Sunday, March 8, 2020

Citizen Comment Recap- Feb 4, part 2

Before meeting comments: 10
After meeting comments: 0

Speaker #7
 (female, general comment not an agenda item)- She expressed her concern for McKinney's co-development project known as McKinney Flats (off McKinney Ranch Parkway near Craig drive). She said that the city staff at planning selected the site for the apartments, not the developer.
If anyone remembers, this was downzoned from commercial to multifamily in December. The original zoning also had protections written into the ordinance that protected the housing development it was next to from any residential uses. You can learn more about the rezoning hereShe asked how the city was not biased in the rezoning when they selected the site?
That's a good question.
She said the recorded McKinney Housing Finance Corporation meetings with the developers contained discussions that indicated they were trying to stay away from selecting a site that had active HOAs near it because that would make it problematic to rezone for apartments.

I have heard the recordings too and she's correct. This point she made, coupled with her next point do indicate a connection between attempts to find land near areas without a vocal HOA and also near housing developments that would be unable to reach the 20% of signatures for a rezoning protest.

The speaker went on to speak about the wording on the rezoning protest direction form which made it impossible for them to know if it was 20% of property owners or 20% of area of property owners. The city's directions do not spell out how the city calculates the rezoning protest or 20% supermajority threshold which puts residents fighting a rezoning at a disadvantage. She said that even when her city councilman emailed the planning department to get clarification on the 20% threshold, the city did not give accurate information (or failed to give complete information).

I know this is true because I've seen the emails and the instructions from the higher up in the planning department to the city councilman did not convey all the required information that he then gave to the HOA. This caused the residents in the housing development to not meet the 20% rezoning protest requirement that would have triggered a supermajority vote of city council. As it was, the vote was 4-3. A supermajority would have required 6 out of the 7 to vote to allow the rezoning.

If the McKinney Flats episode is an example of how public private partnerships (PPP) are being handled in McKinney, we've got some serious issues that need to be worked out. The airport FBO PPP that imploded is another example. See here and here. An independent contractor that worked on the airport FBO before the bankruptcy/restructuring has come to the city council meetings twice to ask for payment. This particular issue echos the gateway bankruptcy that cost the city millions over many years to work itself out of. 

Speaker #8 (female, general comment not an agenda item)- She was concerned about the rezoning protest petition's lack of real directions for residents. She said that once we have to start guessing how the city is interpreting a state statute, we've lost. The city should be telling us how they interpret the statute and give us the needed calculations so we know how to turn in a successful petition.
She said that we don't learn if we reached the 20% until the city tells us whether we got enough or not. The city has a computer program that works it out and we don't have access to the percentages necessary.

I couldn't agree more. I have tried to communicate with the city about this and have not had any movement for a month. I've even emailed examples of very citizen-friendly directions from other cities. Nothing has been changed. Follow this link and tell me if you can figure out how to calculate the percentage of property owners needed in a 200 ft radius around the disputed rezoning that would equal 20% or more. How many of you have access to a GIS program that adds up the area of each property around a rezoning including streets and alleys? See the Rezoning Petition here.

Speaker #9 (female, Dallas resident, general comment not an agenda item)- She was there to support Mr. Shemwell and to say she won't be coming to McKinney anymore.

Speaker #10 (female, general comment not an agenda item)- She is a resident who said that people from out of town don't need to come here if they don't like it. She said to stop complaining and find a resolution.

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