Editor’s Note: This is the second installment of our series of Dallas City Council candidate questionnaires. You can see the first here. We attempted to contact each candidate in every contested race (10 races total), and those who responded with a working email address received the same eight questions. We gave them until April 5 to respond. Below you’ll find the answers to our questions, which we did not edit or abridge.

We chose District 14 candidates Bobby Abtahi, Judy Liimatainen, and Jim Rogers to be our second group of questionnaires posted here on CandysDirt.com. District 14, a seat vacated by the popular Angela Hunt, has a wide field of candidates and is considered one of the biggest races to watch. While we sent questionnaires to all seven District 14 candidates, only three responded to our brief questionnaire. Find out more about these candidates and their views on hot-button Dallas real estate news and issues below.

RobertAbtahi

Bobby Abtahi

1. In your view, what are the strengths of the Dallas real estate market versus the rest of the nation?

The Brookings Institution recently named Dallas among just three U.S. cities that are experiencing a full economic recovery in the aftermath of the recession. There is something for everyone in Dallas – our comparative affordability and a great diversity of product make Dallas a great place to live. In District 14 buyers can choose from Tudor-style cottages in Hollywood Heights and turn of the century mansions on Swiss Avenue to contemporary townhomes in Oak Lawn and high rises along Turtle Creek. I understand that District 14 needs a councilmember that will represent every neighborhood in the District and am proud to have the endorsements of both The Real Estate Council and MetroTex Association of Realtors.

2. What are the next areas/neighborhoods you feel are poised for high-volume growth?

Over the last decade District 14 grew by more than any other council district and I believe that trend will continue. The district includes some Dallas’ most dynamic communities: Oak Lawn, Turtle Creek, Uptown, Downtown, Arts District and the historic neighborhoods of East Dallas. In the last year we have begun to see revitalization along Ross Avenue, building on the established, original new urbanism neighborhood of Bryan Place, this trend will continue, including more townhome development.

A strong focus by the city on quality of life including safety, walkability and connectivity in our urban core will result in continued growth in many of center city neighborhoods. Farmers Market, Deep Ellum, Cedars, Oak Cliff and now West Dallas will continue to see growth spurred by a close proximity to Downtown, easier commutes, unique cultural experiences and a diversity of housing options.

Finally, Downtown has the greatest potential for accelerated growth – with a great swath of vacant land (parking lots) and the greatest capacity for density given its central location, high-density employment and walkability. As we see townhomes develop in the Farmer’s Market we will see a push north to connect to other areas and the critical mass of housing will trigger more retail and the cycle will continue.

3. What areas/neighborhoods need the most help and any solutions?

We must stabilize the neighborhoods of Southern Dallas. Having worked in those neighborhoods I understand that it takes a disciplined, holistic approach, doing something every day and ensuring engagement of the neighbors and stakeholders. I have worked in that area, rooting out drug houses and working to create safer neighborhoods. That is the base line for revitalization – ensuring that codes are followed and the neighborhood is safe. My area of concentration was the Lancaster Corridor. I would work with the elected and appointed representatives of the area and with the city staff to make certain that GrowSouth remains a priority.

I think we also need to remember that all neighborhoods have a list of priorities and as the councilmember I would like to work each neighborhood to outline a list of priorities and objectives that we can work to address and see how they fit together with surrounding areas and with the city’s resources and priorities. Some of the most successful neighborhoods are ones who have methodically worked through their priorities. And whether it is Southern Dallas or District 14 there are opportunities to work with folks like bcWORKSHOP or others where there are opportunities to “improve livability and viability of community.”

4. Would you support retaining the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research to do a study of the root causes of decline in the City of Dallas, as it did for NYC during the Giuliani era, leading to one of the most compelling restorations of a major city in history?

We must constantly look for areas of improvement and that means seeking out new ideas and implementing evidence based solutions. I would certainly be willing to look at studies of our policies that bring a fresh eye to our issues.

