(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.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to look for me on Facebook and Twitter. You won’t find me, but you’re welcome to look.