With Constituents Mostly Aligned Against Lincoln Katy Trail, Why is CM Kingston Silent?

(Editor’s Note: This column expresses opinion of the writer, and should not be interpreted as the editorial opinion of CandysDirt.com. We believe many voices uphold our core mission: a transparent discussion about North Texas real estate 24/7 )

Times change. Times change in city council representation. Back in 2007, then Oak Lawn council member Angela Hunt was quoted in the Dallas Morning News leading the charge against a proposed Gables development at Carlisle and Hall Streets bordering the Katy Trail.

Dallas City Council member Angela Hunt, who represents the area where Gables is proposing to build, says she’ll ask the council to deny Gables’ zoning request “with prejudice.”

“The overwhelming number of residents who will be affected by this change are opposed, and I am elected to represent them,“ Ms. Hunt said.

“I have not had a case come before me where such a large majority of residents are so vehemently opposed to a zoning change,” Ms. Hunt said. “There’s a reason we have zoning: so residents have some certainty as to what the future of the community will look like. To me, there’s a high level of proof needed to get a zoning change, and this project doesn’t cut it.”

Carlisle on the Katy is site of former Gables proposal

That Gables development, had it survived, would have literally been across the street from the proposed Lincoln Katy Trail project on the Turtle Creek Terrace lot. But Hunt is now a developer representative and land use attorney working for Lincoln (no new news there or here), completely her prerogative. The Lincoln Katy Trail project was kicked back from Plan Commission last week and told to return in August.

When a project seeks Plan Commission or City Council support to increase their zoned limits, the city notifies neighbors within 500 feet of the proposed project. If there is more than 20 percent opposition within 200 feet, a super majority is required to pass the project.

Funnily enough, I’m looking at the city’s file of support for Lincoln Katy Trail. There were 962 owners notified, of which 105 are the Turtle Creek Terrace sellers, leaving 857 non-sellers. Not surprisingly, Turtle Creek Terrace voted in favor of the project. But because their condo rules don’t allow for individual voting, the four owner-occupants’ opposing votes are not counted.

Of the 857 remaining non-sellers notified, 708 opposed the project. The remainder didn’t return their ballots. Two nearby complexes, Bois du Chene and Cole Creek “failed to return legal, executed ballots in opposition” (and the majority of each complex are reportedly opposed). There were no votes of support from the neighborhood, leaving the project with an 82.6 percent opposition rate (triggering a super majority for passage by the city).

Another of those who didn’t return their ballot was The Perot Companies who were in opposition but elected not to return their ballot and now are “neutral” to Lincoln Katy Trail.

Net-net, here we are 11 years after then council member Hunt led the charge to kill a deal across the street because “such a large majority of residents are so vehemently opposed to a zoning change”. Yet Hunt’s successor and current council member Philip Kingston has not come out against Lincoln. In fact his Plan Commissioner Paul Ridley seemed to support the project at last week’s Plan Commission meeting.

The same vehement opposition exists today as it did 11 years ago. And the property owners are asking: why isn’t Philip Kingston giving the neighborhood the same support Angela Hunt did when she represented those same constituents?

Editor’s Note: Staff reached out to Kingston for more information regarding this issue. In response, Kingston offered this: 

“[Jon Anderson] is an idiot and a liar. He has conflicts of interest on stories he writes. I don’t know why any editor has anything to do with him.”

 

Remember:  High-rises, HOAs and renovation are my beat. But I also appreciate modern and historical architecture balanced against the YIMBY movement. In 2016, 2017 and 2018, the National Association of Real Estate Editors recognized my writing with three Bronze (2016, 2017, 2018) and two Silver (2016, 2017) awards.  Have a story to tell or a marriage proposal to make?  Shoot me an email sharewithjon@candysdirt.com. Be sure to look for me on Facebook and Twitter. You won’t find me, but you’re welcome to look.

8 Comment

  • Wow! Kingston’s comment unfitting a (my) council member.
    Although I do not always agree with Jon Anderson’s opinions, he seems to do extensive investigation and analysis that few of us are willing to do. I have found his facts to be well researched, and his opinions are often pertinent.

    • I’m right there with you, Sharon… Jon does his research and leaves the door open for an opposing point of view.

  • Is Mr. Kingston nearing the end of his service due to term limits and no longer cares? He used to be such a rabble rouser and opposition to the spend crazy council. I moved out of his district so haven’t kept up with him. I appreciate what Jon writes because no one else is giving the people this info. I find Ms. Hunt’s actions typical of politicians or former politicians. I knew someone who worked closely with Ms. Hunt long ago over neighborhood issues and felt she was such a person with a heart for the people. Now I guess she’s just trying to make a living like all of us. Dallas politicians seem to disappoint sooner or later.

  • As a strong supporter and defender of Councilmember Kingston in his last highly contested election, this petty, churlish response to a question that is very important to all of us owner-residents of MF-2 properties in Oak Lawn unacceptable and downright offensive. We are all very concerned about this half-baked proposal that screws the neighbors across the street, turns its ugly back on the Katy Trail and opens up block upon block of protected MF-2 zoning as fair game to developers who don’t care about the stability and sustainability of our neighborhood. Since when is a public servant’s personal grievance more important than his neighborhood constituents?

  • Kingston’s insipid, bug-eyed, sawdust-brained demeanor has always reminded me of Ollie from Kukla, Fran, and Ollie.

  • To Sharon and Cody…two well-respected real estate professionals who I both have known for many years…Jon is operating on information received from the opposition to Lincoln Katy Trail. That information is shaded, jaded and a downright misrepresentation of the facts. The Dallas Plan Commission operates on facts and documents properly drawn and submitted, not on neighborhood emotions that have been boiling-over for years. In this case, Jon’s research is limited to what he is being told by the opposition and that’s about it. He does not know what the Plan Commission is learning from all sources and how they are using that information as the basis for their decision. Nobody knows what the Plan Commission or the City Council is thinking but them.

    • mm

      Thank you. We would love to hear from all sources. We are truly trying to dig under the surface on this case, but no one is coming forward to give us ANY information as to WHY the “opposition” information is jaded. If a misrepresentation of facts, well, what are the facts? You may post anonymously or email me personally: Candace@CandysDirt.com.As you know, I never reveal my sources. I would so like to know who “all sources” are. I respect CM Kingston and know he will represent the neighborhood well on this and every issue.

    • mm

      The information I’m acting on is information supplied to the city. The charts in this piece were taken directly from a document filed with the city. Sure, I disagree with this project, but facts are facts. According to those documents, the project has no support outside those turning a profit from the sale, and not even 100% of them support the project.
      .
      CPC Commissioner Ridley made a motion on this project that couldn’t get a second, that rare occurrence speaks volumes about CPC’s support for this project as-is.