7/21/8 --- Neil Emmons
intends to screw it up.
Neil Emmons will go off the Plan Commission in
September. I wish Councilwoman Angela Hunt were removing him for all the
wrong he has done to so many, but he's going off because he is term limited out.
Thank God for term limits!
(Unfortunately, today I was advised
Emmons may continue to wreck havoc on this city until May of 2009, rather than
September of 2008.)
You may have heard something about "form-based zoning". Rudy Bush
mentions it on Dallas City Hall Blog (DallasNews.com, 7/17/8):
Another boring zoning meeting that could change the face
Only it's not boring, and it's only gotten complicated and confusing since Neil
Emmons and his clique started playing their usual power games.
When I try to explain Emmons to people who don't know him, they always assume
he's on the take. When I explain that he values power more than money,
they still assume he's on the take. I don't think so. He's just a
weirdo who gets his jollies intimidating people and causing mayhem.
The City spent $300,000 on consultants (experts) and another $200,000 in Plan
Department staff (experts) time to develop a recommendation for implementing
"Forward Dallas!" by amending Development Code Ch. 51A - Article XIII Form
Districts. Neil Emmons and another meddling Commissioner (Bob Weiss of
District 9) and their clique of control freaks didn't like the plan the experts
You probably are familiar with Mockingbird Station. That's sort of what
you get with form-based zoning without all the rezoning machinations. It's
a dense, multi-use development where you can "Embrace
the metropolitan life in one of the vintage lofts or make the contemporary
office tower your business address. Experience urban charm day or night whether
you come to live, to work, catch a flick or grab a bite? it all starts at the
The plan that Emmons and his
meddling clique pushed through the Plan Commission would require 40 acres to do
a form-based project. That is so ridiculous it must have been their plan
to prohibit form-based zoning in Dallas. Have you seen the development
Plano has done around their DART station? It's pretty big and very
successful. Do you know how big it is? That would be 3 acres.
Form-based zoning is an urban land use. It would not be appropriate in an
undeveloped area. It's the kind of development you want around a DART
station. I guarantee you there are few if any planned DART stations that
have 40 acres of land around them ready for development.
Here's another instance where the City Council is having to fix a problem that
only exists because of Neil Emmons' meddling with Bob Weiss, his partner in
chaos. Once again, Emmons has put Councilwoman Hunt in the very awkward
position of having to undo her appointee's screw-up.
I heard rumors about some strange comments by Emmons at the April 14th Plan
Commission briefing to a city employee. Emmons congratulated the staff
person on his promotion and reminded him that he was no longer protected by
civil service. He tried to force the staffer to commit to supporting
Emmons' recommended standards for form-based zoning, rather than continuing to
push the plan recommended by staff (experts) and the high-paid consultants
(experts). The staffer refused to make such a commitment.
City staff do not answer to plan commissioners. City staff are supposed to
give the council their best advice. Council members are not bound by CPC
decisions, but they should not be denied hearing staff's recommendations because
some power-mad plan commissioner tries to intimidate a paid professional.
It is not the first time that Emmons has coerced an applicant into taking his
deal or risk Emmons denying the case with prejudice. Such a nice guy!
Hopefully, Councilman Natinsky and his committee will finish their review of the
matter and recommend that council follow the advice of the experts on form-based
zoning and reverse the CPC decision which was pushed through by Emmons and
If the 40-acre requirement remains in place, there will be no development along
Lancaster or near any of the new DART stations planned for opening in December,
2010. Doesn't bode well for revitalizing the Southern Sector or other
older urban areas of the city.
That would be a bad thing.