June 19th, 2006


Democracy On the Waterfront

There's an official report out on the Trinity River Vision. This is the plan to wipe out several neighborhoods by running canals through them and then replace the remaining buildings with new development. "You almost have a blank canvas and you'd hope development will follow some pleasing direction." "Blank" in this case means "only inhabited by people lacking clout on with the city council."

Why's it coming out now?

[The committee] wanted to avoid seeing the work becoming a political issue in the Tarrant Regional Water District election in May, which was widely seen as a referendum on the project. "There seems to be a high degree of consensus on the development standards, but they wanted to avoid the possibility that the public meetings would be used to debate other things to the detriment of the standards," said [the city official in charge of the project].

Oh, of course. Wouldn't want to have voters distracted by questions such as whether the whole project is a good idea or not, when the debate can get focused on the pros and cons of forbidding two story buildings next to fourteen story ones.

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