plus percent of the land parcel, were the only aspects that were guaranteed to be built. An important action would be [to] gain consensus among the council to define what constitutes 'limited residential'  and have those parameters approved and documented. In a related action, since most town residents are against the growth of apartments in the town, would be to pass a requirement that any new apartment developments with Flower Mound must pass a supermajority vote.

A second action would be to ensure that we are assessing and collecting the proper fees from developers, especially park fees. Two years ago the town created a new parks master plan after receiving feedback from thousands of residents. The total plan had a price tag of roughly $20 million to fully implement it over the next several years and $100-plus million long-term. A recent development received a waiver of more than $7.5 million in park fees, that money that could have gone to new parks projects identified in the parks master plan, such as expansion of the trail system, pocket parks and a tennis center [that] will now have to come from taxpayers. We need to ensure that fees are accurately assessed and collected.

As a third action would be to work with the town manager and economic development staff to determine what it would take to make the Lakeside Business District a viable contender for new office development. We already have a fantastic location but need to ensure that the town has the tools and resources to compete with other communities when vying for corporate relocations and the resulting new office construction. This new commercial development will bring professional jobs to the community and help better balance our tax revenues.

4. Where do you see Flower Mound in the next five years?

I believe that Flower Mound will still be experiencing growth but it will be in the western area of town along 377 as Roanoke grows north and Argyle comes south. The eastern portion will be totally built out, and we will be experiencing even more traffic issues [as] developments that have been approved come on line and we have more residents. My hope is that the Lakeside Business District has a number of high-quality corporate offices, and it does not turn into a sea of multifamily housing that is currently being proposed.

5.  As Flower Mound grows how do you plan to address traffic? Affordable housing?

There are some things that we can do to improve traffic such as better synchronization of traffic lights during key traffic periods, but it also requires interaction with other governmental bodies such as the state, Denton and Tarrant counties, and NCTCOG. We need to improve the access points of both 2499 and Lakeside Parkway to Highway 121 and rework the I-635, Hwy. 114 East and DFW Airport access to improve flow. I would also push to expand the Grapevine Mills bypass to a third lane in conjunction with the reworked 635/121/114/DFW access roads. There are also other options that have been discussed, such as extending Garden Ridge.

As far as affordable housing, there is not a lot that the town itself can do. Population growth in the DFW area continues to push demand for housing, and consequently if there is high demand, prices will continue to rise. Our high prices are driven by land costs due to our prime location. It is a free-market economy, and landowners are entitled to sell their land. Homebuilders will not bother to build a subdivision unless they can meet their required ROI thresholds, and we cannot dictate what level of profit that should achieve. Unfortunately, there is no answer to curtail housing price escalation.



Artio Birth Care opened in October at 614 S. Edmonds Lane, Ste. 205, Lewisville. The education center offers classes and groups for people preparing for childbirth. (Courtesy Artio Birth Care)
Artio Birth Care opens in Lewisville, plus 7 more DFW business updates

Here are eight recent business updates from across the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

In Denton County, the number of beds occupied by confirmed COVID-19 patients has been rising sharply since October. (Community Impact staff)
Tracking COVID-19: Where Denton County hospitalizations stand after Thanksgiving holiday

Hospitalizations in Denton County have climbed above a state threshold that, if sustained for a few more days, could trigger new restrictions on local businesses.

Artio Birth Care is now open and offering childbirth classes in Lewisville. (Courtesy Artio Birth Care)
Artio Birth Care now offering childbirth classes in Lewisville

The education center offers a series of classes and groups for people preparing for childbirth.

D'Ambrosio's #1 Pizza Pub will offer customers a friendly environment to enjoy a more contemporary style of Chicago deep-dish pizza. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
D'Ambrosio's pizzeria opens in Grapevine and more DFW news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan for the state Nov. 23 for a vaccine he said could be available as soon as December. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan

The vaccine could start being distributed "as early as next month," according to a Nov. 23 news release.

Flower Mound's economic development director is leaving the town staff for an opportunity in nearby Bedford. (Photo by Anna Herod/Community Impact Newspaper)
Flower Mound economic development director accepts new job with city of Bedford

Flower Mound’s Andrea Roy is moving on from the town staff after accepting a job in a nearby city.

Laura Colangelo
Q&A: Laura Colangelo discusses challenges facing private schools during pandemic

Colangelo said private schools have adapted to remote learning and other obstacles in 2020 despite less revenue and a 9% decline in enrollment statewide.

texas health breeze urgent care concierge desk
New urgent care center in McKinney, plus four more DFW-area business updates

Here are five businesses that opened recently in the Greater Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Schools now have the power to temporarily suspend on-campus instruction if “a significant number of the instructional staff at the campus is impacted due to a confirmed COVID-19 outbreak." (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Education Agency authorizes schools to close doors for 14 days due to coronavirus-related staffing concerns

Campuses can now instate a hybrid or fully remote instruction model for up to 14 days if adequate instructional staffing is not possible due to high numbers of COVID-19 cases among employees.

Lewisville ISD's superintendent has asked the state to cancel the December STAAR exams, citing the difficulty of safely administering the tests. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
'A serious risk': Citing health, Lewisville ISD superintendent asks state to cancel December STAAR tests

Lewisville ISD’s top administrator asked the state to cancel end-of-course examinations next month, arguing the district may struggle to ensure the safety of students and staff on campus.

Dozens of sites in North Texas are offering COVID-19 testing. (Community Impact staff)
Free COVID-19 testing available ahead of holiday gatherings

As the holiday season approaches, health officials are warning social gatherings could increase the spread of COVID-19.

Over 60 elected representatives in Texas have written the Texas Education Agency to request the state cancel STAAR testing for the 2020-21 school year. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas state representatives call for cancellation of STAAR test administration for 2020-21 school year

Over 60 state representatives have requested that the Texas Education Agency cancel the STAAR test for the 2020-21 school year.