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News Summary

Don't take power from us, cities say

Publication Date: 2005-05-05
  • Author:Jeffers, G.
  • Publication:Dallas Morning News
Even if voters give Dallas Mayor Laura Miller the sweeping powers she seeks, state lawmakers may not leave much for her to do with them.

City officials across Texas are complaining that dozens of bills moving through the Legislature will hurt local governments and undermine local control of economic development and growth.

One such measure, which awaits Gov. Rick Perry's signature, would restrict cities' ability to rezone land, making revitalization of blighted areas even more challenging.

Another would require cities to reimburse developers whose property lost value because of environmental regulations. Such regulations would include Dallas' restaurant smoking ban and restrictions on sexually oriented businesses.

Legislators – many of them Republicans who say they prefer that such decisions typically be made on the local level – say they are protecting private property rights. Others call the bills attempts to help developers, who are major political donors. And local officials simply see an assault on the state's largest cities.

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