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The City of University Park is missing a couple of key pieces of the democratic process in the City Charter which are standard in most cities, including Highland Park and Dallas.

They are:

1. The ability to hold a recall election of elected officials

2.  The ability of residents to bring forth ordinances

University Park Residents for Neighborhood Friendly Development has developed a petition to amend the City Charter for those points and we are looking for volunteers to help obtain signatures at the UP voting sites on election day: Tuesday, November 8th.

You can sign up via the Sign Up Genius link below and we really appreciate any time you can give to this critical step.  You will be given an explanation of the petition to hand out as needed.  Thank you in advance for your help and we look forward to seeing you next Tuesday at the polls!

www.signupgenius.com/go/490b4ca5ad23a2f94-election

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AN OPEN LETTER TO OLIN LANE

October 9, 2016

 

Dear Mayor Lane:

 

We recognize the Strode rezoning request will be the most important decision the City Council makes under your leadership, and so on behalf of both the residents of University Park and the retailers in Snider Plaza, we are grateful you have decided to delay the consideration of this ordinance.  

 

We also agree this is a good time to rebuild the trust between you and your constituents.  As you know, rebuilding trust requires:  full transparency, open communication, and mutual respect between the parties. 

 

We would like to suggest two simple steps to rebuild that trust.  First:  Will you and Jim Strode join us at a community meeting either Wednesday, October 12, or Thursday, October 13 at 6:30 (whichever date is most convenient for you and Jim Strode) so Jim can present the latest proposal and renderings and the community can better understand the newest proposal and your thoughts on his rezoning request?  Neither the public nor the City Council has seen the renderings of the new plans, and the proposed ordinance was posted for the first time last Friday evening.   Second:  Would you instruct the City staff to fully disclose and turn over all of the city and City Council’s files and emails on the Strode matter by Tuesday, October 11? 

 

These two steps will start a healing process and rebuild the trust that has been lost in this zoning matter and give all parties all of the information to thoughtfully form their opinions. 

 

We know you love our city.  We love our city as much as you do and respectfully urge you to take these simple steps so this critically important community decision be made in complete transparency and after a respectful conversation over the community’s concerns about this rezoning request. 

 

Sincerely,

 

UNIVERSITY PARK RESIDENTS FOR A NEIGHBORHOOD-FRIENDLY DEVELOPMENT

 

 

cc:  University Park City Council

       Jim Strode

 

 

For the sake of full transparency, we would ask that this letter be published on the city’s website and your response to be published on the city’s website. 

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Dear fellow citizens, friends and neighbors,
 
The re-zoning debate for the old Chase Bank property is still ongoing!
 
As you know, this piece of property is in the heart of our neighborhood.  Properly redeveloped, it could become an award-winning crown jewel of urban renewal.  (Really!) The imminent prospect of ridding ourselves of the old eyesore Chase building, and gaining a marvelous new piece of architecture with landscape design that fits our community's needs is truly exciting.  (Hooray!)  Properly executed, the new development even has the potential to serve as an inspiring template for other urban-suburban communities like ours across the country.  (Truly!)  
 
SO LET'S GET IT RIGHT!
 
While the current proposal has some great elements -- underground parking, curved glass structure, addition of trees and landscaping -- it also has highly problematic elements  -- starkly excessive height, excessive square footage, ingress/egress/traffic/pedestrian-safety problems, unattractive above-ground parking deck, insufficient green space/ plaza area -- that urgently require modification.  We can get there -- but we need to work together!
 
Whether we find ourselves rejoicing at an architectural marvel or grumbling about a behemoth building or intractable traffic-jam for decades to come is up to ALL OF US!
 
PLEASE get informed and get involved! 
 
 
To that end, I forward a brief update:
 
City Council Meeting:
At the City Council meeting Sept 6th, the decision was made to extend the public hearing through the next City Council meeting on Sept 20th. Primary reason for this extension is that the city requested peer review of the traffic study was not completed in time for this week's meeting. UP Residents Committed to Neighborhood Friendly Development is also conducting an independent traffic study.
UP Residents Committed to Neighborhood Friendly Development is collecting information on anyone who is interested in speaking about the situation at the Council meeting, so please reply to this message if you would like to speak.
All, please plan to attend: Sept 20th, 5 pm, City Hall.
 
Petition:
Given the decision to keep the public hearing open through Sept 20th, we will keep the petition open as well (through Sept 19th); link is below.
This is our second petition and very specifically states the the current zoning/re-zoning that the developer is requesting, and a resident compromise position which we think is reasonable, fair to all, and maintains safety for the community.
We hope you will read the petition and consider signing it with your comments.  Comments will be delivered to the City Council prior to the meeting on the 20th, so the City can be fully informed as to the residents' position.
Please forward this letter to anyone you think will take an interest and thanks for your support of this critical community issue.
 
 
Alex Wagner and UP Residents Committed to Neighborhood Friendly Development