5. Would you approving the zoning variance to allow an on-campus lighted soccer field at Ursuline Academy of Dallas, winner of 22 state soccer championships?

As a former City Plan Commissioner, I know the importance of getting input from all sides of any zoning matter in order to build consensus. That involves speaking with the applicant, surrounding neighbors, and city staff amongst others. I have not had the opportunity to do that in this situation but am committed to doing so should the issue come to the City Council.

6. How would you handle the Museum Tower/Nasher Sculpture Center impasse? Should the Nasher also play a role and adapt some structural changes? Or is the burden purely on Museum Tower and future residential developments to mitigate impact on surrounding structures?

It is truly a tragedy and a solution needs to be found. From the perspective of depoliticizing, probably the best thing that could happen is for it to be sold to a new owner. I am committed to meeting with Mayor Rawlings to be briefed on the situation and work to bring the sides back to the table for find resolution. Without resolution we are negatively impacting the value of both, which has a negative impact on the city in general.

7. Historic and conservation districts are a great way to maintain a neighborhood’s character, but some older districts have regulations that seem somewhat out of date. For instance, a homeowner in Junius Heights was cited for having xeriscaped his front yard in lieu of a traditional water-hogging front lawn even though our region faces long-term drought. Should alternative landscapes and eco-friendly materials be allowed in historic and conservation districts as a citywide policy change?

Self-determination is very important to our neighborhoods and water conservation is extremely important for our city. In my experience, the Landmark Commission is very interested in working with homeowners to find solutions that comply with historic preservation ordinances and meet contemporary property owner needs. Unfortunately, when the property owner doesn’t make application before installation (as in this case), the process becomes more complicated.

In walking the area, knocking on doors and talking to residents, I’ve seen a number of approved landscapes that would require very minimal watering using drought tolerant native plants, drip systems, etc. – meeting both needs of water conservation and the historic context of the area. I think the homeowner and the city can work through this to find a viable solution to achieve both goals. Dallas Water Utilities has a number of programs to educate citizens on water conservation and the use of drought tolerant, native landscapes. For the future there would certainly be an opportunity to hold community meetings in historic areas with member task forces, residents and DWU to discuss neighborhood options for the future.

8. What is your stance on hydraulic fracturing (better known as fracking) inside the city limits? Do you feel it poses a danger to residents and nearby businesses? Or does the potential income to the city outweigh overblown risks?

Dallas needs a strong, contemporary gas drilling ordinance that protects our neighborhoods and precious natural resources, as well as addresses evolving technologies. Locating intense industrial uses close to residential areas, parks, or environmentally sensitive areas is not good policy and we need to be consistent in those decisions. I was one of three City Plan Commissioners to vote against allowing a concrete crushing operation to locate near a new children’s outdoor soccer complex, a position later supported by the City Council.

As we move forward to update ordinances based on our best knowledge and to address current concerns we also need to keep a critical eye on the Legislature to ensure that local control is not infringed upon and oversight capability is not diminished.

Judy Liimatainen

Judy Liimatainen

1. In your view, what are the strengths of the Dallas real estate market versus the rest of the nation?

The Dallas area did not experience the job loss in the recession as much as other cities. We also did not have the run up in prices in real estate compared to some of the other areas of the city. We are lucky to have very diverse choices fairly close to the city in a wide range of prices.

2. What are the next areas/neighborhoods you feel are poised for high volume growth?

I think the rehabbing of the area around Knox/ Henderson will continue grow. Most of the city proper is fairly well built out and the only way is up.

3. What areas/neighborhoods need the most help and any solutions?

All of southern Dallas is of need of help. Until we have something to anchor stable neighborhoods around I am afraid it will be a hard sell.

4. Would you support retaining the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research to do a study of the root causes of decline in the City of Dallas, as it did for NYC during the Giuliani era, leading to one of the most compelling restorations of a major city in history?

