Monday, October 27, 2008

Wilmer Continues Making News

The Dallas Morning News today graces our area with not one but two new Editorials on development and planning in South Dallas County.

Click Here to Read "Editorial: Inland port master plan still alive"

Click Here to Read "Editorial: Growing support for development corp."

WPC is in general agreement with the inland port master plan editorial. It is a shame that Wilmer and Hutchins don't care to see the larger picture for the area. Of course, "we got an attitude" about Dallas (city) dumping all their problems here according to long time residents. But one developer recently quipped that it's ridiculous to attempt a development plan when the key centerpiece (Wilmer & Hutchins) won't participate.

Richard Allen of The Allen Group makes a good point that he's spent millions on development planning for his 6000 acres and doesn't want the rules to change. But it's not like Wilmer has supported Allen Group plans to any great extent. Remember we turned down $23 million in road and infrastructure development grants that Allen Group was going to subsidize.

However, WPC is not supportive of the development corporation editorial primarily because it suggests that Dallas (city) is the logical entity to establish a development corporation to manage growth in the southern sector. While our northern neighbor is unquestionably the "800 pound gorilla" in the county, Wilmer and the other autonomous municipalities shouldn't be considered a bunch of bananas. In other, smaller states the combined City/County government approach has worked relatively well, but this is after all TEXAS and our independent nature resists the concept of becoming part of Dallas (city) to our core. We would rather be part of "uncooperative" Dallas County than sacrifice our Wilmer identity to the "800 pound gorilla" known as "Big D".


The Associate Moderator said...

Sounds like what has been said all along might just be true. The Allen Group is all about the Allen Group and no one else. Lange, Leal and Dyess either can not see it, or are in it with them. If it is not apparent now, it will only get so blown out of shape when it is done that we will be the laughing stock of Dallas County. We are headed there fast.

The Allen Group wants to have their cake and eat it too. Richard Allen states that he has done his own plan and that should be good enough for Commissioner Price and the other commissioners. He also put together an infrastructure plan that did not hold up six months before he pulled it off the table because it was no longer feasable (Wilmer Water/Sewer/Road Infrastructure Project). Prior to the final version of that proposal, Allen offered three others in the same week for council consideration, a feat that fails on it's own merit. They are so unorganized that they can not even put a plan together without changing it three times in a week? I think it might be more along the lines of "change it till they like it and then we will do it our way afther they approve it!" No wonder Commissioner Price wants his own. No wonder Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert wants to have a voice in the work as well. North Central Texas Council of Governments would like to have a government voice in the work as well. Why not Allen?

Richard Allen (CEO of the Allen Group) says he spent millions on his plan. He spent millions on the other plan and changed it three times in a week's period. Get real. Why do our council members believe that Allen is the fix all-do all for Wilmer. The first major thoroughfare plan Allen put together for Wilmer, Hutchins, Lancaster, Dallas and Dallas County would have cost Wilmer residents alone over 4 million dollars. It canceled because we would not agree to pay for their roads. EXCUSE ME? Why should we pay for roads in his development? He should pay for his own roads. We will not be driving on them. Allen believes he is doing us a favor and we should pay for his development. THAT IS WHY THE GOVERNMENTS SHOULD ASSEMBLE THESE PLANS. Allen Group only cares about Allen Group and how they can get us to pay for their project, then run back to California with the profits. This is a no-brainer. Let the officials draw the plans that work for all of us, not just Richard Allen.

The Observer said...

Does anyone remember the story of the little hen who asked for help planting grain? No one offered to help. Then she asked for help grinding the grain. Again no help. Then she asked for help baking her bread. No help. When she asked if anyone would help eat the fresh, baked bread, everyone said yes, but the little hen said no. You didn't help, you don't eat.

We have groups wanting to help us develope by making a master plan and overseeing the development. There will be enough fresh, baked bread for everyone. Let's get the help we need to get our area developed for the betterment of our people and not just the Allen Group.

proofs in the pudin' said...

