What People Are Talking About
In today's digital age, information can spread like wildfire and is sometimes missing all of the details or context. The City of North Richland Hills will use this webpage to provide more details on comments and questions we are frequently hearing, so you can stay in the know with reliable and accurate information. We appreciate your interest, involvement and feedback on topics affecting our community and encourage you to contact us with any questions.
Comment: Property tax bills keep going up.
To help offset rising property values, the NRH City Council has lowered the city's property tax rate in recent years. Overall, the city's property tax rate has dropped 12 cents since 2016. In addition in 2022, the City Council increased the homestead exemption from 15% to 20%, which is the maximum allowed by state law. As a result, residents who have a homestead exemption saw the city portion of their property tax bill decrease in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, the city tax bill for a $300,000 home was $1,459. The city tax bill for that home was reduced by $12 in 2022 and by another $26 in 2023. (Calculations assume a 10% increase in property value each year.) You can review your annual property tax payment history on the Tarrant County Tax Office website.
Comment: Senior citizens on a fixed income are being taxed out of their homes.
Homeowners 65 or older benefit from a senior exemption and their city property tax bill is frozen. This means their city tax bill is reduced when they turn 65 and will not increase in future years, even if their property value increases. A senior exemption was first enacted by the City Council in 1973 and it was set at the current level in 2002. The senior tax freeze has been in place since 2004. Around 28% of NRH homeowners benefit from the senior exemption and tax freeze. Visit our Senior Exemption webpage to learn more.
Comment: Funding for park projects should be spent on other priorities.
Park maintenance and improvement projects are funded by a half-cent sales tax that was put in place by voters in 1992 to fund North Richland Hills parks and recreation facilities. By law these funds, cannot be shifted to other priorities. They can only be used for the construction of parks and recreation facilities or the maintenance of parks and recreation facilities. Cutting park projects from the budget would not reduce property taxes as these projects are not funded with property tax revenue.
Comment: Funding for NRH2O should be spent on other priorities.
NRH2O is a fully self-supporting operation. All of it’s expenses are paid from revenues generated from admissions, private party rentals, gift shop sales, reserved seating rentals, etc. Since opening in 1995, NRH2O has contributed $5.6 million to the city's General Fund. Additionally, the park has generated $1.3 million in state sales tax and $400,000 in local sales tax. NRH2O has an annual payroll of over $2,000,000 which then recirculates to other local businesses. NRH2O regularly brings in around 200,000 visitors annually, many of which live outside of NRH and spend money at other businesses during their visits. In 2020, reserves from the General Fund were used to offset expenses that occurred, as the water park was only open for about 10 days before being shut down due to the pandemic.
Chicken & Coffee
Comment: There are only chicken and coffee shops in NRH.
North Richland Hills is home to over 30 full-service, sit-down restaurants that feature a wide variety of food types, along with numerous fast casual and drive-thru establishments. For a current list of restaurants in NRH, see our dining guide. The city's Economic Development staff reaches out to desirable restaurants often to make them aware of available properties and encourage them to come to NRH; however, it's up to the business owner to decide where to locate. You can help by letting your favorite restaurants know they are wanted in our community! If they are looking to expand, vocal public support for an NRH location could help sway their decision. Commercial site selection is a very detailed process. Companies look at roadway traffic counts, residential density, new construction activity, local spending habits, and locations of similar businesses, among other factors. Visit the NRH Economic Development's website to learn more about the site selection process.
Comment: Apartments are being built all over NRH.
There are currently over 28,000 residential units in the city. Roughly 20,000, or 71%, are single-family homes. The remaining 8,000 units are multifamily. North Richland Hills is located in the 4th largest metropolitan area in the country, and population growth is driving the demand for more housing across North Texas. To balance the free market demand for diverse housing options, while still maintaining NRH’s single-family roots, the city's Vision2030 Strategic Plan recommended zoning that could include some new apartments and townhomes be limited to a few areas of the community:
- Smithfield area surrounding Main Street and the Smithfield TEXRail Station (Zoned TOD in 2009);
- Iron Horse Boulevard area near NE Loop 820 and the Iron Horse TEXRail Station (Zoned TOD in 2013);
- former North Hills Mall site at Boulevard 26 and Northeast Loop 820, now called City Point;
- HomeTown (which is nearing completion).
