Preston-Center-640

I bet the task force members thought I’d given them a Christmas present by not writing up the Dec. 3 meeting. Nope. I was just outta town. So what happened at that meeting (you didn’t show up for)?

First was a recap of a Nov. 3 meeting, the Task Force open house held to share preliminary data to area residents and to ask for feedback. As in previous open house sessions, there were “topic stations” setup with flip-charts and markers for capturing thoughts. This time, 66 residents attended. For those keeping count, that’s 1 percent of the 6,736 residents in the task force area. I suppose the other 99 percent were either out of town (like me) or more likely apathetic (waiting for any action to be a gavel-bang away before piping up). You know the type — the first to complain and the last to volunteer — and if you live in Task Force-land, you likely only have to look in the mirror. (Although I do love those with total apathy — no opinion and no interference.)

Before I get to parking, one topic seeped into every question posed of the meagre attendees. That question was, “How do we ensure Mark Cuban gets the shaft on Northwest Highway?” In one question, attendees were asked to put colored “dots” on locations they want to see Residential, Office, Greenspace, or “Other.”

First, there wasn’t a single dot placed that wasn’t spitting distance from the intersection of Preston Road and Northwest Highway. So again, while the task force’s mandate covers a huge area, only that intersection is of any real interest. Is that “concern” really just attendee self-interest? Probably. The vast majority of attendees to these meetings reside or have businesses within blocks of this intersection.

Does it call into question why a resident’s opinion on the outskirts of the task force area carries more weight than a non-resident who works daily in Preston Center? Probably. Should the task force have included the opinions of people who navigate Preston Center every day? Probably. Just 8 percent of survey respondents actually work in Preston Center. Given this task force is so focused on one intersection, shouldn’t University Park (one quarter of the intersection) officially be part of this foofaraw? Probably.

Have I said all that before? Very probably.

(more…)

MarkCubanProperties-thumb-565x321.jpg aerial

Sure he hasn’t technically done anything wrong, but Mark Cuban’s unwillingness to kowtow to the neighboring homeowners of  the spate of Preston Hollow properties he’s recently bought up sure doesn’t seem, well, neighborly.

He’s cleared trees from the estates that line Northwest Highway and Preston Road, leaving little visual screening from the busy six-lane thoroughfare. Dallas City Council member Jennifer Staubach Gates says Cuban can do what he wants with his property, and that he hasn’t done anything to run afoul of city regulations. Still, he’s refused to meet with residents and doesn’t seem interested in the Preston Hollow Area Study. Of course, these are the same homeowners who arranged angry town halls over residential developments on two corners of Northwest Highway and Preston Road, so they may already be sharpening their pitchforks and lighting their torches.

In a story from the intrepid Eric Nicholson over at the Observer, emails between Cuban and Gates paint the billionaire as someone who sounds a lot like Cartman. To help you digest the emails, we’ve added a few fun gifs of Cuban doing what we imagine as he reads and replies to Gates:

(more…)