I would have to do some research on that to provide an answer to this question

5. Would you approving the zoning variance to allow an on-campus lighted soccer field at Ursuline Academy of Dallas, winner of 22 state soccer championships?

I do think that if lights were installed the current residents would have to have a lot of input on rules and regulations if it went forward. I don’t think that the property owners should suffer property value loss.

6. How would you handle the Museum Tower/Nasher Sculpture Center impasse? Should the Nasher also play a role and adapt some structural changes? Or is the burden purely on Museum Tower and future residential developments to mitigate impact on surrounding structures?

I do not think that the Nasher should adapt. That building was developed with the light coming in, in a very diffused way and that is how the works of art are arranged and exhibited. I think the burden is on the Museum Tower to come up with a good compromise without one of the jewels in crown of the arts district. I do think that developers and architects will have to in the future be very mindful of their designs and their neighbors.

7. Historic and conservation districts are a great way to maintain a neighborhood’s character, but some older districts have regulations that seem somewhat out of date. For instance, a homeowner in Junius Heights was cited for having xeriscaped his front yard in lieu of a traditional water-hogging front lawn even though our region faces long-term drought. Should alternative landscapes and eco-friendly materials be allowed in historic and conservation districts as a citywide policy change?

As a former Landscaper Designer I think the time has come for the city of Dallas and perhaps the country will have to come to grips with the fact that water is a finite resource and we should plan accordingly. I think that with some creative use of native material we can create looks that will enhance our historic homes and not take away.

8. What is your stance on hydraulic fracturing (better known as fracking) inside the city limits? Do you feel it poses a danger to residents and nearby businesses? Or does the potential income to the city outweigh overblown risks?

Fracking is a very controversial topic that has to be decided on a case by case process. I do not think that it should be done on or near parks, residential areas. I do not support compressor stations anywhere near the public. I think if the city does engage in contracts they must be looked at carefully to make sure that the city gets the most out of the contract.

Jim Rogers

Jim Rogers

1. In your view, what are the strengths of the Dallas real estate market versus the rest of the nation?

The strength of the Dallas real estate market is jobs and the Texas economy. These are aided by geographical location and Texas not having an income tax while having lots of oil and gas. Our central location with excellent transportation alternatives helps sell Dallas/Ft. Worth as a distribution center. Our history as a financial and technology center and the many higher education alternatives attract and keep quality jobs and highly qualified people.

2. What are the next areas/neighborhoods you feel are poised for high volume growth?

Within and/or adjacent to District 14, the areas of continued growth are downtown, Farmer’s Market and the hospital and design districts. The area bounded by Central, Henderson and Live Oak is an area of much potential. With 42 Realty having purchased 32 Deep Ellum properties, ready to invest in them and aggressively marketing them, I expect to see dramatic progress there.

3. What areas/neighborhoods need the most help and any solutions?

The Southern Dallas area needs attention and I believe the Mayor’s Grow South Plan is a good step in that direction. My one suggested enhancement of that plan would be to include a focus on elementary schools along with the middle and high schools. Studies show that reading proficiency at the third and fourth grade levels are very predictive of one’s probability of graduating from high school.

4. Would you support retaining the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research to do a study of the root causes of decline in the City of Dallas, as it did for NYC during the Giuliani era, leading to one of the most compelling restorations of a major city in history?

Yes, I would support such a study by a proven consultant.

5. Would you approving the zoning variance to allow an on-campus lighted soccer field at Ursuline Academy of Dallas, winner of 22 state soccer championships?

As a full-time council member, I would be available to listen to all sides even though the property is not in District 14. The councilperson whose district includes the property should be most familiar with all the issues and the reality of the politics at city hall today is that the position of the district’s councilperson is almost always supported by the rest of the council. These are the reasons it is so critical that District 14 have a full-time councilperson who has the time to meet with everyone, is a good listener, and has shown by his/her actions that s/he will be respectful of everyone and work diligently to protect neighborhoods. These are some of the reasons neighborhood leaders recruited me and are working hard to help me become the next District 14 councilperson. With the Planning Commission having voted in favor by14-1 on February 21, it appears the current plan is a win/win.

