Pillow Talk: The Advocates

If you asked 10 friends to list their favorite authors, J.K. Rowling, Steven King, Mark Twain, Harper Lee, William Shakespeare, and Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel will likely be mentioned at least once. All are greater writers whose words changed the world.  Most likely, attorney and historian Daniel Boorstin failed to make this list.  He should have.

Boorstin was the Librarian of the United States Congress from 1975 to 1987. He created the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress. More importantly, Boorstin’s trilogy, The DiscoverersThe Creators, and The Seekers, examines the scientific, artistic and philosophic histories of humanity. These books chronicle the lives of ordinary men and women who achieved the extraordinary. Some are familiar:  Einstein, Columbus, Marie Curie.  Others are unknown the individual(s) who:  divided time into hours, minute, and seconds; established a numbering system; ventured beyond their immediate surroundings to see what was over the hill.

If Boorstin were to write the multifamily industry’s government relations history (The Advocates), it would contain stories of extraordinary accomplishments and ordinary efforts. A conversation an on-site maintenance professional had with their regional supervisor about city laundry regulations led to saving our industry hundreds of thousands of dollars. The extremely successful Business Exchange and Epicurean Dinner political action committee (PAC) fundraisers began as “what if” moments. Persistent face-to-face conversations with members of congress changed the federal bankruptcy law.

Advocates change our communities, our state, and our nation. Be an Advocate.

ARLINGTON CITY COUNCILMAN NUNEZ TOURS AATC MEMBER PROPERTY – AATC Past President Jodi Spurrell and her Highmark Residential team at Cinnamon Park Apartments along with AATC Government Affairs Committee Chair John Gillespie with WAK Management and AATC Past President Nicolle Block recently hosted newly elected Arlington City Councilmember Dr. Ignacio Nunez for a property tour. This meeting was an excellent opportunity to educate Councilman Nunez about the apartment industry and establish a strong partnership with him as he begins his council service.

Fort Worth Short-Term Rentals – Like other DFW cities, the Fort Worth city council is exploring zoning, registration, and taxing options to address short-term rentals. Currently, short-term rentals (less than 30 days) are allowed in commercial and mixed-use zoning districts, like downtown and near downtown areas, but are not allowed in residential zoning districts, including multifamily zoning districts. AATC members whose properties are in areas that allow short term rental should have their Certificates of Occupancy include the transient occupancy in addition to the multifamily residential occupancy. One option being currently considered by council is to allow property owners in all residential zoning districts to apply for a Conditional Use Permit for short-term rentals. The council is expected to act in Spring of 2020.

FORT WORTH MUNICIPAL SUMMIT 2019 – If you own or operate rental property in Fort Worth, then mark your calendar for Thursday, October 17th, and plan on attending the 3rd annual Fort Worth Municipal Summit from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Victory Forest Community Center (3427 Hemphill, Fort Worth, TX 76110). This year’s summit will include panel discussions on multifamily inspections, solid waste/recycling, water safety, fire prevention, and crime prevention.  In addition, to the city code, fire, police and development department directors, the Fort Worth Municipal Summit will include a question and answer session with a Fort Worth Justice of the Peace Lisa Woodard, as well as, breakout sessions with neighborhood patrol officers and code compliance inspectors. To register your team, go to: https://apartmenttarranttxassoc.wliinc38.com/events/Fort-Worth-Municipal-Summit-2019-1012/details

SAGINAW & WATAUGA RENTAL INSPECTIONS – AATC recently met with city officials in Saginaw to discuss ways to mitigate overly burdensome rental inspections and registration fees and effective approaches to address substandard properties. Saginaw currently charges a $50 per unit rental registration fee. Saginaw has more than 1,000 single-family rentals and four multifamily communities with two additional multifamily properties under construction. Three of the four multifamily communities in Saginaw are substandard according to city officials. AATC actively pursuing a meeting with Watauga officials to address similar concerns.

MID CITIES MUNICIPAL SUMMIT 2019 – If you own or operate rental property in Hurst, Euless, Bedford or Grapevine, put Thursday, November 14th, on your calendar and plan on attending the 3rd annual Mid Cities Municipal Summit from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Six Stones (209 N Industrial Blvd #241, Bedford, TX 76021). This year’s summit will feature a series of panel discussions that impact all attendees (HEB ISD, human trafficking experts, Justice of the Peace, etc.).  Per usual, we will have break-out sessions for attendees to meet with code, police, fire, etc. representatives from their city.

 Pillow is AATC’s Director of Government Affairs. For more information, contact Perry at ppillow@aatcnet.org or call 817-616-0354.