Tuesday, September 11, 2012

And this is why they call it a 'conflict of interest'

Posted By on Tue, Sep 11, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Photo illustration of Kyle Campbell
  • Kyle Campbell wears two hats.

Remember Kyle Campbell, the city's interim director of planning/consultant to developers?

I wrote about him here, after new concerns about his apparent conflict of interest surfaced. Campbell's longtime gig has had him aiding developers, but in his current interim position with the city, his job is defending taxpayers — roles that many believe are at odds.

It doesn't help that Campbell has fired many of the regulators once responsible for telling his clients "no," or that he's lowered fees for developers while shortening turn-around times for reviews of proposed projects.

Here's another move that may raise eyebrows: Campbell is making recommendations on plans from his own company, Classic. While the request below is hardly a biggie in the development world, it nevertheless illustrates the ethical conflicts that can arise when a person is charged with regulating his own industry.


COUNCIL MEETING DATE: September 11, 2012

TO: President and Members of City Council

CC: Mayor Steve Bach

VIA: Laura Neumann, Chief of Staff/Chief Administrative Officer

FROM: Kyle Campbell, Interim Director of Planning
Steve Tuck, Senior Planner

Subject Title: Vacation of the Right-of-Way for the Cedarmere Drive Cul-de-Sac

SUMMARY:
This is a request by Classic Consulting Engineers and Surveyors for approval of the vacation of the right-of-way of the cul-de-sac for Cedarmere Drive. The right-of-way consists of 0.093 acre (4,051 square feet) and is developed with the turnaround area of a cul-de-sac. Cedarmere Drive will be constructed as a through street. No residences rely on the cul-de-sac for access

PREVIOUS COUNCIL ACTION:
The City Council approved on July 12, 2011 an annexation, zone change and development plan for the Austin Ridge project. The project consists of 25 single-family residential lots. The vacation of the cul-de-sac of Cedarmere Drive was shown on the development plan.

BACKGROUND:
Cedarmere Drive was platted and developed as a cul-de-sac in 2003 with the Austin Heights subdivision. At that time the area west of Cedarmere Drive was not within the City limits. The developer of the Austin Ridge project obtained the lots surrounding the cul-de-sac together with the land to the west. Cedarmere Drive is shown on the 2011 Austin Ridge development plan as extending to the west and connecting with Emerald Drive. Since Cedarmere Drive is designed as a connected or through street, a turnaround area for a cul-de-sac is no longer necessary. The vacated right-of-way for the turnaround will be replatted with an adjacent lot and tract. The existing utilities in the turnaround (water main, fire hydrant) will be relocated into the newly configured right-of-way of Cedarmere Drive.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS: Not applicable

BOARD/COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION:
As required by Section 7.7.402.B.2 of the City Code, a request to vacate right-of-way is placed directly onto a City Council agenda for action after review by the administration. No review by a board or commission is required.2

STAKEHOLDER PROCESS:
An extensive public notice process and neighborhood meetings were provided with the annexation, zone change and development plan for the Austin Ridge project in 2010 and 2011.

ALTERNATIVES:
1. Approve the request to vacate the right-of-way;
2. Deny the request to vacate the right-of-way;
3. Refer the matter back to staff for further consideration.

RECOMMENDATION:
Approve the vacation of the right-of-way of the Cedarmere Drive cul-de-sac.

PROPOSED MOTION:
File No. AR V 12-00351 — VACATION OF RIGHT-OF-WAY
Approve the attached ordinance vacating the cul-de-sac of Cedarmere Drive based upon the finding the vacation complies with the criteria in Section 7.7.402.C of the City Code.

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