January 21, 2011
Ted D. Lee and Jerelene W. Lee filed a civil lawsuit in Federal Court.
February 19, 2009
City Council voted to deny this zoning case.
January 8, 2009
The minutes from the December 16, 2008 Zoning Commission Hearing were published today and can be view here (please see page 2 & 3). This case is still set the the February 19th City Council Hearing; the city will mail official notices for this hearing during the first week in February.
December 29, 2008
The property owner and applicant have requested that this case be placed on the February 19th City Council agenda. The city will mail official notices for this meeting during the first week in February.
Please note: the correspondence (email, letters, response cards, etc.) sent to the City up to this point will not be considered for the City Council Hearing - those were all for the Zoning Commission Hearing. Therefore, opposition and/or support will need to be voiced again in order to be considered for the Council phase of this case. There will be a green response card included in the mailed official notices for the City Council meeting.
Chapter 35, Article IV, Section 35-421 (d) (3) of the Unified Development Code (UDC) for the City of San Antonio as amended by the City Council on April 3, 2008 reads as follows:
The law cited above requires that letters of opposition (protests) must be in writing and signed the owner(s); and additionally the letters of opposition must be received by the city, in this case, by 4:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 18, 2009. I have been told by the city staff that the City will accept e-mails in opposition as long as it can be verified has having been sent by the property owner; the e-mail would have to have the property owner's name(s), address, and telephone number so the e-mail can be authenticated.
I would recommend that if you do send an e-mail that you also go ahead and send signed copy through the United States Postal Service addressed as follows:
Be sure to reference Zoning Case Number Z2008193 and sign your letter.
I will be mailing a notice to all property owners that are within 200 feet of the subject property, included with that mailing, for convenience, will be form letter that can be signed and sent into the city.
December 18, 2008
Today I leaned that the applicant has notified city staff not move this case forward to City Council at this time. The applicant has until the May 20, 2009 deadline to have this case placed on the June 18, 2009 City Council Hearing.
If this case is not taken up by City Council by June 18, 2009 the current application will expire and the applicant would have to start with a new application all over again but that new application can not be filed until June 17, 2009, six months from the Zoning Commission's vote on the matter. The applicant can also withdraw the application but still would not be eligible to file a new application for the same parcel of land until June 17, 2009.
If this case is taken up by City Council by June 18, 2009 it could still be postponed to a later City Council Hearing because it would have already been considered by City Council within the six month time limit. Once the City Council votes on the matter, one of two things can happen; it is either approved or denied. If it is approved, it will be written into law by city ordinance. If it is denied, the application dies right there and the subject property owner or any subsequent owner(s) can not file a new zoning application on the subject property for one year after City Council's denial.
December 16, 2008
Wow, what a difference two weeks makes! The Zoning Commission Hearing held today was like night and day compared to the hearing that was held on December 2, 2008. The Chairman, Mr. Don Gadberry, actually adhered to the Zoning Commission stated rules of conduct without showing any bias, although he did abstain from voting in what was otherwise a unanimous vote of denial for the zoning application. Furthermore, Mr. Gadberry maintained a civil tongue and refrained from any offensive and prejudice remarks such as those he unleashed at the first hearing.
December 11, 2008
The Zoning Commission Agenda for the December 16, 2008 hearing was published on the City of San Antonio website today; case number Z2008193 is scheduled as the first case to be heard. This hearing, like the last one, will begin at 1:00 p.m. and be held in the first floor board room of the Cliff Morton Development and Business Center located at 1901 S Alamo St, San Antonio, Texas 78204 (NW corner of S Alamo St and S Flores St, just south of downtown).
If you would like to speak at the public hearing, please sign the roster located at the entrance of the board room. You must sign up BEFORE the beginning of the hearing, so arrive at least 15 minutes early.
Through Councilwoman Diane Cibrian's office, I have offered for a meeting to be setup between us neighbors and Ted Lee with his attorneys in good faith to see if a consensus can be reached; they have not responded to repeated requests for a meeting. They really did not want to meet with us back in October and only did so at the insistence of Councilwoman Diane Cibrian; and then they totally misrepresented that meeting to the Zoning Commission on December 2, 2008. At this point, I have reached the conclusion that they do not want to meet in good faith and any further attempts to setup a meet would be pointless.
