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I am one of many homeowners in the suburban Mountain Creek area of southwest Dallas impacted by a rezoning, known as Planned Development 521, that adds high-density development to our neighborhoods. This matter has been put before the city’s planning and zoning commissioners on three occasions.

A petition was started to oppose the addition of multi-family apartments of 3-4 stories to our neighborhoods. The petition has over 480 signatures that apparently have fallen on deaf ears. We the community asked for at least 39 deletions from the proposed rezoning.

On May 2, Dallas City Plan Commissioner Clarice Criss, appointed by Mayor Pro Tem Casey Thomas, motioned to close the commission’s public hearing and only granted three amendments of the 39 land use deletions we requested. At the same time, the commission added “mixed-income” or Section 8 housing on one section of land that is directly behind my home and about 17 others. How can you close a public hearing, then add a new land provision like “mixed-income” to the table?

I have been the main spokesperson at all three public hearings and have been very vocal regarding multi-family apartments. I openly discussed what neighbors wanted when Criss visited my home, under pressure from me, on March 19.

Chairwoman Gloria Tarpley should have postponed the hearing at several points in time and moved to amend rules to hold over for advisement due to the new issue at hand. By not doing so, she took away the opportunity for neighbors to voice their concerns regarding a new land use that was not ever brought up in the past two public hearings and went against the steering committee which did not have it on their recommendations.

Thomas is holding a community meeting about this on Thursday, June 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the Park in the Woods Community Center, 6801 Mountain Creek Pkwy, Dallas, TX 75249.

I expect this discussion will be very heated and the voices of my neighbors will be in dissent against high-density development, including multi-story apartments in our backyards, as well as asking why “mixed-income” housing was added at the last minute—without community input—when that was never part of the original plan?

This is a commentary submitted and published with the author’s permission. If you wish to submit a commentary to Texas Scorecard, please submit your article to [email protected].

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