September 30, 2019 Newsletter
331 More Apartments on Hwy 360 Near Debbie Lane
I'm not kidding. The council yelled, MOST DEFINITELY! Sadly, it is believed they will be adding 180 more apartments just north of that Debbie Lane intersection in the near future.
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 30, 2019 – Volume 12 Number 37
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.
Saturday, October 5: District 7 Town Hall, City Hall Council Chambers, 101 W. Abram Street, 9:30am. (Subjects: Census and Neighborhood Services)
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 Parkway, 7:00pm.
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Arlington City Council Update
The Arlington City Council met this past Tuesday, September 24, for regular meetings. All members were present, but the mayor left about 8:30pm.
The next regularly scheduled city council meeting will be Tuesday, October 15.
In the only committee meeting scheduled, they discussed the proposed Block Party Ordinance and the Housing Tax Credit Policy/Process. Groups will be allowed two parties within a year, in addition to National Night Out. The housing tax credit process starts again on December 1.
The open portion of the afternoon session started almost 30 minutes late. They began with an update of Globe Life Field and a discussion of “Meet and Confer”.
The low-light came when Barbara Odom-Wesley wanted a future discussion of electronic buses [just like the new ones in Fort Worth, proudly displaying her button].
All the council members were present for the start of the evening meeting. The mayor decided he would leave about 8:30pm, leaving Mayor Pro-Tem Robert Shepard to run the meeting.
There was one speaker opposed to 8.2, a tree trimming contract. The speaker had a bid that was 28% lower but did not win the bid.
Shepard pulled two items from the consent agenda, 8.2, and 8.48, the nominating of potential TAD board members.
The 8.2 item was tabled to give the council an opportunity to get more information from staff.
Item 8.48, Shepard nominated Mike O'Donnell. That passed, 9-0.
Public Hearing #1 was for changing property zoned commercial to add 331 more apartments at 8150 S. Watson Road (just south of Debbie Lane). The area is already saturated with apartments, especially on the Grand Prairie side. Debbie Lane at that location is already a disaster. There were three speakers in support and three speakers opposed.
The apartment-loving council, with only three speakers in opposition, pounced on the opportunity to shove it down the throats of the citizens and approved the item, 8-1, with the district's council person, Marvin Sutton, being the lone opposing vote. The second reading will be October 15. [It is believed there will be another 180 units going in just north of that intersection in the very near future.]
Public Hearing #2 was to take a large parcel of land (RE, 2.15 acres) to allow for smaller parcels (RS-7.2) at 1102 Dan Gould Drive. Because the developer might get five extra lots with the straight zoning he applied, if his plans are not followed, and the site is totally rearranged, the council denied by 8-0. [I was left with the impression the real problem was, as Council Member Sheri Capehart stated, that the developer had NOT met with her.] [Do you get the feeling that it is nothing to do with what is best for Arlington, but all about the council members getting their *** kissed?]
[Then, after approving 331 apartments in saturated, traffic-flow challenged Southeast Arlington, the council turned down a developer because the absolute rearrangement of the property could give him five extra lots of a lot size which are already in the area.]
[Think back to the scenario at the northeast corner of Green Oaks Boulevard and Kelly-Elliott Road. Ten months ago the council approved large lot RE to RS-7.2, with no opposition stated. Then four months ago they approved the same property to high-density 52 packed and stacked town homes. There was one speaker opposed/ignored.]
[Again, was this turned down because it was bad for Arlington, or because the developer did not kiss ***?]
[I am so glad term limits passed and we are getting closer to sending Capehart out the door, for the good of Arlington.]
Public Hearing #3 was new requirements in the UDC because of recent legislative actions. It passed, 9-0.
Ordinance #1 and #2 were for a NEW Design Criteria Manual, and the changes within. 9-0.
There were no speakers during citizen participantion.
The next meeting will be October 2, 5:30pm. There is one zoning case public hearing. 1723 Park Ridge Terrace (near Fielder and I-30) wants a secondary living quarters. The neighbors have written letters of support.
The current zoning of RS7.2 requires a SUP in order to allow the addition.
The AISD School Board had called for a meeting for this past Thursday, September 26. It was to be at the Professional Development Center, 1111 W. Arbrook. [Since they took down that agenda when they canceled, you are stuck with my best memory of what was to happen.] After an executive session, they were to vote on the termination of a person's contract. The meeting was canceled.
The board’s next meeting will be Thursday, October 3, 7:00pm.
The constitutional amendment permitting a person to hold more than one office as a municipal judge at the same time
The constitutional amendment providing for the issuance of additional general obligation bonds by the Texas Water Development Board in an amount not to exceed $200 million to provide financial assistance for the development of certain projects in economically distressed areas.
The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for a temporary exemption from ad valorem taxation of a portion of the appraised value of certain property damaged by a disaster.
The constitutional amendment prohibiting the imposition of an individual income tax including a tax on an individual’s share of partnership and unincorporated association income.
The constitutional amendment dedicating the revenue received from the existing state and use taxes that are imposed on sporting goods to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission to protect Texas’ natural areas, water, quality, and history by acquiring, managing, and improving state and local parks and historical sites while not increasing the rate of the sales and use taxes.
The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to increase by $3 billion the maximum bond amount authorized for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.
The constitutional amendment allowing increased distributions to the available school fund.
The constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the flood infrastructure fund to assist in the financing of drainage, flood mitigation, and flood control projects.
The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to exempt from ad valorem taxation precious metal held in a precious metal depository located in this state.
The constitutional amendment to allow the transfer of a law enforcement animal to a qualified caretaker in certain circumstances.
Tarrant County College District Proposition A [For/Against] The issuance of $825 million of bonds and notes for the purpose of constructing, improving, and renovating and equipping school buildings in the Tarrant County College District, and the levying of a debt tax in payment thereof. [bond information: https://www.tccd.edu/community/2019-bond-election/]
ARLINGTON INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT PROPOSITION A [FOR/AGAINST]
The issuance of $966,000,000 of bonds by Arlington Independent School District for the acquisition, construction and equipment of school buildings and the purchase of school sites and school buses and levying the tax in payment thereof.
[ bond info: https://www.aisd.net/bond2019/ ]
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.
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
NW Arlington Newsletter:
SE Arlington Blog
Randol Mill Park Nature Area
Texas Legislative Online
The Texas Bond Review Board ....