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Fannin County Commissioners Court approves zoning for resort village on Bois d'Arc Lake
By Allen Rich
Mar 10, 2023
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Fannin County, Texas --  All five members of Fannin County Commissioners Court were present for a regular meeting of Fannin County Commissioners Court held Tuesday, March 7, 2023. The meeting opened with an invocation by Fannin County Treasurer David Woodson, and pledges were led by Fannin County Judge Newt Cunningham.


In public forum, Sarah Richardson asked for the county to document an accurate record of active roads versus inactive/abandoned roads in Fannin County.


The Office of Fannin County District Clerk reported $22,014.27 collected in February 2023.


The Office of Justice of the Peace Pct. 1 reported $12,167.20 collected in February 2023.


The Office of Justice of the Peace Pct. 3 reported $4,602.00 collected in February 2023.


Fannin County Commissioners Court followed a recommendation of the Bois d'Arc Lake Zoning Commission by voting to approve the Belle Vie change in zoning application for Phase 1A and Phase 1B from A&R Agriculture and Ranching District to PD, Planned Development; 29.67 acres on FM 1396 in Precinct 3, Property ID#s 126987, 79950, and 79951 (green), subject to conditions discussed in public hearing.

This is an area the county had previously designated for commercial development.

Belle Vie on Bois d'Arc Lake is designed to be a resort village planned by CityBuilding Partnership and located on a peninsula jutting out from the south side of Bois d'Arc Lake. Property ID#s 126987, 79950, and 79951 are all on the east side of CR 1396 near where the county road ends at the lake.

Nathan Norris, founder and principal of CityBuilding Partnership, detailed his concept for a resort that will feature masonry construction. The multi-phase project will likely begin with an inn and Mr. Norris's vision includes a car-free setting in the village center, 60 single-family dwellings and 40 multi-family dwellings. The developer will be responsible for all roads in the resort and Norris agreed to partner with the county to improve peripheral roads, although the exact details have not been negotiated.

“As someone who works on a wide range of projects across the country, this lake has remarkable potential due to the fact it is currently undeveloped, it is in Texas, and it is easy to access.” Norris points out. “The specific project has tremendous potential because Fannin County wisely designated this peninsula as the place that would serve as an amenity for the entire lake (which it naturally wants to be); the land has long views of the lake looking west, east and north; the land has topography that makes it infinitely more interesting; there is a vast undersupply of charming villages on beautiful lakes; and the development team is humble and curious enough to learn from the best waterfront projects in the United States and beyond.”
Bois d’Arc Lake is also the first lake in Texas to be zoned before it was built, which provides a degree of protection for investors.
"We want you to succeed," Judge Cunningham told Norris. "We hope to work with you on additional tracts to develop on the peninsula."

Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to approve a resolution in support of the proposed Caddo Land Exchange between the United States Forest Service and Upper Trinity Regional Water District.

Some county residents were under the misconception that this was some sort of a "land grab," however this is actually a land swap that involves approximately 1,000 acres owned by Upper Trinity Regional Water District in exchange for approximately 1,000 acres owned by the Forest Service.

Doug Janeway with Upper Trinity Regional Water District explained that this swap would benefit both entities, as well as the public, because it would join together several scattered tracts of land owned by the Forest Service.

At the present time, some of the government land is a checkerboard and difficult for the Forest Service to administer.

A more contiguous framework should make it easier for the public to utilize Forest Service land.

"The Forest Service sees it as advantageous to both entities," stated Pct 1 Commissioner Edwina Lane.

"I don't see any reason to oppose the land swap," Judge Cunningham remarked. "I haven't heard anything that would make me oppose it."

Pct. 3 Commissioner Jerry Magness represents that area and has toured the acreage in question. No one opposing the swap has contacted him personally.

Any citizen can forward remarks to the Forest Service during the comment period.


Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to approve an Interlocal Agreement between Fannin County and South Central Planning and Development Commission (SCPDC) through the Capital Area Council of Government, its agent, for the SCPDC Software for development services; $260.42 per month, once the software is up and running, to come out of the Development Services Budget.


Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to reapprove a one-time severance of 2.667 acres from a 5.257-acre tract on South Shore Drive in Bonham; Property ID# 73400.


Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to renew lease for the 84" Sheeps Foot Roller from ASCO Rentals for one month at 5,500.00 per month.


Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to approve a two-year contract between Fannin County and Direct Energy Business, LLC d/b/a NRG for energy services for Fannin County facilities.


Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to renew the Affordable Care Act Reporting and Tracking Service (ARTS) program agreement and have the county judge sign on behalf of the county.


Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to renew the contract with OpenGov for Cartegraph’s Asset and Infrastructure Management Software for all county precincts beginning June 1, 2023 for 3 years; $18,342.72.

"This is the software all commissioners use to track road data," explained Fannin County Auditor Alicia Whipple.


Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to go out for bids for forensic services transportation.


Fannin County Commissioners Court approved Auditor Monthly reports for February 2023.

Ms. Whipple said this is the time of the year when revenue streams in and the county coffers are approximately $3 million in the black.

"Right now we are in pretty good shape," Whipple reported.


Fannin County Commissioners Court approved payment of bills.


The court discussed a Junkyard Ordinance that will address a business with 3 or more vehicles being used for parts.  

Commissioner Magness said he favors adopting an ordinance similar to the one Smith County has on the books.

The county is considering making illegal junkyards a Class C misdemeanor which would allow a constable to write a ticket. If the offender doesn't respond, an injunction will be filed, which can be costly.

Commissioners will vote on a draft of the Junkyard Ordinance developed by county judge and district attorney at the court's next regular meeting in two weeks.


Fannin County Commissioners Court discussed the language in the Subdivision Policy

When commissioners court votes to accept a subdivision, that does not mean the county must eventually accept responsibility to maintain the roads.

Developer can ask county to take over roads in a subdivision, but that decision is strictly at the discretion of commissioners court.


The court discussed courthouse repairs.

"I have talked to ICON," Judge Cunningham reported. "They are willing to come out and do a walk-through for free."

ICON will be at courthouse Friday.


A brief discussion was held regarding landfills in Fannin County. An ordinance is being developed.

"Much like the junkyard ordinance, the sooner we do it, the better," Judge Cunningham stated.


The court also briefly discussed the need to address long-term water needs, as well as the need to examine possible long-term resolutions to county road issues.