Final Critical Meeting! Be There! - Tues Jan 4, 2011

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If you care about your shoreline property on Lake Worth, you need to be at the council meeting!

Tuesday, January 4th at 7:00 p.m.

City Hall
1000 Throckmorton
Fort Worth TX 76102

Video Transcript:

I had planned to make a video that demonstrated how sanity finally prevailed in the dock ordinance saga. I was going to illustrate how the zoning board’s recent recommendations reflected the community’s collaboration and consensus.

Unfortunately, I won’t be making that video. Instead, I have some extremely disappointing news. In a bizarre move that defies explanation, our councilman, Carter Burdette, has thrown out the zoning board’s recommendations and has inserted his own arbitrary changes to the proposal. You have to understand that this move is “off the charts” in terms of how things are supposed to work. I am going to explain what is going on, but I want you to know right now, that you need to act to protect your property. You need to be at the city council meeting this coming Tuesday night, January 4th at 7:00P.M.

So what’s going on? As you know, I and other lake leaders have worked three years trying to protect our properties. I won’t go into the unpleasant details, but these efforts came to a head last month at the December 8th zoning board meeting. Lake leaders and residents presented reasons and arguments to the board that specific changes needed to be made to the proposal. The board listened to residents and made the necessary changes. The board then passed the recommendations unanimously. In a normal situation, that would have been the end of it. Our councilman would take the board’s recommendations and then passed them at the next council meeting.

Not this time. In an unprecedented move, Councilman Burdette threw out the zoning board’s work and arbitrarily inserted his own preferences. These changes go against the community’s wishes and fly in the face of the zoning board’s recommendations. To put it mildly, lake leaders are very disappointed with our elected official.

In fact, one of the neighborhood association presidents called the councilman and asked why he was making these changes. His reply was bizarre. He said, and I quote, “for every square foot a homeowner takes for their dock that is a square foot not for use to the public." Now, I have to tell you that I find this argument so ridiculous that it is embarrassing to even address it.

But since that is his stated concern, let’s take a few seconds to look at it. The first question to our councilman is exactly which lake users benefit from his changes. Let's take look: skiing - no, fishing - no, boating - no, sailing - no, swiming - no. The fact is that you cannot identify even one user group or one citizen who benefits (even theoretically) from his changes.

In fact, if you follow this logic through and do the actual calculations, you see how utterly absurd the argument is. So here are the numbers. The lake is over 150,000,000 square feet. If EVERY property owner on the lake built a dock which was 400 square feet bigger, the differential area would represent 13/100ths of 1% of the lake area. (150,000,000 / 400 x 500 = .0013) And that's if ALL 500 owners built new docks. To say it another way, even with all 500 property owners built new docks, you would still have just slightly less than 100% of the lake for public use.

Let’s look at this visually. Here’s a satellite photo of the lake. Notice that compared to the size of the lake, the docks are tiny, tiny specks. They are barely visible. Even if we quadrupled the size of every dock on the lake, you wouldn’t be able to see any difference.

So what does this mean?

First, it means that the changes that our councilman has made represent an insignificant and inconsequential fraction of the lake. It has absolutely no recognizable effect on the percentage of the lake covered by docks.

Second, his changes have no benefit to any user group whatsoever.

If you remember from a previous video, the changes he is making were addressed in the December survey which was distributed to all lake residents. According to the survey, 98% of lake residents believe that the provisions he is proposing will damage their property values.

So the question is simple, “why would you damage citizens’ property if there is absolutely no benefit to anyone?”

The insult to the injury is that these actions are being taken by our councilman who is operating in what is commonly called “lame duck” capacity. Our council seat, District 7, is up for vote this coming May. Councilman Burdette has officially alerted the media that he is not going to run again. So in a nutshell, we have a councilman, who is not going to face the voters in May, making bizarre arguments and unprecedented amendments to this critical zoning ordinance.

So what are we going to do? The measure is now going to council for passage. You need to be at that council meeting. The meeting is on Tuesday, January 4th at 7:00P.M. Everyone who wishes to speak will have three minutes. Whether you speak or not, you need to be at that meeting. You absolutely need to be present.

I cannot emphasize how important your single presence is. Your being there is going to make a huge difference in how this goes. If you don’t attend, you might as well deed your property back to the city because our city leaders are going to take it from you piece by piece.

Look, you and I pay some of the highest property taxes in Texas. There is no doubt that shoreline residents are being subjected to taxation without representation. We should expect far more from our city government than this. If you care about your shoreline property, you need to be at city hall at 7:00 Tuesday night, January 4th standing tall.

We’re all in this together. I’m Michael Dallas.


Latest Ordinance Proposals:

Approved Zoning Ordinance by Zoning Commission 12/8/2010

Changes Made by Councilman Burdette 12/28/2010


Last Three Videos on Lake Worth Dock Ordinance

December 8, 2010 Meeting Notice

November 9, 2010 - Contact Your Elected Officials

October 19, 2010 - What's Wrong with This Ordinance