In Friday's edition of the Citizens' Advocate, a publishing error was made. Thomas Burrow's answers were incorrectly attributed to me. I am sure that the editor will rectify this mistake in Friday's edition but I wanted to let everyone know my actual answers today:
Since one of the major City issues going forward appears to be rezoning, what is your opinion on rezoning from Retail, Commercial, Light Industrial and Highway Commercial to Residential? ANSWER: The original vision for Coppell was one third residential, one third retail/commercial and one third light industrial. The majority of the residents moved here embracing that insightful mix. At this point, with the success and reputation that Coppell has achieved, no reason has presented itself to warrant the necessity to deviate from this model.
Henry Billingsley, from the massive Cypress Waters development that lies in the Dallas city limits on Coppell's south end, has recently given the City Council advice on how to rezone near his property. Do you see this as a conflict of interest? ANSWER: Undoubtedly, Mr. Billingsley had his vested interest in mind when he spoke to the city council. However, his years of successful experience should not be dismissed. He understands mixed use/high density projects require a critical mass to be successful (e.g Southlake Town Square and Legacy Town Center). Due to the prime location of the parcel in question, the demand for commercial space at 635 and Beltline will ultimately yield Coppell’s first full service hotel.
With recent studies ongoing about environmental and health impact of gas drilling, will you support additional gas drilling in Coppell and why? ANSWER: The gas under Coppell has been trapped in the shale for eons. It is not going anywhere in the near future. For such a crucial decision, we need to be pragmatic and deliberate in allowing drilling. Until further unbiased substantiation can be provided showing that fracking wells, wastewater wells, and storage of flowback water do not present health risks and potential for contamination to groundwater we should forego approval.
What do you consider the most critical issue facing the city in the next two years? ANSWER: Mixed use/high density housing projects are being forced upon citizens by the Coppell 2030 Comprehensive Plan. Residents of Coppell were not able to vote for its approval. A few select citizens had input into the Visioning Plan but any opposition voiced by these citizens to high density housing was omitted in Comprehensive Master Plan. High density housing projects will forever change the small town feel people moved to Coppell to enjoy unless voters take action.