Monday, September 17, 2012

Why Have a City Planning Commission?

At its September 10 meeting, besides approving a gas station in the Spring Valley Station District Planned Development, Richardson's city council also considered zoning changes requested by a developer in support of a 56-unit independent living facility in the Shire development at the Bush tollway and Jupiter Rd. The vote to approve was unanimous, 7-0.

After the jump, what caused my eyebrows to rise.

On August 21, the Richardson City Planning Commission (CPC) considered the same request and denied it 7-0.

What's wrong with this picture? Let's review. Developer went before CPC. CPC denied the request 7-0. Developer then went to city council. Council approved the request 7-0. Cumulative score: 7-7. That indicates a difference of opinion. A close call. But those two 7-0 votes indicate that neither body thought it was a close call at all. There's no way to explain those two votes by mere chance.

What do those two 7-0 votes indicate? They indicate dysfunctional city government. The different results are too far apart to come about via any effectively operating management system. If I were on the council, I'd want to investigate how such a disconnect between the CPC and the council could exist. No one on the council even showed much curiosity about it. Something's wrong in how the city is organized and our city council is not even aware of it, or at least isn't at all concerned about it. Why even have a City Planning Commission if its unanimous recommendation is going to be dismissed so easily and completely?

1 comment:

Sassy Texan said...

It's comparable is the TIF zone board. When interviewed, they were asked if they would be ok not having any authority and the final authority would be the council. I guess pushing hard to get a commission in compliance with statute was just an appearance thing.