Controversy Swirls Around Amarillo City Commission - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Controversy Swirls Around Amarillo City Commission

Controversy surrounds today's decision by the Amarillo City Commission to change a residential zone into a commercial business zone.

Residents in the colonies will have a car lot for a neighbor. That's because the Amarillo City Commission changed the zoning of an area off Soncy from residential to business. Many residents are unhappy about it.

"It was sort of ramrodded you know, it was already going through before we really knew about it," said Colonies resident Rachelle King.

According to the City's Planning Director Kelly Shaw, the state only requires notification to people within 200 feet of the affected area. Residents still say they felt left out of the decision making process and even question the integrity of the commissioners that voted.

"I know me and a lot of the other residents I spoke with think it's illegal how this got approved and went through" King added.

For instance Commissioner Jim Simms who originally said he had a conflict of interest, but then gave this explanation as to why he voted.

"The Amarillo National Bank has some involvement in this, however, I'm in the trust department of Amarillo National Bank and there is a definite separation between the bank and the trust department."

The city attorney says that state law says it's okay for commissioners to vote if they file affidavits that explain their conflicts of interest. Although they could've legally voted, Mayor Debra McCartt and commissioner Madison Scott both still chose to abstain. So although the residents in The Colonies are frustrated by the cities action, the city says it was all done according to the law.


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