December 8, 2008
The following is an e-mail that I had sent to Councilwoman Diane Cibrian at her request:
Dear Councilwoman Diane Cibrian,
You had asked that I let you know if I found any discrepancies with the process at the Zoning Commission Hearing on December 2, 2008. The answer is, yes I did find discrepancies; but I have not written them down until now because quite frankly I was so applaud and angry that I thought it best that I sleep on it to organize my thoughts. As it turned out I need to sleep on it for several nights.
At the entrance to the Board Room on the first floor of the Cliff Morton Development and Business Service Center, there was a table to sign in if you wanted time to speak to the commission; on this same table was a handout to the public with information on the Zoning Commission and how its business is conducted with very specific rules of how a case is to be presented and how public comment will be heard. The public hearing started precisely as stated in the handout. There were four (4) zoning cases that were head first and they were clustered together because they were rather cut and dry and had no opposition and each were approved by separate vote. Next on the agenda were the individual cases that were less cut and dry or the commission wanted to hear from the applicant and any proponents and/or opponents to the case. Zoning Case number Z2008193 was scheduled as the third item of the individual cases to be heard. The first two cases were presented in a manner exactly described in the handout. It was not until the Ted Lee case was presented that there was a departure from the Zoning Commission's stated rules.
The case was presented by Micah Diaz of the zoning staff in a clear, matter of fact fashion, in accordance to the rules. Next the rules stated that the applicant would make a presentation that would be limited to five (5) minutes. In this case the applicant is Mr. Patrick W. Christensen from the law firm of Brown & Ortiz, P.C.; Mr. Christensen did make his presentation but was not limited to the stated five (5) minutes; he was allow to go over his allotted time. Next the Chairman of the Zoning Commission, Mr. Don Gadberry, invited speakers from the floor and asked them to state their full name and address for the record. Those who were in favor of the zoning case were called first; Mr. Ted D. Lee got up and spoke and was allowed to speak at length until he was finished, which was well over the stated three (3) minute allotment per speaker. The next was a woman who stated her name but not her address that said that she was speaking on behalf of a couple in the neighborhood but would not give their names citing fear of reprisal as the reason; she did not speak to land use issues but recounted hearsay of misinformation that was said to be told to the persons that she was speaking for. Mr. Gadberry then asked if there were any others who were in favor of the case; Ted Lee’s wife, Jereleen W. Lee, raised her hand but did not wish to speak.
Mr. Gadberry then called on those who were in opposition to the case to come forward. I stepped up to the podium and stated my name and address, thanked the commissioners for my opportunity to speak and asked that they be as generous with respect of time with the opponents as they were with the proponents. I then began to speak to the issue and was called on time, at which point my mother stated her name and address and ceded her time to me. I did not use all of the time given to me. My final statement was to Mr. Jody Sherrill; I told him “I understand that you have put your hat into the ring; that you are running for City Council in District 8, I just what you to know that my neighbors and I are watching this case very closely.” At that point Mr. Gadberry admonished me for making such a comment. When I was finished a few of the commissioners asked questions of me. Most of the questions asked of me were very good and to the point of land use issues, however there was one commissioner, Mr. James Grey, along with the Chairman who’s questioning was more confrontational with the aim of discrediting my testimony. There were several more opponents that spoke and all that got to three (3) minutes were called on time; a few used additional time that was ceded to them. After the last opponent spoke, Mr. Gadberry asked if there were any other opponents who wished to speak because this was there last time to have a say; there were no other in opposition who wanted to speak. Then Mr. Gadberry asked all those who were in opposition to stand so as to be seen by the commission; there were more than I could count at that time.
Next on the handout rules was a rebuttal from the applicant, which is to be limited to one (1) speaker and a three (3) minute time limit. Mr. Christensen once again spoke at length until he was finish, exceeding his allotted time. Then a second speaker was allowed for the rebuttal; Mr. Lee once again spoke with out being called on time.
