May 11, 2020 Newsletter
Some on the City Council are Beginning to Question Commercial to Multi-Family Zoning
At the work session this past Tuesday some members of the council are beginning to question the “logic” of taking precious commercially zoned properties and converting to multi-family.
The public hearing case on the evening agenda that spurred Dr. Nunez's questioning, PD20-2, for 380 multi-family units in southeast Arlington, was continued until June 23.
see Afternoon Session on page 2.
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May 11, 2020 – Volume 13 Number 19
Tuesday, May 12: Environmental Task Force meeting, 3:30pm. Access by calling: (833) 268-8354; CONFERENCE ID – 144-821-069#
Tuesday, May 19: City Council meeting.
Wednesday, May 20: P&Z meeting, 5:30pm.
Thursday, May 21: AISD Board meeting, 4:00pm. (must be registered to speak by 3:00pm)
Monday, May 25: Memorial Day Holiday.
The Arlington Spectator can now be found on Facebook.
Arlington City Council Update
The council met this past Tuesday, May 5 for a full set of meetings. The meeting next week to canvas the election that has not happened yet has been cancelled. They will meet again this Tuesday, May 19. All meetings are by teleconference.
The Environmental Task Force meeting was the only committee meeting held. They were to spend an hour on their focus area. They spent the hour, but only got through about half of their screens. They wish to continue the meeting this coming Tuesday (May 12) for 90 minutes at 3:30pm.
They were able to discuss the “Carbon Footprint” of their focus area. Electric vehicles replacing fossil fuel vehicles up for replacement would appear to be an item very likely to be considered within the next few years.
The open portion of the meeting started with the 2019 Fire Annual Report.
An update was given on the COVID-19 health situation within the city. The availability of testing appears to have outgrown the desired need within the city.
During the “evening agenda items” portion of the meeting, Dr. Nunez questioned the goals of the city and the council regarding commercial and multi-family zoning.
The public hearing for PD20-2 on the evening agenda was to convert/rezone a 39-acre commercial site to multi-family.
Dr. Nunez raised the question because the city has a desire [not an official goal] to get the majority of the property taxes paid by commercial vs. single family, but once again the city council was being asked to change the zoning on precious commercial land to multi-family.
Also brought up during discussion was the sales tax on the coming ballot (November, or whenever). They are asking the citizens to pay for more tax to raise the commercial value, yet with all the conversions to multi-family they are taking away value.
The most annoying piece of the discussion was when Council Member Capehart [we will be so glad when she is finally off the council] had to throw in her two-cents worth, stating how we should have learned from north Arlington of the 1980s. [This argument was presented to “Apartment Queen” Capehart many times and she then voted to approve many, many multi-family units in Southeast Arlington. She has shown she has no ability to learn...]
At the very end of the afternoon session, the question of when normal city council meetings will resume was raised. No direct answer was given.
The city council approved the executive session item and the ten consent agenda items (the mayor abstained from one item).
The public hearing for the 380 units [PD20-2] was continued until June 23 with no discussion [in fact the mayor skipped over the item, then returned to it].
The first special ordinance was regarding school zones. It passed, 9-0.
The second special ordinance was regarding the COVID-19 emergency regulations. There was one citizen speaker. It passed, 9-0.
There were no speakers during citizen participation.
Upcoming Public Hearings
Tuesday, May 5 was a city council public hearing on a planned development (PD) including MF-22 (380 units) and community commercial zoning for 39 acres at 8224 Webb Ferrell Road (north of Debbie Lane). It was continued until June 23.
P&Z on Wednesday, May 6, had a public hearing for PD-MF12 (planned development - multi-family) for town homes at 6300 & 6301 S. Collins Street (PD19-21). The P&Z was not impressed, and the public hearing was continued.
At the May 6 P&Z meeting they also approved PD-LI (planned development - light industrial) at 211 Osler Drive (PD20-9). This is scheduled to go to the city council on Tuesday, June 9.
P&Z passed modifications to change parking requirements and square footage requirements for multi-family two-bedrooms in the Unified Development Code (UDC). The city council date for this issue has not been set yet.
There will be two zoning cases to be heard by P&Z on May 20 and the city council on June 23. The first is for more townhomes at Sublett Road near Matlock Road. The second is for a car wash at 4442 & 4462 on S. Collins Street.
P&Z met this past Wednesday, May 6. The agenda included three public hearings.
The first public hearing was modifications to the UDC (Unified Development Code) including the calculation of required parking spaces, and the lowering of the square footage requirement (900 to 850) for two-bedroom multi-family. P&Z recommended the two-bedroom remain at 900 square feet, and the newly defined three-bedroom minimum be raised from 1000 to 1100 square feet. It passed, 9-0.
The second public hearing is for 180 town- homes at 6300 & 6301 S. Collins Street. It currently is zoned for potential sales tax producing commercial. They also fail to meet setback requirements. [staff report: https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/583658/FINAL_PD19-21_Arlington_Rose_Development_Staff_Report.pdf].
The commission was not impressed, and before a vote was taken where the outcome was probably to be negative, it was voted to continue the public hearing.
[Note: The mayor's firm did the design work—no wonder that it is so congested, over-populated, totally ignores the required setbacks, and is just a hair under the density maximum. This is exactly the type of “garbage” we don't need in Arlington.]
The final public hearing was for PD (planned development) for light industrial at 211 Osler Drive. It is currently zoned for commercial. [staff report: https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/583085/FINAL_PD20-9_Osler_Business_Park_PZ_Staff_Report.pdf]. It passed, 9-0.
The AISD school board met on this past Thursday, May 7. Employee contracts were approved [oddly] with at least three of the contracts u[ for consideration involving a relative of a trustee (causing an recusal).
They had two discussion items: a) the 2020-2021 student code of conduct, expected to be approved at the next meeting; and b) numerous updates on the COVID-19 virus situation. That latter item took almost 90 minutes.
The next board meeting is scheduled to be Thursday, May 21. The format since they have gone to these teleconference meetings allows for the open portion to be held at 4:00pm, but you must be registered by e-mail by 3:00pm if you wish to speak on an agenda item.
May 2 Election
The May 2 Elections have been postponed. Our Election Information will be put on hold until closer to election time.
VIA by the Numbers
On December 11, 2019, the VIA pilot program began its third year.
The program is heavily subsidized by the Arlington taxpayer (53%) while the riders only cover about 16% of the costs. [percentages based on the last contract, December 3, 2019. Staff report: https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/481268/Staff_Report_-___MF__RK__-_FINAL.pdf].
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!!! [https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/403687/Presentation_-_Via_Rideshare_Update_080619.pdf#page=11].
Last Wednesday: Blue Angels Fly Over
Via Ridership Falls 60%
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 ..................... - firstname.lastname@example.org
Hogg ......................- email@example.com
Reich......................... - firstname.lastname@example.org
Chapa .....................- email@example.com
Walton .. ................ - firstname.lastname@example.org
Wilbanks ............. - email@example.com
Mays ............ - firstname.lastname@example.org
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Texas Legislative Online
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