On Dec. 13, Lincoln Katy Trail will return to City Plan Commission to have its case reconsidered. “How’d that happen?” you ask? According to insiders, any commissioner who essentially wants to change their vote from the majority to the minority can ask for a case to be reheard.
I’m told that since November’s twin Oak Lawn Committee and CPC losses, there’s been no additional community outreach, no change in plans, and certainly no return to the Oak Lawn Committee – just a do-over because at least one Commissioner wants to switch sides.
Do I believe in a guilt-fueled epiphany? No. I believe in City Hall lobbying by Lincoln Property Company. Lincoln and their representative, former Dallas City Council member Angela Hunt, didn’t stop knocking on doors after November’s CPC defeat – and it seems one commissioner was swayed.
If this sounds like a pretty unusual thing, you’re right. Seasoned CPC members scrambled to the rule books yesterday to review the procedure for a reconsideration. Which makes it extra-special odd that the commissioner rumored to have flipped is pretty new to the game – and so unlikely to have proactively sought out such a boat-rocking tactic for a project outside their district, and even less likely to have thought of it on their own. One imagines a conversation involving “I can do that?”
What good is one vote when Lincoln Katy Trail lost by two? First, one flip ties the game, two reverses the loss and nets Lincoln CPC support for their run at Dallas City Council, which I’m told is penciled in for Jan. 9.
Gaming this out, it looks like this:
If CPC continues to not support Lincoln Katy Trail, Lincoln can go to the full council for approval, but passage would require a super majority (three quarters in support). If Lincoln gains CPC support, a simple majority is all that’s required from Dallas City Council.
I think a super majority will be really tough after City Plan Commissioner Paul Ridley’s motion to kill the District 14 project last month. Ridley is the CPC appointee of District 14 Dallas City Council member Philip Kingston, and I’m going to assume Ridley’s strong language was telegraphing Kingston’s feelings on this case. So getting a super majority with the local council member against it has to be super unlikely.
That means that Lincoln needs to get CPC to override the Oak Lawn Committee and support the project, so it only needs a simple majority when it appears before the Dallas City Council to have any hope of achieving an end-run around Kingston.
Let’s recap the recent voting history on this project:
- Oak Lawn Committee: No (big), No (big), Yes (by one vote), No (to new plan by a goodly margin)
- Neighborhood Support: “Friends” of the Katy Trail supported both iterations, Perot properties was against and changed to neutral. Other residential neighbors (not selling or developer-owned) have consistently been against the project.
- Plan Commission: Delay, Delay, Delay, “No” by two votes … Dec. 13?
I’ve frequently called out this project as being arrogant beyond measure. This latest turn only cements that criticism. Put in human terms, Lincoln is the stalker-y guy who won’t bathe or take “no” for an answer. WE’RE GOING TO THAT DAMN PROM – END OF STORY.
If only they’d put more talent behind this project. Isn’t there some point where this relentless force-feeding works against Lincoln? Surely, if a Commissioner can change their “no” to a “yes,” then a former “yes” can change to “no.”
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.