The City engineers are preparing a master plan for The City of Wilmer. This is at our expense, not The Allen Group or any other developer. Why don't you wait until it is completed before you comment. Why does J.W. want his master plan to be approved so bad? It's in his district! How else can the "other" messiah control what goes on. This is not the first time that Price has tried the power play. Even the other County Commissioners see this. The County's job is to assist and advise not take over and run the show. Commissioner Price has done a good job in helping bring the railroad intermodal to wilmer and Hutchens. Hopefully he will continue to assist the area development, but assisting and controlling are two entirely different things. Make your "experts" available to the Cities to assist them and their engineers and quit crying every time you don't get what you want.

Wisdoms Pearl said...

Applause! Applause!Applause! Applause!

Both of the comentators are right-on! The Allen Group could afford the infrastructure with what they are saving by not having to do ALL of the Environmental Studies, Cultural Resource Studies and Geology and Post Development Studies that the STATE of CALIFORNIA requires not to mention the studies required by the local governments--City and County. The required studies there are not cheap! At a seminar I took with developers a few years ago, one developer told me that the piece of land I had purchased was a bargain, how much would my "studies" cost? I said only those required by the Federal Government would be a cost and that was not much. Then, he elaborated on the number of studies that would be required by his company in California and I was staggered by the time line and the costs.

They think they have found heaven here in Dallas County, Texas where they are required to do really very little to even begin to formulate a plan for developement. It takes months and sometimes a couple of years in California to get permission to develop land, especially the number of acres that they have planned here.

The City's officials have had people and officials offer their help and assistance. The City's officials have refused. One can only ask, why?

Remember, you can cure ignorance; but stupidity is beyond help; and, remember, there are none so deaf as those who refuse to hear.

Again...Applause! Applause!

Editor Publisher said...

RE: Proofs in the puddin'

Hooray for the Engineering firm the City has hired to come up with a plan. As I remember their presentation at the city council meeting, citizen commentary is a critical factor THROUGHOUT the PROCESS of creating a plan - NOT to be withheld until the planning process is completed. How can an outside firm formulate a good plan for a community WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING THE WANTS, NEEDS AND PRIORITIES OF THE COMMUNITY.

If the concept is that a plan needs to be developed and the the citizens affected can comment after the fact - just remember "Planning in a Vacuum Always Sucks".

The Associate Moderator said...

The cost of a comprehensive plan and the related study are very, very high. Is it in the budget? Who is paying for this? Can the new tax rate produce the necessary funds to offset the cost of this plan? Or is an outside source paying for this study that will certainly have input to guide the Comprehensive Plan the way they need it guided, especially in areas where zoning will not agree with citizen input or opinion. With the way we shoved our hand in the face of the county, they surely won't be helping. Who is?

The involvement of the citizens in a Comprehensive Plan is nothing more than public comment in public hearings prior to decisions made by city council on zoning and related issues mandated by statute, not decisions made by citizens, and we know how those can be influenced.

The involvement of the county in a new COmp Plan would ensure that the influence in the plan was citizen complementary, not citizen ignorant, and would minimize or eliminate the possibility of financial influence by developers who strongly need a biast Comp Plan. County chairing such a plan and the reviewing group would also help ensure 1) unbiased representation of the citizens as well as the developer(s), not the developer(s) alone, and 2) a sharing of the cost spread out over other cities and the county. There would be enough eyes on the review and assembly of the new Comp Plan at the hands of the county that would virtually eliminate what a few councilmembers inside Wilmer's private City Hall could pedal.

My reasons for bringing this up are to remind all of us that a wolf in sheep's clothing is still a wolf. And a wolf ready to hand out money "to secure proper decisions" is still a wolf.

An outside engineering group does nothing more than to decide, based on the "desires of the city" how to place what where with some recommendation. Let's all remember that the only way to keep this going in the right direction is to watch it the entire way. But also remember that the council has the last say, citizens still only have input, and with this council and their apparent need to be self serving, can we really trust where this will go? Especially with an illegal former Mayor still lurking in this same Private City Hall!