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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Overcoming the Consent Agenda

This is curious.  Why is the Arlington, TX City Council Meeting Agenda for this week (March 6, 2012) showing a controversial item on its Consent Agenda?

"Maybe the lights are on but nobody's home."

Definition of Consent Agenda

The Consent Agenda is a tool used to streamline meeting procedures by collecting routine, non-controversial items into a group whereby all are passed with a single motion and vote.

The February 21, 2012 Public Hearing

As we know from observations at the February 21 public hearing regarding SUP 11-13 Overcoming Faith Drill Site, this topic was far from being non-controversial.  Following are reasons why this ordinance change for a drill site is objectionable:
  • Public parks are a protected use requiring a 600' setback.  The proposed drill zone is 301'.
  • Nine other drill sites are located within two miles.
  • In 2006 it was determined that the purpose of the Village on the Green at Tierra Verde overlay would be to provide an area that would be environmentally sustainable, memorable for its rural character and village-like atmosphere, with a mix of high-quality housing options.
  • During the February 21 hearing Councilwoman Sheri Capehart expressed her concerns. Her comments can be heard by clicking HERE.
  • A children's psychiatrist from Sundance Hospital spoke about his concerns, and his speech may be heard HERE.    
  • And finally, Edge Resources announced that they have been accepted into the Audubon International Signature Program - not to be confused with the Audubon Society which in no way is affiliated with the former. However, to our knowledge they have not been certified yet. This process can take a year or more. Wouldn't it be prudent to wait until they actually get certified? 

How does heavy industrial mining  fit into that overlay???

The City received only five petitions of support. Two were from the same individual and one appears to be invalid.  In support are:  (1) Edge Resources  (2) Overcoming Faith Church (two letters by same person); (3) a local business C-CAT; and (4) the COO of Sundance Hospital, whose approval might be invalid.

Did we mention that - according to the letter of objection written by the doctors of Sundance - that  their COO is not authorized to sign legal documents pertaining to the property at 7000 U.S. Hwy. 287, Arlington, TX?  He is only authorized to make decisions regarding operations of the hospital.  Wouldn't that mean that his signature doesn't count?  In addition, aren't the doctors the ones who own the hospital?  These documents can be viewed HERE.

Here is a Channel 33 report about this site:

This issue looks complicated, so it is confusing to see it listed on the consent agenda where it can be swiftly approved during the next council session.  Consent agendas are not to be used to hide actions that will be controversial -- to do so breaches trust and undermines the value of this practice.


  1. Arlington's political leaders have accepted so much money from the gas drilling interests that they are now unable to represent the public interest. It is simply scandalous.

    1. If Arlington's city leaders can approve heavy industrial mining in a future high-end housing development near a church, school, park, golf course, and hospital facility, then there is no hope left for anyone living here. Where in the world do you see heavy industrial mining being allowed in residential neighborhoods? This is twisted thinking.