Our very own Glen Farris has been darting in and out of meetings all month long. Apparently he’s taken up keeping tabs on city task forces and various associations as his newest hobby. After many excited conversations and meetings that shocked and surprised him – he sat down with me and we went over a few of the things that are blowing his mind about Denton these days.
1. A handful of folks are terrified of the recent progress that's been made in Denton. The phrase “We are just a handful of funerals away from being a really amazing city,” should be our new motto. Our motto for the past 20 years was, “That was grandfathered in."
2. The fund matching grant program is fascinating. Not only is it a really cool resource for making neat things happens in our city – but also in the process of grant proposals, we are seeing where our city needs to go, including improvements outside of the grant program like pedestrian-scaled lighting around the square. That’s a capital improvement and is already part of the Master Plan, but isn’t getting done yet.
3. A few new businesses opened – we welcome Authentic Life Yoga, Viet Bites, 7 Mile Coffee and Barefoot Apparel. A few more businesses will be here soon. See you soon Denton County Hamburger (new concept), Subway (yes, that Subway), Herrera’s, Rusty’s Tacos, Queenie’s, Smiling Moose Deli, DIME and Mulberry St. Cantina. Thankfully 7-11 is not opening any where near the square (that almost happened, y'all).
4. Dan’s is expanding! This is especially great news since we feel like some of our favorite shows sell out way too quickly and we can never get a table when we want one. Apparently word on the street is that Little Guy’s Movers is moving off of Industrial Street and over to McKinney. After they move, Dan’s is going to bust down a wall and expand into a good part of that space. Sounds like more room to get our groove on – which is always a good thing.
5. Some people claim that parking on the square has always been a problem. But no more! Or… hopefully not as much -– the city has done their homework and has proposed some awesome angled-back-in parking a la South Congress St. in Austin, TX up and down East Hickory Street which will make the bicyclists safer when coming down that hill. Plus, the new parking plan will provide for several more parking spaces.
6. Jim Engelbrecht, our city councilman for District 3 now has a challenger in the upcoming city council elections. Hello there, Brendan Carroll – how nice of you to run. This will make city elections super exciting – and will make every vote super important. Last year, Jim won by 19 votes. That’s it. Not even 20. So if you’re reading this and you live in District 3 – start researching your stuff and figure out whom you want to vote for – your voice really matters especially if over 19 of you are reading this.
7. Sometimes the red tape that is the City of Denton is crazy. Did you know that if you want to hang a sign on your building you have to either take a special class for it, or find a sign maker who has?
8. We’re actually really impressed with how the city is all ears for new ideas. We love living in a place that listens to its citizens, and listens well. We look forward to taking advantage of that and taking part in local activism.
Have you attended one of the Denton 2030 meetings or something else recently? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!