The next event was the most egregious display that I have ever witnessed from a public official. Before passing this case on to the commissioner for District 8, Mr. Ramiro Valadez, III, the Chairman, Mr. Don Gadberry, stated for the benefit of his colleagues, that he has known Mr. Lee for a very long time and that Mr. Lee is a “very good church going Christian man”, with the implication that those of the opposition are less than that, in fact heathens. After he realized what he said, he then stated that he was sure that all involved here were good people. My neighbors and I maintained an appropriate level of respect and decorum fitting a governmental hearing and we contained our outrage.
After be so blindsided by the bias displayed in favor of the applicant it was hard to focus on the remainder of the hearing. Up until this point I have been very impressed with the extremely high level of professionalism, courteousness, and responsiveness displayed by you, your staff, Mr. Roderick Sanchez, and all of his staff at the Planning and Development Services Department. Up until the Zoning Commission Hearing on December 2nd I had never been more proud to be a citizen of San Antonio, a truly world class city! Well that sentiment has been greatly eroded; I just could not believe that in this day and age that we would have a public servant that was so openly offensive and prejudice.
December 7, 2008
The following are some statements made in the amended zoning application signed by Mr. Patrick W. Christensen dated October 29, 2008 and a few points to consider:
December 3, 2008
Zoning Case number Z2008193 was presented at the December 2nd Zoning Commission Hearing but has been continued to the Zoning Commission Hearing on December 16, 2008.
Incongruous statements made by the applicant and owner of the subject property at the December 2nd hearing:
November 25, 2008
The Zoning Commission Hearing Agenda was publish today; please see the "Documents" page of this website. Zoning case number Z2008193 is scheduled as the third item on the agenda and the staff recommendation is "Denial". This is good news, but we can not let our guard down until this case is either withdrawn or reaches final disposition by the City Council!
I know that the timing of when this case was finally brought forward to the Zoning Commission Hearing seems to be less than coincidental to be proximate to the Thanksgiving holiday, the longest holiday of the year and the busiest travel time of the year as well, when many people will be out-of-town. The ten (10) day notice from the city has arrived in our mail boxes on the Saturday before Thanksgiving so the city offices are only open for four (4) days before the date of the hearing. In spite of this I look forward to a strong showing of support in opposition at the hearing.
At the Zoning Commission Hearing, each case will be allocated a maximum hearing time of one (1) hour. Proponents and opponents of the zoning change each will be allowed thirty (30) minutes for their presentations (a maximum of five (5) minutes per speaker). Proponent rebuttal will be limited to one (1) speaker and five (5) minutes.
A recommendation made by the Zoning Commission regarding the zoning change will then move to City Council for final consideration.
November 21, 2008
I have received the updated case file for Zoning Case Number Z2008193, which can be viewed on the "Documents" page of this website (http://No-Rezoning.Info). Mr. Patrick Christensen from the law firm of Brown & Ortiz, P. C. (BO) once again amended the application on October 29, 2008. The amendment is as I had previously reported to you in that the zoning case now only pertains to the parcel comprised of lots 1 through 4 (lot 5 has been dropped from the case) and that they are requesting "PUD R-6" instead of just "R-6". One of the biggest differences between "PUD R-6" and "R-6" is that with "R-6" each lot must front to a road, with a "PUD R-6" that is not the case.
Also included in the case update is the official notice that the City is to send to all property owners and homeowners associations that are within 200 feet of the subject property that is being considered for rezoning; which I have yet to receive by the United States Postal Service, and to my knowledge, no other property owners that are within the 200 feet boundary have received them either. Additionally the case file update list the contact person for the Whispering Oaks Homeowners Association (WOHA) to be Ed Einstein; Mr. Einstein is no longer a member of the WOHA Board of Directors in any capacity. Since September of this year, the current President for WOHA is Howard Alwais.
Because of the change to which parcels are now being considered for rezoning, there are fewer property owners within 200 feet than there were before. Now, none of the previous property owners that are on Whisper Leaves are included, 2611 Whisper Hill is no longer included, 11210 & 11214 Dreamland are no longer included, and 11115 & 11203 Janet Lee also are no longer included. That does not mean that your opinions do not matter it just means that you will not be receiving the official notice.
