Elva Roy welcomed the members to the meeting. Because Elva provided the refreshments, as is our tradition, she took 5 minutes at the microphone to remind the audience that we are celebrating the 5th anniversary of the Ambassadors For Aging Well this month.
Mariposa Apartment Homes. Next was a presentation about affordable "zenior" apartments in Arlington. We need more "affordable" zenior housing in Arlington. The proposed "Mariposa Apartment Homes" to be built on Harris Rd, just east of Cooper in south Arlington will provide some affordable apartments for people 55+. 180 units total (some at "market rate" rents and some at lower "affordable" rents). See the developer's website at www.bonnercarrington.com for info about the other Mariposa "zenior" complexes they have built in Texas. They are a Texas company and all of their developments are in Texas, which were constructed and are managed by them. They have never sold any of their complexes to another company, as we learned from their very helpful and competent Community Outreach Liaison, Emily Protine, who has spent a lot of time in Arlington educating residents and City Council about their proposed project. Some of us took the opportunity speak to City Council about why more affordable zenior housing is needed in Arlington (and all over Tarrant County for that mattwer).
[Note: we had a great turnout at the City Council meeting where it was "do or die" about whether to hold a "public hearing" to consider overturning the P&Z's denial of the re-zoning request." We have one more step before it's final and it's now imperative that we turn up one more time at the Sep 10 City Council meeting at 6:30 and sign a "green support card" or choose to speak in favor of the rezoning.]
Know Your Neighbor. Diana Dring came forward as our meeting's volunteer to share something about herself so that we could know her a little better. She drew 3 cards from the deck of 300 questions and answered them. She also mentioned that her mother recently moved to a facility and that Diana has one bedroom left that she would like to rent to a compatible roommate. This is a new twist at our monthly meetings so that we can find common interests and know something about each other that we didn't know when we walked into the meeting. Thank you to Dr. Ed Ferbur and to Diana Dring, our first two volunteers. Will you be next?
Update on new world-class senior activity center to be constructed on W. Green Oaks Blvd. in Arlington. Alf Bumgardner, City of Arlington Construction Manager, called Elva Roy to let the Ambassadors know that an RFQ (Request for Qualifications) for architectural services was just released and within the next few weeks, an architect should be selected. Later on, public hearings will be held to get input from "zeniors" on the design, etc. Elva subsequently had a conversation with Councilwoman Moise who confirmed what Lemuel Randolph (Director of Parks & Recreation) and City Manager Trey Yelverton had said that the delay is due to other capital projects ahead of the senior center (such as the multigenerational recreation facility to be built in south Arlington which was approved by the citizens by a bond election before the senior center bond). Many residents of south Arlington were making sure that their project was not superseded by the senior center. What's fair is fair. No issue with the schedule. It is what it is.
Texas Health Resources speaker, Dr. Venkat Rapuri, M.D., was unfortunately "on call" on the day of our meeting so his surrogate, Samantha Church, R.N., was kind enough to step in for Dr. Rapuri, to talk about "joint pain" and what to do about it. There was a mixup on time to start, so we didn't get to hear a full presentation as expected. We hope to get Dr. Rapuri to reschedule for a meeting in 2020 but thank Celinda Sowell and Nurse Church for being here with us and sharing knowledge in the limited available time.
Chris Turner, Texas State Representative for east Arlington and Grand Prairie, spoke about what happened at the legislative session ending on 5/31/19. Chris serves as Chair of the House Committee on Higher Education, Vice Chair of the House Committee on Redistricting, and as a member of the House Committee on Insurance. His interests are expanding educational opportunity, increasing access to affordable health care, improving the economic well-being of all Texans, and broadening civic participation. Citizens are invited to attend Chris' Town Hall meeting at the Arlington Municipal Airport on S. Collins St. on Saturday, Sep 7, 10:00-11:30am. RSVP docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfPygiNrzwukpFpb8aB2GOabeQbjATnVqx8mGL4ecytbyjjhg/viewform
Your input is critical.
You know that I don't bother you with a lot of emails, but your help is needed for this. I spoke at the Planning & Zoning Commission meeting last night to express support for a 180-unit affordable senior apartment community to be built on Harris Rd just east of Cooper. The Commissioner most in opposition said that "warehouse/storage space" is in high demand in Arlington, so why would they support a zoning change from Light Industrial to Multi-Family. They're putting "warehouse/storage space" ahead of the needs for seniors to have "affordable apartments" when we're ready to downsize when the taxes/maintenance become too much for us to manage.
My request to you is to send an email to the Arlington Mayor and City Council expressing your support for the "Mariposa Senior Apartments, Zoning Case PD19-7" and express your outrage that the P&Z Commission would put "warehouse/storage units" ABOVE affordable apartments for Arlington's seniors (which are scarce!).
Please send an email to Stephanie.Dimas@arlingtontx.gov expressing your support for the Mariposa Senior Apartments on Harris Road, Zoning Case PD 19-7 and outrage that the P&Z Commission denied the zoning change from IM (Industrial Manufacturing) to RMF-22 (Multi-Family).
And come to the Ambassadors meeting on August 12 at 1:00 pm. 700 E. Abram St., Arlington, to hear more about this project.