On the Vision2030 Land Use Plan, these areas are called Urban Villages. They are meant to respond to market demands for a mix of housing choices and commercial, act as a tool for redevelopment and revitalization of our community, and facilitate walkable mixed use neighborhood options. As of December 2023, new single-family housing in these Urban Village areas range between the high $300s and the low $500s. Rents of the newer multifamily units that feature a number of resident amenities are also pushing close to the $2 per square foot mark.
Comment: That property should be left as a nature preserve.
While the preservation of green space is desirable in any community, it is important to keep in mind that most vacant land is privately owned and Texas is a property rights state. This means every property owner has a right to build on their land. Cities do not have unlimited funds to buy up vacant land. Cities do help direct the development of vacant land through zoning regulations which determine where different types of development (commercial, residential, industrial, etc.) can be located.
The Vision 2030 Strategic Plan identifies 1,069 acres of developed and undeveloped open space and flood plain areas where future development is prohibited in North Richland Hills. This equates to 9% of the city’s land area. The most recent population estimate for North Richland Hills is 72,587, which yields 14.7 acres of open space per 1,000 residents. The national average is 9.5 acres of open space per 1,000 residents, according to the Trust for Public Land’s 2017 City Park Facts.
P&Z and City Council
Comment: The people who serve on the Planning & Zoning Commission and City Council are mostly developers.
Members of both the Planning & Zoning Commission and City Council hold a variety of professions. At the present time, the Planning & Zoning Commission includes one police officer, one retired teacher, one non-profit fundraiser, one civil engineer/developer, one city planner, one who works in restaurant operations/logistics, one sales consultant, and one who works in food industry finance. On the City Council, there is currently one retired from the Texas Attorney General’s Office, one retired from Birdville ISD, two who work in finance/banking, one is an accountant with a telehealth company, one owns a delivery company and is also involved in some developments north of the DFW Metroplex, one is in the foundation repair business, and one who owns a highway construction business.
Comment: The south side of NRH is being ignored.
While North Richland Hills has grown north with many new neighborhoods and commercial areas over the years, we continue to invest in the city’s original areas to ensure they stay well-maintained and vibrant.
• New City Hall / Redevelopment of Old Mall Property - Our new City Hall located on the former North Hills Mall site is one of our most visible investments in the older part of NRH. The mall closed in 2004 and the buildings were demolished in 2007. In 2011, a citizen task force identified the need for new city facilities and recommended locating them on the former mall site to help spur redevelopment. In 2012, NRH voters approved the construction of the new City Hall, which opened in 2016 on a portion of the old mall property. The remaining land is privately owned and is now being redeveloped by Centurian Development as City Point, with a mix of uses including residential, retail, restaurant, and hospitality. The City Point development is having a positive impact on other properties in the area, spurring them to make updates as well - such as the recent revitalization of the old Laser Quest building by Warespace.
• Street Reconstruction - Our voter approved, $49 million Street Bond Program that is currently underway includes the reconstruction of several streets inside Loop 820 - - North Hills Drive (completed), Diamond Loch West Courts (completed), Dawn Drive (completed), Lariat Trail (under construction), Glenview Drive (under construction), Harmonson Road (upcoming), Lake Side Circle (upcoming) and Ruth Road (upcoming). Also, several streets south of Mid-Cities Boulevard and north of Loop 820 are also included -- Nor'East Drive (completed), Meadow Oak Drive (completed), Pearl Street (completed), Bedford-Euless Road (under construction), Iron Horse Boulevard (under construction), Wood View Drive (upcoming), Sierra Drive (upcoming) and North Richland Boulevard (upcoming). The city will begin planning for the next bond election later this year.
• Intersection / Median Improvements - In recent years, the City invested in intersection improvements on Boulevard 26 at Glenview/Blaney including new traffic poles, crosswalks, ADA ramps and enhanced landscaping within the rights of way. State grant funds helped provide new landscaping and irrigation to medians and parkways on Boulevard 26 at 820. We also made improvements to the intersection of Boulevard 26 and City Point Drive. Additionally, aerial utility lines were buried on Boulevard 26 between Glenview and Parchman.
• Economic Development - Our focus on economic development has attracted many new businesses to this part of town in recent years including Babe’s, Sweetie Pie’s, Floor & Décor, Winco, Platinum Music Complex, Painted Tree, Gritr Sports, Seconds & Surplus, Chipotle, Black Rifle Coffee, Mod Pizza, Raising Cane’s, Patriotic Pig, ILT Charter School, Sushi Axiom, Japan House, King Crab House, Boulevard Cafe and the soon-to-open Volli Entertainment. Soon, we will see more new businesses and a Homewood Suites by Hilton hotel on the former mall property near our new City Hall. Our Business Improvement and Growth program has helped other businesses update their facades and landscaping.