The Zoning Commission Hearing will begin at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 and will be held at the Cliff Morton Development and Business Center, first floor Board Room located at 1901 South Alamo St. The hearing is open to the public and I would suggest that if you wish to speak, please arrive at least 15 minutes early in order to sign-in; it would be a good idea to sign-in even if you do not intent to speak that way you can if you decide to change your mind or you could cede your time to someone else in order to give them a longer time to speak.
November 13, 2008
Zoning Case Number Z2008193 is still scheduled for the December 2, 2008 Zoning Commission Hearing. Please see the updated schedule here.
November 7, 2008
Mark you calendars; Zoning Case Number Z2008193 is set for the December 2, 2008 Zoning Commission Hearing Schedule. The meeting will begin at 1:00 p.m. and is open to the public. If you would like to speak at the Hearing you must sign up to do so; I would recommend that you arrive at least 15 minutes early to sign up to speak.
I spoke with Micah Diaz with the Zoning Department and she stated that the applicant has decided to move forward with their rezoning case; she further stated that they have modified their application as follows:
Basically this is asking for the same thing but just a different tack. The major difference between "R-6" and "PUD R-6" is that with a PUD the PUD plan shall be submitted to and approved by the planning commission prior to approval of any plats or the issuance of any building permits or certificates of occupancy (please see PUD on the documents page). I am very suspicious of this because if that were the case, why didn't they show, discuss or even refer to such a plan at the neighborhood meeting that they held on October 8th? Another difference is now there will be fewer property owners that are within 200 feet and one of those property owners within 200 feet is Ted Lee himself because he still owns lot 5.
It appears that Ted Lee has no intention of reaching any kind of consensus with the neighborhood and remains steadfast in his determination to get that property rezoned.
The City of San Antonio will be posting signs on the Dreamland property and mailing official notices to property owners that are within 200 feet of the subject property at least 10 days prior to the December 2nd Zoning Commission Hearing. It is very important that we send in the enclosed postcard that we will receive with notice stating our opposition to the proposed rezoning.
October 22, 2008
On October 21, 2008 I hand delivered a request for copies of the current file on zoning case number Z2008193 from the City of San Antonio. On October 22, 2008 I received the requested documents, which I have posted to this website here.
Brown & Ortiz, P.C. (BO) have submitted an updated zoning authorization letter (signed by both owners of the subject property, Ted Lee and his wife) and an updated Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) Worksheet. In addition, BO requested the city to amend the application to reflect that there is currently one house on the subject property. The updated TIA is still inaccurate in that it states that the maximum number of units allowed under the proposed zoning would be 28 rather than 30 that would be permitted by the UDC; this is really a non-issue in that the actual number still would not rise to the threshold to trigger the necessity of a traffic impact analysis, although it is still an error in the application.
As of this date, 13 of the 16 homeowners in Whispering Oaks and 13 of the 20 homeowners in Dreamland Oaks have sent in their letters of opposition to the City (map of those opposed); so far that is over 72% of the homeowners within 200 feet of the subject property that are opposed to the rezoning as well as the Whispering Oaks Homeowners Association (WOHA) and the Northside Neighborhoods for Organized Development (NNOD). None of the property owners from across Lockhill-Selma (apartments) have weighed in on the issue. There have not been any letters in favor of the rezoning sent to the City.
October 9, 2008
Brown & Ortiz, P. C. (BO) held their meeting with the neighborhood last night (10/8/2008), which was conducted by Mr. Patrick Christensen. Mr. Christensen's presentation neither contained anything new nor anything substantive; in fact it conspicuously lacked any plans at all. Essentially he mostly spoke about the zoning classifications of “R-20” and “R-6” as defined by the City of San Antonio (COSA) Unified Development Code (UDC) and that the theoretical limit of units that they seek for that property would be 30, but that is disregarding any roads or public right-of-ways that all units would have to front; he further stated that the practical maximum limit would be more like 20 units, give or take a few. His main point was that in order to recover the cost of developing the subject property, which would entail the engineering and extending the infrastructure to allow for higher residential density that they would need to maximize the number of units that could possible be shoehorned into that footprint.
