June 24, 2019 Newsletter
First Ever RMU Zoning to Have First Reading on Tuesday, June 25
The city's first ever RMU zoning case will go before the council on Tuesday at a public hearing. RMU, Region Mixed Use, does NOT require a development plan to be approved, but only has to meet the requirements of RMU zoning.
RMU zoning allows for apartments at 100 units/acre.
The council has already been burned by not requiring development plans. Why would any responsible council person, who honestly cares of the community, allow for zoning that could put up to 100 units/acre without requiring approval of the development plan?
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.
June 24, 2019 – Volume 12 Number 25
Tuesday, June 25: City Council Meetings, Arlington City Hall, 101 W. Abram Street, 9:30am, 2:00pm, 6:30pm.
Tuesday, June 25: AISD Board Meeting, 1203 W. Pioneer Parkway, 7:00pm.
Thursday, June 27: AISD Board Meeting, 1203 W. Pioneer Parkway, 7:00pm.
Thursday, July 4: Independence Day
Wednesday, July 10: P&Z Meeting, 101 W Abram St, 5:30pm.
From THE LOCKER ROOM
Arlington City Council Update
The Arlington City Council met on this past Monday, June 17, to canvas the runoff election for District 5. Only Council Members Moise, Wolff, Shepard, Farrar-Myers, and Odom-Wesley were present.
They will meet this Tuesday, June 25, for regular meetings. There is one committee meeting at 9:30am. The afternoon session begins at 1:00pm in executive session. The open portion will start no sooner than 2:00pm. The evening meeting is at 6:30pm.
There is one committee meeting at 9:30am. There are two topics on the agenda, each estimated to last for 30 minutes: a) Housing Needs Assessment and Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Study, and b) 10-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness.
The afternoon session opens in executive session at 1:00pm. There are six items on the agenda.
The open portion of the afternoon session will begin no earlier than 2:00pm. The agenda has five work session items and six informal staff reports.
Work Session Items:
1) Texas Rangers Globe Life Field Update [https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/384717/Home_Plate_Update_June_2019.pdf];
2) FY2020 Budget Preview [https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/384503/CFF_Report__FY_2020.pdf];
3) Update on Police Investigative Technology
4) Kee Branch Tributary 4 Erosion Project [https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/384755/Kee_Branch_Trib_4.pdf];
5) Legislative Wrap-Up.
The second informal staff report is to apply for a federal grant to have autonomous vehicles for the VIA program [https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/384434/Informal_Staff_Report_FTA_Grant_Opportunity_0625_2019.pdf].
The agenda for the 6:30pm includes administering the oath of office for Ignacio Nunez, four executive session items, three sets of minutes, 32 consent agenda items, two public hearings, and an ordinance for the issuance of over $4.4 million of bonds.
The first of the four executive session items is a condemnation at 3909 Shady Valley Dr.
Consent agenda items 9.3, 9.4, and 9.5 are to spend $7.25 million for IT computer software, hardware, temporary personal services, and related services.
Consent agenda item 9.14 is for over $5 million for Country Club Road Local Drainage and Park Row Drive Bridge Repair.
The first public hearing is for a special use permit for auto sales at 1860 W Division. The public hearing has been continued a couple of times at the request of the applicant [to have time to try to persuade certain council to approve the item]. It was approved by P&Z back on May 1, 8-1. [https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/384576/06212019_SUP19-1_BMG_Auto_Group_Staff_Report.pdf].
The second public hearing is for RMU (Regional Mixed Use) zoning at 1201 E Division, the location of the old Eastern Star Organization facility. P&Z approved the zoning 6-3 on June 5. There is no development plan. RMU zoning allows up to 100 housing units/acre [again, with no approved development plan] RMU zoning is recommended for 20 or acres; this is only 7 acres. [https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/384565/06212019_CC1_ZA19-1_Staff_Report.pdf].
P&Z met this past Wednesday, June 19. There were three public hearings on the agenda.
Public hearing #1 was the Provident at Debbie Lane Apartments, 8150 S. Watson Road; it was continued from May. The applicant has asked that it be heard on July 10.
Public hearing #2 was a case for single family homes, continued from the June 5 meeting waiting for soil samples. They wish to build single family houses near seven plugged gas wells on the site. It is located at 7107 and 7115 Ledbetter Road. They performed ten-foot deep soil samples and found none of the negatives for which they tested. It was approved, 6-1.
Public hearing #3 was a Planned Development (PD) for senior living five-story apartments at Bowman Springs Road and I-20. They wish to build 200 units. Three members of the public spoke against these large structures. It passed, 6-1.
The Arlington ISD Board met last Tuesday, June 18, to hold a public hearing on the budget and proposed tax rate of $1.29867. [If they set the rate higher than the public notice rate, they need to go through the public notice steps again. They can set the rate at, or below, the public notice rate.].
Last year's tax rate was $1.36867. The state has mandated a seven-cent drop/compression of the M&O rate ($1.04 to $.97). Based on an approximate 11.4% growth in value, it should reduce the debt service tax rate. Currently the debt service portion of the proposed tax rate is unchanged from last year.
Two citizens spoke at the public hearing feeling there should be a better budget and lower tax rate.
The board approved the budget, including a plan to keep the debt service portion of the tax rate the same, 7-0. The budget includes pay increases from 2.5 – 3.0% for employees and a larger contribution to the health insurance contribution.
The tax rate will be approved in August after final tax rolls come out.
The AISD will meet this Tuesday and Thursday for meetings. The main item on Tuesday's agenda appears to be the 2019 Capital Needs Steering Committee Report.
Bridge Over the Tracks?
According to an Arlington Voice story, the city is in the very early stages of considering a grade separation over the tracks just south of the Entertainment District. [https://arlingtonvoice.com/arlington/business/2019/06/21/new-bridge-proposal-would-build-over-railroad].
Abram Street in front of City Hall is expected to be closed May 1 – June 30.
Fielder Road I-30 Bridge
A portion of the Fielder Road Bridge over I-30 will be closed for repair at least through August.
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.
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 25%-30% of the city, meaning most of the taxpayers have to pay for VIA, but receive no benefit from it. All those taxpayers are paying for something that competes against the private sector Lyft and Uber services.
The Spectator . ...ArlSpectator@yahoo.com
The Arlington Voice (online newspaper covering Arlington) www.arlingtonvoice.com
City of Arlington website www.arlingtontx.gov
e-mails of mayor and council
mayor = jeff.williams
district 1 (north) = helen.moise
district 2 (sw) = sheri.capehart
district 3 (se) = marvin.sutton
district 4 (west) = andrew.piel
district 5 (central/east) = ignacio.nunez
district 6 (all) = robert.shepard
district 7 (all) = victoria.farrar-myers
district 8 (all) = barbara.odom-wesley
city council grades:
AISD website ....................... www.aisd.net
e-mails of the AISD board .....
whole board ..................... - email@example.com
Hogg ......................- firstname.lastname@example.org
Reich......................... - email@example.com
Chapa .....................- firstname.lastname@example.org
Walton .. ................ - email@example.com
Wilbanks ............. - firstname.lastname@example.org
Mays ............ - email@example.com
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Texas Legislative Online
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