Monty asks the following rhetorical question in a prior post:
But to prevent this situation in the future, the “predominantly non-residential” language needs to be replaced by “no additional residential” or something equally unequivocal. Given the ubiquitous opposition to apartments in this town, I don’t understand why that hasn’t been done already. Can someone explain that to me?
First, the legal case for denying Keller Station goes well beyond the “predominantly non-residential” clause. All we need to do is to properly understand and uphold the definitions of single-family attached (which is a permitted use) and multi-family (which is NOT a permitted use.) We also have several limitations on the use of this land in the 1990 Town Center Guidelines. The 1998 update to the Town Center Guidelines only dealt with the properties in the heart of Town Center, and said nothing about parcels north of 1709.
But the primary reason this language hasn’t been made unequivocal is the Community Development Department doesn’t want to. They know—know—that apartments/condos/mixed use are the way Keller needs to go. It says so right there on page something-something of the City Planner’s Handbook. To them, you people who are so upset about high-density housing are just wrong, and they’ve got to explain to you why you’re wrong. And Mitch Holmes is right there with them. He said in a meeting tonight that Live/Work/Play* is something we have to do, or he might have said it’s the only way.
Monty also said “Harness and Kirk are not going to publicly discuss how they would vote…” I’m not sure if that’s true of Bob Kirk, but it’s definitely true of Mark Harness. Mark Harness is convinced that council members must not express opinions on matters that may come before council. He is so convinced of this that he voted that I had violated the City Charter by my actions on this blog as they related to Keller Station. I later asked him to provide supporting documentation for his view. He acknowledged my request, but never cited any rule that backed up his vote.
Keller Station was stopped cold by Doug Miller, yours truly, and the grass-roots legwork of citizens of Saddlebrook and Hidden Lakes. My role was 1) researching city codes and pointing out the ones that the city staff had failed to enforce in their initial assessment of the project, and 2) fostering debate on this website. For this, Mark Harness branded me a scofflaw. Curiously, he said just before his vote, “I can honestly say I haven’t read the blog in over a year.” What the heck does THAT mean? Is he somehow proud that he has ignored the reasoned debate of two Keller councilmen and many of his own constituents?
You can stop future Keller Stations by remaining ever-vigilant and then working your tails off on petition-and-email campaigns, or you can elect some more councilmen who will do it of their own volition through the courage of their convictions.
*Another euphemism for high-density residential/mixed use development