The council's talking ethics reform again this morning -- specifically, lobbyist registration, restrictions on campaign contributions and how the council votes on zoning cases. I believe Jim handled the first part of this, oh, 'bout six weeks ago -- recommended reading for those in need of a refresher. (Long story short: "The idea of Leppert as the champion of reform goes down hard." Frankly, I'm a Calvin and Hobbes man myself.) As for campaign contributions, well, the proposal on the table would disallow council members from getting dough while a zoning case is under consideration or 60 days after its dispensation -- because after 60 days there's no way the money could be tied to a specific zoning case, right? Right.
As for the zoning requirement, City Attorney Tom Perkins has drafted an amendment to the Dallas City Code that changes how cases are yay'ed or nay'ed around the City Hall horseshoe. As in:
7.13. Motions to Approve Zoning Cases.
(a) A main motion to approve or deny a zoning case must be seconded three times, with each second made by a different city council member. By seconding the motion, the city council member represents that he or she has reviewed the facts of the zoning case and has developed an opinion on the appropriateness of the zoning.
(b) For purposes of this subsection, "zoning case" means an item listed on a city council public hearing agenda for an application to change the zoning on a specific property, including authorization of any hearing to determine proper zoning, straight zoning, zoning-related deed restrictions, specific use permits, planned development districts, historic districts, conservation districts, neighborhood stabilization overlays, and similar zoning applications.
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I think Schutze is planning to attend morning's meeting. But that may just be for the briefing involving "alley closure service requests." Why? That's his business.