• Parks & Trails - While park development was not a priority in the city’s early development, we have been able to add the JoAnn Johnson Trail and Randy Moressi Trail inside Loop 820. We also partnered with BISD to add Clyde Zellars Park and Kay Granger Park on school-owned property. In 2021 we completed significant updates to Linda Spurlock Park and added Mountain Bike Trails to Fossil Creek Park.
• Community Events – To help create a sense of community, the city hosts special events at different locations throughout the year. The Sounds of Spring Concert Series, Autumn Sounds Concerts, Family 4th Fireworks Show and Veterans Day Celebration all take place in the older part of town and are among our most well-attended events each year.
• Homes – Since 2004, numerous older residential properties are improved each year through our Neighborhood Initiative Program. A partnership with community volunteers, this program helps seniors, disabled residents, single parents and military veterans with needed property upkeep. A Neighborhood Revitalization Program also focused on renovating single-family, owner-occupied homes inside Loop 820. This unique program provided a 20% grant of up to $10,000 for the completion of well-designed home renovations in the targeted area. The program was offered from 2015 through 2020 with 27 property owners participating. The city provided a total of $269,740 in grants, with the improvements resulting in over $2.5 million in increased property value within the target area.
• Schools - BISD is also investing in its infrastructure in this area of NRH. A new North Richland Middle School was built in 2017 and a new Mullendore Elementary is currently under construction.
Comment: The Police Department is understaffed.
On February 12, 2024, Police Chief Mike Young provided an update to the City Council on police officer recruiting and staffing levels. He said three positions were recently filled and six candidates have accepted conditional offers and will begin in March or April, provided they pass background checks and other requirements. The department is also working to fill four new grant-funded positions. When those are filled, the department's 121 sworn positions will be fully staffed.
Question: I've been seeing more homeless people. What's being done to help them?
The City is actively making contact with homeless people in our community to provide them with information and resources. We are working in partnership with the Hands of Hope organization. We also work to quickly remove homeless campsites in NRH. If you have specific concerns, please reach out to Stefanie Martinez, Neighborhood Services Director, at 817-427-6655 or email email@example.com for more information.
Comment: NRH needs more parks.
According to the Trust for Public Land, 88% of North Richland Hills residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park. By comparison, in the 100 most populus U.S. cities, 74% live within a 10-minute walk of a park on average. When looking at all urban cities and towns in U.S., 55% are within a 10-minute walk of a park on average. About 9% of the city’s land area, or 1,069 acres, is dedicated open green space. This equates to 14.7 acres of open space per 1,000 residents. The national average is 9.5 acres of open space per 1,000 residents. Visit our Parks & Trails webpage to find a park near you.
Comment: There aren't enough community events.
Numerous family-friendly events are offered throughout the year such as our annual Daddy Daughter Dance, Popup Easter Egg Hunts, Sounds of Spring Concerts, Fall Concert Series, Family 4th Fireworks Show, Summer Reading Club, Behind the Book author talks, National Night Out, Fire Department Open House, Veterans Day Celebration, Christmas Tree Lighting, gardening seminars and more. Events are advertised through our website calendar, social media and newsletters. You can stay notified about upcoming events by visiting www.nrhtx.com/notify to sign up for calendar notifications, e-newsletters and more.
Comment: NRH Code Compliance is ineffective.
84% of code compliance issues are resolved through voluntary compliance. Neighborhood Services continues to focus on educating residents to gain voluntary compliance and to reduce the possibility of repeat offenders, while also escalating enforcement action to the new Code Compliance Court or Substandard Building Board when owners refuse to comply. The new Compliance Court began hearings in July 2023. This civil court will assist in achieving compliance in a more efficient manner with the most egregious property maintenance violations. The court has the authority to issue a court order to the property owner to come into compliance and also gives the City the right to remedy the violation if the property owner does not.
Comment: Animal Services is never available.
The animal shelter is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from Noon to 6 p.m. If you have found a stray animal in North Richland Hills and are unable to locate its owner, you can drop it off anytime during those hours. Drop-offs can also be made on Mondays by appointment. After animal shelter hours, please call the shelter and leave a message. Animal Services staff checks messages daily, even when the shelter is not open, and will return your call as soon as they are able. If you are unable to transport an animal to the shelter, please call and Animal Services staff can arrange to pick the animal up from you. Also, if you have found a pet after hours, local vet clinics will do a free microchip scan to help you try to find the owner.