6. How would you handle the Museum Tower/Nasher Sculpture Center impasse? Should the Nasher also play a role and adapt some structural changes? Or is the burden purely on Museum Tower and future residential developments to mitigate impact on surrounding structures?

First, I think it is very unfortunate that the Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund chose to become the “developer” of the Museum Tower. The initial building planned for that site was less than half as tall and reflectivity was a major consideration in the planning for that building. That being the case, the reflectivity issue should not have been a surprise and should have been addressed during design so the problem never happened. At this point, if the reports are true that the glare is sufficiently intense to damage the trees and other landscape in the Nasher, I fail to see how any alterations that do not reduce the glare will be effective.

7. Historic and conservation districts are a great way to maintain a neighborhood’s character, but some older districts have regulations that seem somewhat out of date. For instance, a homeowner in Junius Heights was cited for having xeriscaped his front yard in lieu of a traditional water-hogging front lawn even though our region faces long-term drought. Should alternative landscapes and eco-friendly materials be allowed in historic and conservation districts as a citywide policy change?

I support allowing alternative landscapes and eco-friendly materials but I believe strongly in self-determination and believe it should be up to the individual districts to set their guidelines. Homeowners within each district invested thousands of hours developing and getting their district. Their efforts should be respected, not minimized, and the city should not run over them roughshod. Having talked with them, it is my impression that the new homeowners were not adequately notified of and educated about the historic district rules or they would have sought a Certificate of Appropriateness and this problem would not have occurred. This weakness should be corrected.

8. What is your stance on hydraulic fracturing (better known as fracking) inside the city limits? Do you feel it poses a danger to residents and nearby businesses? Or does the potential income to the city outweigh overblown risks?

I was on the Zoning Ordinance Advisory Committee for three years, including when the Dallas drilling ordinance was last reviewed. We were well educated about the drilling and fracking processes. The issue is not nearly as simple and many would like to argue. In addition to the obvious, there are the issues of intense trucking, dust, huge amounts of water used, contaminated water disposal, damage to roads and streets, pollution from compressor engines, etc., etc. Since no one can guarantee that there will be no drilling accidents or pipeline failures, there is no question that it poses a danger to residents and businesses not only nearby but all along the required pipelines. My primary concern was and is protecting Dallas citizens, our neighborhoods, our businesses and the environment.

Editor’s Note: This is the first installment of our series of Dallas City Council candidate questionnaires. We attempted to contact each candidate in every contested race (10 races total), and those who responded with a working email address received the same eight questions. We gave them until April 5 to respond. Below you’ll find the answers to our questions, which we did not edit or abridge.

We chose District 13 candidates Leland Burk, Jennifer Staubach Gates, and Richard P. Sheridan to be our first questionnaires posted here on CandysDirt.com because, besides the District 1 race that pits incumbents against one another, and the wide field of District 14, this is the race to watch!

Leland Burk

 

Leland Burk

 

1. In your view, what are the strengths of the Dallas real estate market versus the rest of the nation?

As a longtime real estate investor in Dallas, I see firsthand that our city is booming. As this blog noted in a recent post, home values are on the rise. Dallas-area single-family home values rose 7% in January from one year ago, which was the 11th straight month of price increases. And we also have one of the best home equity positions in the country. Dallas’ real estate market is strong and will continue to play a vital role in the future of our community. As our economy grows, the real estate industry must lead with smart growth, working with communities on important issues such as transportation, infrastructure and other future needs. As someone who is deeply involved in the local real estate industry and current zoning issues, I look forward to working with fellow professionals growing our economy and being a strong voice for the industry.