Councilwoman Diane Cibrian should be commended for her efforts to mediate a consensus between the property owner and the neighborhood but more importantly her getting Ted Lee to admit that at the current time and in light of the current economic environment that he does not have any plans to develop that property. Then Councilwoman Cibrian stated the obvious that there is no need then to request a zoning change at this time; she then asked Mr. Lee if he had any intention of withdrawing his rezoning application, to which Mr. Lee responded that he “did not know”. At that point Councilwomen Cibrian told Mr. Lee that if he were to insist on taking his application forward that she would vote against it and that she would ask her colleagues on the City Council to vote against it as well.
September 23, 2008
I received an updated meeting notice in the mail today from Brown & Ortiz, P. C. There has been a time change to 5:30 p.m. rather than the originally scheduled 7:00 p.m.; the date is still Wednesday, October 8, 2008. I wonder if they want to limit the number of people that will be likely to attend by making it harder for people to get there after work.
September 20, 2008
I mailed out an information packet to property owners that are within 200 feet (including those on Janet Lee) of the subject property and that have not already sent in a letter of opposition to the city. Included in the packet is a tailored form letter of opposition along with an addressed stamped envelope for the convenience of just signing and mailing it to the city.
September 19, 2008
September 12, 2008
Zoning Case Number Z2008193 has been removed from the tentative Zoning Commission Hearing schedule. I spoke with Micah Diaz, the city planner handling this case, and she stated that this case should have never been on the tentative Zoning Commission Hearing schedule in the first place because the application is incomplete. I can only surmise that Brown & Ortiz, P. C. filed an incomplete application on purpose and is holding back on filing the letter for authorization from Jerelene Lee, wife of Ted Lee, until it suits their purpose.
September 8, 2008
September 4, 2008
Vance Jackson Neighborhood, Inc. (VJNI) weighs in with their support and offers to send a letter of opposition to the City of San Antonio.
September 3, 2008
September 2, 2008
I requested a copy of the zoning application and supporting documentation for the City of San Antonio, Development Services Department.
August 29, 2008
No-Rezoning.Info was created and published on the Internet.
August 28, 2008
August 27, 2008
Last week Robin M. Stover from the law firm of Brown & Ortiz, P. C. (BO), which has been retained by Ted Lee to handle his re-zoning bid, requested to make a presentation to the Whispering Oaks Home Owners Association (WOHA) to discuss this zoning case. I was invited to attend WOHA board of directors' monthly meeting, which took place last night (August 26, 2008); and BO sent Patrick Christensen from their office. Mr. Christensen's "presentation" consisted of a summery of the zoning case and that BO would like to hold a meeting at the old Calhoun house located on the property that is the subject of the zoning case to make a presentation to all the property owners that are within 200 feet of the subject property as well as WOHA. Mr. Christensen then solicited from WOHA what would be a good date and time to make such a presentation. WOHA stated to Mr. Christensen that BO should pick any Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday evening as to give the largest number of people wishing to attend the opportunity to do so and that at the very least BO should directly notify and invite the property owners that are within 200 feet of the subject property.
After Mr. Christensen left the meeting I was given time to address the WOHA board of directors and was able to explain the situation as I know it to be. I also requested that WHOA go on the record in opposition to the zoning case by sending a letter to Roderick J. Sanchez, Director of the City of San Antonio Development Department (COSA), and that failure to do so could be misrepresented in the future as tacit approval by acquiescence. The WOHA board agreed and stated that they would indeed send a letter of opposition to COSA within a week. In the past I requested the same from Northside Neighborhoods for Organized Development (NNOD), but as of this date I have yet to see any such letter from NNOD. Information about NNOD can be found on the Internet at www.nnod.org.
June 29, 2008
I found out about the rezoning application.
May 30, 2008
Ted Lee, one of the owners of the subject property, through his attorneys with the law firm of Brown & Ortiz, P.C., file an application (Z2008193) with the City of San Antonio to have the subject property rezoned from “R-20” to “R-6”. The subject property is comprised of two (2) parcels of land, one (1) parcel that is comprised of four (4) vacant lots and the other parcel is one (1) lot, which is already developed.
February 9, 2007
The two parcels of property were deeded to Ted D. Lee and wife Jerelene W. Lee.
The two Parcels being:
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