City of Coppell and Coppell ISD Move Forward with North Lake SettlementCoppell Independent School District and the Coppell City Council took necessary executive action this week bringing both parties one step closer to ending the controversy of the property known as North Lake or Cypress Waters. The settlement agreement addresses a negotiated cap on the number of dwellings on the entire 1,700 acre tract, not just the 350 acres initially involved in the dispute.
Coppell city council members approved an overall settlement and the dismissal of litigation in the case after an evening executive session held on October 2. The City will purchase a portion of the North Lake property it obtained in the settlement later this year.
On September 4, 2008, an agreement in principle announced among the City of Coppell, the Coppell Independent School District, Luminant Generation Company and Billingsley Company that will result in the resolution of all previous litigation and complete the development addressing the use of the Dallas-based land.
"This is an important step in moving the settlement forward for the benefit of our citizens," said Mayor Doug Stover. “The land the city acquires will be utilized for a number of important purposes including utility improvements and training facilities for our public safety agencies.”Under the agreement the City of Coppell, Coppell ISD and Billingsley will be the predominant landowners. Luminant will retain a power plant on the site and water rights for the lake for a period not to exceed ten years, after which the property will be transferred to the City of Coppell. Additionally, Luminant will retain certain rights to develop Barnett Shale reserves from the property.Coppell ISD Board of Trustees also approved a settlement agreement marking an end to four years of hard fought litigation for the Coppell school community. In keeping with the agreement, Superintendent, Dr. Jeff Turner, acting under the direction of the School Board, signed the official closing documents to acquire 82 acres (of the proposed 122 acres) in the southern sector of the property surrounding the lake and requested dismissal of all matters of pending litigation involving the district. The closing for the remaining 40 acres is set to follow on or before November 1, 2008.
The school district is discussing the need for a May 2009 bond election to pay for the balance on the property whose total price tag came in at $23,968,904 as follows:
82 acres @ $5.00 per SF $17,859,600 (includes the $9,000,000 set aside for North Lake land in the 2006 bond election)
20 acres @ $ .50 per SF 436,600
20 acres @ $1.92 per SF 1,672,704
Infrastructure Costs 4,000,000
Dr. Turner said, “Hard work and diligent hours on the part of many have helped us to successfully conclude this matter. We are satisfied with the outcome and I am confident that we have secured enough property to be able to maintain the high quality of education throughout the district. I am excited to now be able to spend more of our time focusing on kids and education.”