2. What are the next areas/neighborhoods you feel are poised for high volume growth?

Obviously the Southern Sector is the #1 area poised for growth. I serve on the Oak Lawn Committee, a zoning review committee covering one of Dallas’ most important and fastest growing areas including Uptown, Victory, West Village and Oak Lawn. There is much activity there now and room to grow. I also feel great seeds have been planted in Wets [sic] Dallas with the opening of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. In my own district, the Vickery Meadow area could see a resurgence if we work together to solve that areas’ many challenges.

3. What areas/neighborhoods need the most help and any solutions?

District 13 will always be my top priority. We have the strongest residential tax base in the city and I see being an advocate for continual investment in the district as one of my top duties. Additionally, Southern Dallas is an enormous opportunity for the city. 45 percent of our city’s population lives in Southern Dallas, yet it carries only 15 percent of the tax burden. In order to increase the tax base, we must grow Southern Dallas’ economy. In order to grow the economy, we must provide the infrastructure and basic services businesses need to grow and thrive. And where appropriate, we must continue to provide prudent economic incentives. As a Dallas City Council Member, I will help spread the message that Southern Dallas is a safe place to work and live. The area is already home to successful retailers and the International Inland Port of Dallas – the region’s top distribution network and a catalyst for Southern Sector investment, job growth and development.

 4. Would you support retaining the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research to do a study of the root causes of decline in the City of Dallas, as it did for NYC during the Giuliani era, leading to one of the most compelling restorations of a major city in history?

Absolutely. I want to see Dallas continue to grow, and I believe the Manhattan Institute could play an important role in ensuring that our leaders are doing everything they can to keep Dallas on top. I suspect, however, that people are leaving or not even considering living in our city due to our public education system. In order to attract people back to Dallas, we must improve the quality of our schools. Even though Dallas City Council has no direct control over DISD and what goes on in the classroom, there are a number of things members can do to assist the District’s efforts in educating our city’s future. Such efforts include fostering public private partnerships and continuing to invest in the creation and maintenance of infrastructure.

 5.  Would you approving the zoning variance to allow an on-campus lighted soccer field at Ursuline Academy of Dallas, winner of 22 state soccer championships?

I am first and foremost a neighborhood advocate, and I’ve spoken with many neighbors in the area, therefore, I favor a compromise. I believe constructing a field with no lights is the best compromise for the surrounding neighbors and the school, a treasured asset in this city and District 13.

6. How would you handle the Museum Tower/Nasher Sculpture Center impasse? Should the Nasher also play a role and adapt some structural changes? Or is the burden purely on Museum Tower and future residential developments to mitigate impact on surrounding structures?

Let me put that in perspective. The Museum Tower/Nasher situation is a complicated issue with many parties involved who have the city’s best interest at heart. I love our arts district. In fact, I’ve supported the DMA and other institutions there for many years. The Nasher Sculpture Center is a vital part of the District and residential development in the area is important, too. I’ve spent my entire career as a businessman, banker and real estate developer bringing people together and negotiating through complex processes, and I believe Museum Tower and the Nasher must come together to find a solution that preserves the structural integrity of both buildings.

 7. Historic and conservation districts are a great way to maintain a neighborhood’s character, but some older districts have regulations that seem somewhat out of date. For instance, a homeowner in Junius Heights was cited for having xeriscaped his front yard in lieu of a traditional water-hogging front lawn even though our region faces long-term drought. Should alternative landscapes and eco-friendly materials be allowed in historic and conservation districts as a citywide policy change?

Yes. Again, as a real estate investor and neighborhood advocate I appreciate the importance of historic and conservation districts and how they preserve the character and integrity of our neighborhoods. However, we must evaluate and amend all restrictions with an innovative spirit and an eye for the future. In amending any regulations, I would bring the neighborhood together keeping in mind that our region and the State of Texas faces a severe drought. Since 25 percent of future water needs will be met by conservation, Dallas water utilities, City Council members, the Mayor and the Dallas citizens must continue to make conservation and reuse a priority.

