Jon, below are my responses to your previous email.

Please call or email if you have any further
questions or would like to discuss.

Angela

(Note: Author’s text in “blue”, Angela Hunt in “black.” A question about Toll Brothers and Starbucks’
seeming contradictory stance was removed because the author’s question was misunderstood.)

I’m assembling a piece that compares your time on city council where you fought for the Oak Lawn
neighborhood against your post-city hall career working for developers. I’d like to get your public
comment to balance the piece.

So what I’d like you to comment on is why you’ve seemingly switched sides.

You seem to suggest that I have somehow betrayed my constituency by serving as a zoning and
land use attorney after leaving the council. But Jon, I am no longer on the Dallas City Council. I
am not an elected official, I don’t have a constituency, and I no longer decide zoning cases. I am
a private citizen representing developers and neighborhoods in zoning cases.

My role has changed, but what has not changed are my values. I remain committed to
neighborhood self-determination. I will advocate for my clients, but I will do so while working
with neighborhoods in an open and transparent way. I am committed to seeking collaborative,
win-win solutions. As a result of these values, there are developers I will not work with and
projects I will not work on.

For the developers and projects I do accept, I don’t always know ahead of time whether a
project will be supported or opposed by a neighborhood. Sometimes projects start off with
significant opposition, but as a result of incorporating changes requested by the community, we
improve the project, find common ground and gain neighborhood support.

Specifically, in 2007 you helped kibosh Gables from building an upzoned project at Hall and Carlisle, but
two years after leaving office, you signed on with Exxir to help them with a similar project on that same
parcel (that has since lost steam). Many in the neighborhood have reported that after you signed on
with Exxir, developers were approaching nearby MF-2 zoned properties with promises of upzoning (and
increased land values) due to your support for Exxir coupled with your city hall clout (especially with
your protégé Kingston).

One of those other MF-2 buildings, Turtle Creek Terrace, is across the street from the Exxir lots. You’re
currently representing Lincoln on upzoning that parcel. You’ve also recently signed on with Alliance for
their proposed project at Armstrong and Cole. It’s another very dense upzone project that had been
voted down my Oak Lawn Committee before its reconfiguration.

I find your theory doubtful that developers are speculating on land in Uptown because of
me. Anyone who thinks that doesn’t know how zoning works at City Hall. Councilmembers are
accountable to their constituents, not zoning attorneys.
A decade ago on the Council, I denied a zoning change on Carlisle at Hall St. because the
community didn’t support the zoning change. Today, I am representing a developer that wants
a zoning change for the same parcel, for a very different project (the new project is an owner-
occupied high-rise with street-level retail versus previously proposed apartments). We don’t
know yet whether the community will support or oppose that project, or Lincoln’s project next
door. But I do know that over the last decade, a lot has changed in Uptown and the Oak Lawn
area.

For example, I remember several years ago denying a zoning change for the Saltillo Apartments
on the Katy Trail. Like the Carlisle sites, it was zoned MF-2 in PD 193. At the time, the neighbors
didn’t like the proposal and the Oak Lawn Committee opposed it. That project came back in
four different iterations over ten years before surrounding neighbors and the OLC eventually
supported the proposal last year. Is that somehow a contradiction because the OLC opposed
the project in previous iterations, then supported a zoning change a decade later? No. The area
changed. The project changed. The proposal finally earned community support. And that is
what ultimately won the day. (I was not involved in that case.)

Coincidental with that, you met with CPC last summer to ask them to explore downzoning the area from
MF-3 (in contrast to your upzoning work across the Creek).

Last summer, I worked with neighbors who live near Oak Lawn and Cedar Springs to explore a
neighborhood plan to reconsider the area’s intense zoning. The neighborhood is generally built
out with low-density townhomes, single-family homes and duplexes. Despite this, the area is
zoned MF-3 in PD 193 – a very generous zoning category that allows high-rises and other dense
development. High-rises are moving in and neighbors are concerned. A group wanted to
explore design standards for the neighborhood as well as the possibility of transferring
developments rights from the interior of the neighborhood (where streets are smaller) to the
exterior (major thoroughfares). Whether that area plan will be successful is entirely dependent
on whether the neighborhood reaches consensus on the plan.

What I think you are missing is that at the end of the day, whether a zoning change is approved
is largely if not entirely dependent on neighborhood self-determination. That was true when I
was on the council and it’s true now. It doesn’t matter how much I might advocate for a project
– if it can’t get community support, it’s not going to happen. And that’s how it should be.

Please reply to this note, either by inserting comments on specific areas or more general comments. I
want to make sure I convey accurately what your thoughts are versus my scribbling during a phone call.

I appreciate your time.

Interesses relacionados