I write today to commend those on City Council who were bold in choosing to defer, as opposed to deny, the recent actions regarding the southern entry into Coppell. Council member Karen Hunt (who led the effort), along with Tim Brancheau, Marvin Franklin and Brianna Hinojosa-Flores are heartily thanked for their efforts, as are the citizens of Coppell who showed up to voice their opinions.
As much as all of us would love to see a grand entrance into Coppell, bracketed by all the "right" types of amenities, we long ago proved that those who wait do not get any of the above. The retail amenities that Coppell should have now all belong to our neighbors. Bookstores? Get in the car and go to Irving, Lewisville or Southlake. Specialty retail – same story. A diverse breadth of restaurants? Not here, in my opinion.
It is time to make a reasonable decision about the subject tract of land and realize that no matter our efforts and wishes, others control the image opportunity as much as the City. Immediately north and adjacent to this tract is land belonging to Billingsley. While I expect that they, too, want to put a signature image on their development, Coppell has absolutely no control over that piece of dirt, and the City of Dallas long ago proved that they don't care about what those of us in Coppell might think. Likewise, the land immediately east and south is in Irving, and is already either developed or amidst final planning. Again, we have no control.
Interestingly, I don't even think that many who travel either along Belt Line or 635/LBJ even know where Coppell begins and ends, so the implication that by allowing a high-end fuel station to be sited as proposed we somehow diminish the branding opportunity to differentiate Coppell from its adjacent neighbors seems a folly to me. The exit signs from 635 do not denote Coppell as a possibility when taking one of those exits. As a sidebar, we should have some signage on 635/LBJ noting that Coppell can be reached by many exits, but for some reason we sit in obscurity for lack of same.
Finally, from a practical perspective, we need this facility in Coppell. We see far too many of our own expenditures take place outside our limits, simply because the services are not yet provided here. In doing so we see our potential tax revenues diminished, and our level of city services adversely impacted.
Let's make a decision based on reality, and not stand back and hope as we have done so many times in the past.