Located in Historic Downtown McKinney

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

P&Z Panel Rejects Adriatica's Dobrovnik

By KRYSTAL DE LOS SANTOS, McKinney Courier-Gazette

The McKinney Planning and Zoning Commission voted, 6-1, to approve most items within a zoning change requested by the developers of Adriatica.However, before approving the zoning request, commissioners removed an item that allowed the developers to anchor a boat permanently in the surrounding harbor to serve as a coffee and ice cream shop and vowed to “revisit” the developer's plans to screen a parking garage with irrigated planters.A group of Stonebridge residents raised concerns about the changes that allowed construction of a replica of the Galleon Dobrovnik in Adriatica, a development on Stonebridge Lake modeled after a European fishing village on the Island of Brac, Croatia.Also, the citizens had qualms about plans to modify the development standards for three tracts within the development: one for a small office building at the northeast corner of Stonebridge Drive and Mediterranean Drive, one for the harbor district and one for a veterinarian's office along Virginia Parkway, as well as several other standards that would apply to the overall development.Jerry Gantzer, a resident of the Waterbury subdivision, asked commissioners to table the requests.“I think most of us remain cautiously optimistic about Adriatica and the potential that it has. However, I think everything I have to say falls in the category of some unanswered questions about the proposed changes ... I don't think I have heard yet a satisfactory explanation for all of those,” he said. “I haven't heard any real justification for the increase in height, from what has been approved to this date to what they have been asking for.”The Planning and Zoning Commission approved the proposed height increase of a bell tower from 90 to 128 feet; for the planned hotel, from 50 feet to 56 feet and for two mixed-use retail buildings from 50 feet to 68 feet.“I think if you boil it down, the biggest issues are increasing the height. Having five-story buildings among other three- and four-story buildings. That's bigger than anything McKinney has in that area,” said Howard Hodges. “It creates an anomaly that people are concerned about.”Meredith Sillers addressed the Galleon Dobrovnik, and concerns she and other residents have with its long-term maintenance and the possibility that it could pollute Stonebridge Lake.“One of my main concerns is having a structure in the water. They're calling it a galleon, we're calling it a boat, but it's being zoned as a restaurant. Now I think having a restaurant designation, while they say it's a coffeehouse or an ice cream shop are planned, it could also in the future become any kind of restaurant the owner wants to see,” she said. “Then we have to look at the issue of waste, trash and grease runoff, all that stuff that's going to go into the lake and will affect the ecosystem of our lake.”Though Sillers said she, like many of her neighbors is “very impressed” with the development, “I, too, have some questions that need to be addressed to our satisfaction before it can go forward.”Though city planning staff supported the up to 90-foot structure because according to city documents, “it will help to create the character and feel of a Croatian fishing village,” planning and zoning commissioners removed it from their approval of the list of requests, citing questions about the maintenance of the ship.Planning and Zoning Commissioner Jim Staif voted against the motion, because he said he wanted the developer to adhere to a rule requiring a 10-foot landscaping buffer between the parking garage and other buildings. He also said that using planters in the design of a parking garage was structurally a “big no-no.”The 45-acre development will include shops, entertainment, a hotel, townhomes and lofts, a bell tower, a harbor and chapel.The $200 million investment is modeled after Supetar, a Croatian fishing village that is centered on a harbor. In addition to intricate carvings ornamenting the cobblestone buildings, art and sculptures have been imported from Europe for use in the development. A central fountain of a dove grasping an olive branch is being hand-carved on site. Steven Johnson, who spoke on behalf of developers The Blackard Group, said the company may ask council to disregard the recommendation of the planning and zoning commission, but “ultimately that would be Mr. (Jeff) Blackard's decision when he gets back from the Amazon.” He added that the company could be flexible on its requests “depending on what it is.”“Some things we can't tweak,” Johnson said

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"A group of Stonebridge residents raised concerns about the changes that allowed construction of a replica of the Galleon Dobrovnik in Adriatica"

As far as I know, there has never been a Croatian galleon named Dobrovnik. Another article posted by Steve Stoler of WFAA spelled it Dobrovnick.

There are Dubrovnik galleons. That's the name given to galleons made of the oak in the region of DUBROVNIK........ not Dobrovnick.

The Republic of Dubrovnik is derived from the Croatian word Dubrava, which means oak woods. Large oak trees surrounded Dubrovnik.

Dubrovnik emerged as a large shipbuilding state in around 1510-1550. Dubrovnik galleons were obviously made out of the fine oak in the area.

During the 16th century, when the Dubrovnik Republic was at its peak, its shipbuilding industry produced almost 200 ships for the seas of the worlds. Citizens of Dubrovnik had earned a reputation as very distinguished builders of great karaka and galleon ships. That’s why the name “Argosy” (derived from Ragusa, as Dubrovnik was formerly known) became a synonym for a great trading ship, likely referring specifically to a karaka ship. It is even mentioned by Shakespeare in his play “The Merchant of Venice”.

Being of Russian and Polish decent, I find many similarities to my slavik neighbors.

If you would like more information on DUBROVNIK, please visit: