Proposal to Change the Name of Ross Ave. — What’s the Process?

I’ve received a number of emails about the signs along Ross Avenue indicating a proposal to change the name of the street to Cesar Chavez (between Live Oak and Houston Street). I wanted to explain the name-change process so those who want to participate in the decision-making process have the opportunity to do so.

Last month, the Trinity River City Council Committee unanimously passed a motion to recommend that Ross Avenue be renamed Cesar Chavez. The committee is comprised of Councilmembers Dave Neumann (Chair), Dr. Elba Garcia (Vice Chair), Dwaine Caraway, Carolyn Davis, Linda Koop, Pauline Medrano, Steve Salazar, and Mitchell Rasansky (who abstained due to a conflict). I am not on that committee and did not vote on this.

The name change proposal must now go through several more steps before it is finally approved or denied. The next step is for the Subdivision Review Committee to vote on the matter on September 18, 2008 at 9:00 a.m. in council chambers (1500 Marilla St., 6th floor). The Subdivision Review Committee is a subcommittee of the City Plan Commission, a board appointed by the mayor and city council that usually hears zoning cases.

The members of the Subdivision Review Committee are Plan Commissioners Clarence Gary (Chair), Sally Wolfish (Vice Chair), Michael Davis, and Tom Lueder. Prior to the hearing, each property owner on Ross Avenue will receive a reply sheet to advise the Committee of their position on the name change. Note that these reply forms are NOT ballots, and do not in themselves decide the outcome; they are provided to the Committee to advise them of the community’s position. The Subdivision Review Committee hearing is open to the public and the public is invited to make comments.

Whether the subcommittee votes in favor or against the name change, the next step is a public hearing before the full City Plan Commission on September 25, 2008 at 1:30 p.m. in council chambers. Ross Avenue property owners will again receive reply forms. This meeting is open to the public and the public may make comments. After that, a public hearing will be held before the City Council, but that has not been scheduled at this time. Because Ross Avenue is an historic street name, a three-quarter vote of the council is required to approve any name change.

Here is a page that more specifically explains the next steps in the name-change process as well as the governing city law.

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