8. What is your stance on hydraulic fracturing (better known as fracking) inside the city limits? Do you feel it poses a danger to residents and nearby businesses? Or does the potential income to the city outweigh overblown risks?

I am against gas drilling on park land, or any land in Dallas.

Jennifer Staubach Gates

Jennifer Staubach Gates

1. In your view, what are the strengths of the Dallas real estate market
versus the rest of the nation?

Dallas is blessed to have a strong, diverse economy that can endure tougher economic times better than other markets. Dallas offers great diversity in terms of neighborhood options and housing options. And finally, our City has a solid real estate community that is connected, and can work together in the private sector and on public issues to get things done.

2. What are the next areas/neighborhoods you feel are poised for high
-volume growth? 

Right now, I feel West Dallas is poised for high volume growth. The new Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge combined with the adjacencies of Kessler Park/North Oak Cliff, Sylvan Thirty and Trinity Groves make this area an up-and-coming community. While the NSO put in place will protect the La Bajada neighborhood, there is available land. Retail, restaurants and entertainment are coming, and this location is centrally located in our City – with easy accessibility to downtown.

3. What areas/neighborhoods need the most help and any solutions?

Vickery Meadows is a neighborhood in District 13, and one of our City’s crime “hot spots.” If elected, I am committed to reducing crime and helping to create neighborhood and school mentoring programs that may better engage this community, drive involvement and help create a more viable neighborhood.

4. Would you support retaining the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research to do a study of the root causes of decline in the City of Dallas, as it did for NYC during the Giuliani era, leading to one of the most compelling restorations of a major city in history?

Yes, especially if we can fund with private donations.

5. Would you approve the zoning variance to allow an on-campus lighted soccer field at Ursuline Academy of Dallas, winner of 22 state soccer championships?

The CPC approved the proposed Ursuline Athletic Field by a
14-1 margin, including the vote of Ann Margolin’s appointee. I would be
inclined to support the CPC’s recommendation, unless there is new opposition
or new information regarding the impact of the plan on the surrounding
community.

6. How would you handle the Museum Tower/Nasher Sculpture Center
impasse? Should the Nasher also play a role and adapt some structural
changes? Or is the burden purely on Museum Tower and future residential
developments to mitigate impact on surrounding structures?

It is critical that this issue be resolved in a manner that allows both institutions to be successful and that we are able to protect the credibility and spirit of partnership that has allowed our Arts District to thrive, and protect the pension fund of our Police. It is up to these two institutions to determine what they are willing to agree on.

7. Historic and conservation districts are a great way to maintain a neighborhood’s character, but some older districts have regulations that seem somewhat out of date. For instance, a homeowner in Junius Heights was cited for having xeriscaped his front yard in lieu of a traditional water-hogging front lawn even though our region faces long-term drought. Should alternative landscapes and eco-friendly materials be allowed in historic and conservation districts as a citywide policy change?

We must strike a balance between honoring our past and protecting our future. I would support amending some of these guidelines and restrictions to allow for environmentally-friendly materials and landscapes that not only protect our natural resources but also echo a theme of conservation that is critical to the City, especially in regards to water planning.

8. What is your stance on hydraulic fracturing (better known as fracking) inside the city limits? Do you feel it poses a danger to residents and nearby businesses? Or does the potential income to the city outweigh overblown risks? 

I am opposed to fracking in neighborhoods or near public spaces. There are limited areas in Dallas where fracking would be considered, and these should be addressed on a case by case basis. But as a rule, I will always place a higher priority on protecting neighborhoods and the health of our residents.

Richard P. Sheridan

Richard P. Sheridan

1. In your view, what are the strengths of the Dallas real estate market versus the rest of the nation?

The value of Metroplex real estate has not declined as nearly much as the real estate values around the nation. Texas economy and a good jobs market has been the stabilizing forces in keeping the Metroplex real estate values up. However, Dallas growth has been relatively flat, in the 1 to 2 % range, where neighboring suburbs have experienced good growth, and good increases in property values.

