September 23, 2019 Newsletter
How About 331 More Apartments on Hwy 360 Near Debbie Lane?
I'm not kidding. That IS the big item on the agenda for Tuesday night. P&Z turned it down, greatly upsetting your city council, which voted 9-0 to allow a city council public hearing, now on Tuesday's agenda.
[Opposition Letters: https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/421247/PD19-4_Opposition.pdf] [Staff Report: https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/437276/PD19-4_Provident_at_Debbie_Staff_Report_CC.pdf]
Arlington is a city where citizens are relegated to being spectators rather than players. The SPECTATOR helps citizens know what is happening on the field. Only the few on the in-house team are allowed to play ball in Arlington. The SPECTATOR helps citizens understand the game.
September 23, 2019 – Volume 12 Number 36
Tuesday, September 24: City Council meetings, 101 W. Abram Street, 11:30am, 3:00pm, 6:30pm.
Wednesday, October 2: P&Z meeting, City Hall, 101 W. Abram Street, 5:30pm.
Thursday, October 3: AISD Board meeting, Administration Building, 1203 W. Pioneer Parkway, 7:00pm.
Tuesday, October 15: City Council meetings, 101 W. Abram Street, TBA.
Wednesday, October 16: P&Z meeting, City Hall, 101 W. Abram Street, 5:30pm.
Thursday, October 17: AISD Board meeting, Administration Building, 1203 W. Pioneer Parkwaky, 7:00pm.
The Arlington Spectator can now be found on Facebook.
From THE LOCKER ROOM
Arlington City Council Update
The Arlington City Council met this past Thursday, September 19, for a special meeting. Council member Shepard was absent.
It took less than 15 minutes for the council to put all the tax and fee increases in place. The Shorthorn's article noted the large increase in tax money for Via, but that did NOT have a fee increase. [http://www.theshorthorn.com/news/via-rideshare-receives-million-increase-after-city-council-approves-operating/article_0d346e24-db56-11e9-b27d-5fd17b678ac6.html]
The next regularly scheduled city council meeting will be this Tuesday, September 24.
There is only one committee meeting scheduled. It is at 11:30am. The schedule allots the council spending 15 minutes on the proposed Block Party Ordinance and 45 minutes on the Housing Tax Credit Policy/Process Review. [This probably has A LOT to do with the neighborhoods getting active and preventing two of their tax credit projects from gaining approval.]
The afternoon session begins in executive session at 1:00pm with two items on the executive session agenda. The first item is a lengthy legal discussion regarding the “Meet and Confer” statute. The second item, always to be feared, is the Offers of Incentives to Business Prospects.
The open portion of the afternoon session will begin no sooner than 3:00pm. This part of the agenda has one work session item (Globe Life Field/Home Plate Update) and six informal staff reports.
The first informal staff report is a “Meet and Confer” Briefing. [Staff Report: https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/437111/19.24.19_ISR_-_MEETandConfer.pdf Presentation: https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/437156/FinalCouncilWorkSessionMeet_and_ConferUpdate9.25.19.pdf]
The agenda for the 6:30pm evening meeting contains: three sets of minutes; 48 consent agenda items; three public hearings; and two ordinances (first reading).
Consent agenda item 8.28 is $17.5 million for a construction contract for Eden Road (US Hwy 287 to Calender Road).
Consent agenda item 8.31 is half a million dollars for a roof for city hall.
Consent agenda item 8.32 is to reject all the bids for the purchase of kitchen equipment for the club house at Texas Rangers Golf Club.
Consent agenda item 8.47 is a notice of intent to bid the city-owned surplus property at 2251 Randy Snow Road.
Consent agenda item 8.48 is for the city to nominate up to five people for TAD Board of Directors. Cities will then vote for nominated people later in the year.
Public Hearing #1 (see headline page 1) is for 331 more apartments at 8150 S. Watson Road (just south of Debbie Lane). Links to the staff report and opposition letters are on page 1. There is one letter of support from the broker representing the client.
When this went in front of P&Z, a motion to approve died for lack of a second. Unfortunately, there are some members of your city council who just love apartments....
Public Hearing #2 is to take a large parcel of land (RE, 2.15 acres) to allow for smaller parcels (RS-7.2) at 1102 Dan Gould Drive. P&Z had approved 7-0 on September 4.
Public Hearing #3 is new requirements in the UDC because of recent legislative actions.
Ordinance #1 and #2 are for a NEW Design Criteria Manual, and the changes within.
P&Z met this past Wednesday, September 18.
There was one zoning case public hearings for 1001 W. Mayfield Road (PD19-12). The applicant is asking for town homes on undeveloped land zoned industrial. It was continued from the last meeting because of issues with maps/drawings. There was one speaker and four other cards registered in opposition. It passed, 9-0.
The next meeting will be October 2, 5:30pm.
The AISD School Board’s next meeting will be Thursday, October 3, 7:00pm.
And yes, a bond for $966 million will be on the November ballot. [https://www.aisd.net/bond2019/].
Term Limit Lawsuit Continues
Based on a commentary from the Arlington Voice, the lawsuit that was filed by Bob Johnson [big-time buddy of Mayor Jeff Williams] is still ongoing and is now in Appeals Court. [the Arlington Voice commentary: https://arlingtonvoice.com/arlington/politics/2019/09/03/editorial-prolonged-term-limits-lawsuit-failure-mayoral-leadership].
Tarrant County College
Tarrant County College has approved a $825 million bond election to be on the November ballot. [Info, well kinda: https://www.tccd.edu/community/2019-bond-election/].
VIA by the Numbers
On December 11, the VIA pilot program began its second year. The City Council approved the second year of the pilot program [for $2.1 million] on December 4.
VIA's August 2019 Service Update to the city council shows that over 1/3 (37%) of the survey participants thought their experience was POOR or NEEDS IMPROVEMENT!!!
When the pilot began, the staff report stated it expected to reach I-20 within four to six months of the pilot’s initiation. That did not happen until September 20, more than nine months after the pilot began. The project has been a disaster and a major waste of taxpayers' dollars.
Even with its newly expanded area, it only covers about 30% of the city, meaning most of the taxpayers have to pay for VIA, but receive no benefit from it. All those taxpayers are subsidizing something that competes against the private sector Lyft and Uber services.
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