Why has Dallas real estate market been relatively flat, and why have people been moving out of Dallas? Quality of life, crime, and property taxes. Dallas infrastructure is deteriorating, we have a pot hole epidemic, Dallas property taxes are too high, the DISD is amongst the worst in the nation, and 96% of the cities in the nation are safer than Dallas.

2. What are the next areas/neighborhoods you feel are poised for high-volume growth?

Dallas southern sector offers Dallas a tremendous real estate development opportunity, and an opportunity to GROW SOUTH DALLAS PEOPLE. We must combine Mayor Rawlings “Grow South Dallas” program with a “Grow South Dallas People” program. Without the latter, the grow South Dallas program will just be another gentrification program, And not address Dallas root problem, and that is RACISM.

A GROW SOUTH DALLAS program will involve a comprehensive jobs and neighborhood redevelopment program, from empowering a fleet of street vendors, retail shop keepers, cooperative supermarkets/stores, to a Civilian Conservation Corp like program to revitalize South Dallas communities.

Dallas Habitat for Humanity is already doing some of this work, placing new homes in blighted communities, as a “plug of new grass” that they are, with revitalization radiating out from these new or rehabilitated homes.

3. What areas/neighborhoods need the most help and any solutions?

Again, South Dallas needs the most help.

4. Would you support retaining the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research to do a study of the root causes of decline in the City of Dallas, as it did for NYC during the Giuliani era, leading to one of the most compelling restorations of a major city in history?

Yes I would support any outside help to both help reinforce the need to Grow South Dallas people, and to apply any program that works in other parts of our country. Dallas crime stats are primarily due to the lack of jobs in the Black minority community.

5. Would you approve the zoning variance to allow an on-campus lighted soccer field at Ursuline Academy of Dallas, winner of 22 state soccer championships?

This is a neighborhood issue, the details of which I am not up to date on. As long as it what the residents will allow, then the lighting can be installed.

6. How would you handle the Museum Tower/Nasher Sculpture Center impasse? Should the Nasher also play a role and adapt some structural changes? Or is the burden purely on Museum Tower and future residential developments to mitigate impact on surrounding structures?

The Nasher was there before the Museum tower. It’s the Museum tower that is causing the glaring light problem, and it is their responsibility to resolve the problem.

7. Historic and conservation districts are a great way to maintain a neighborhood’s character, but some older districts have regulations that seem somewhat out of date. For instance, a homeowner in Junius Heights was cited for having xeriscaped his front yard in lieu of a traditional water-hogging front lawn even though our region faces long-term drought. Should alternative landscapes and eco-friendly materials be allowed in historic and conservation districts as a citywide policy change?

We must prepare for a long term water shortage, and begin to change our ground cover, and watering culture. Perhaps we should provide some incentive to the homeowners who voluntarily change their ground cover to effect significant reductions in irrigation water. In New York City there was a $125 incentive to replace higher water using toilets to lower water using toilets. New York will be saving about 30 million gallons a day when the toilet replacement program is complete.

8. What is your stance on hydraulic fracturing (better known as fracking) inside the city limits? Do you feel it poses a danger to residents and nearby businesses? Or does the potential income to the city outweigh overblown risks?

If not properly regulated Fracking poses a health danger to residents and nearby businesses. The City of Dallas just spent almost 2 years developing a new Fracking ordinance. However, the process has become so political that the City’s planning Commission was forced to vote on a permit application without the new ordinance. In addition, the process has become way too political and secret with city Manager Mary Suhm working out a back room deal to get Trinity East a permit in a park area which has always been forbidden in either the existing and proposed ordinance.

There is a bill now before the Texas state legislature which would transfer the Fracking regulating authority to the state. This has been done in New York State and it makes a lot of sense to have a regulatory body that knows what it’s doing instead of having novices, who know very little about fracking, develop technical regulations.