Judge Emily Tobolowsky has granted a temporary restraining order against the proposed Cityplace Sam’s Club development, which will prevent the City of Dallas from issuing permits for construction.

Cityplace residents have formed a neighborhood group called the East Village Association and filed a request for a temporary restraining order and permanent injunction against the City of Dallas and the Dallas City Plan Commission to stop the development earlier this week. Yesterday the Plan Commission voted to approve the development 11 to 4 after the 162nd District Court ruling. Today’s action, though, means that residents have time to organize a case against the development.

“We want to go back to square one,” said Anthony Ricciardelli, one of the resident’s attorneys, on Unfair Park yesterday, “and let the residents who should have had a chance to speak out last year have a chance to speak out before a decision is made.”

See the filing for the injunction request after the jump:


No to Sams at City hallI got to City hall for the tail end of it, but in enough time to learn that the Dallas plan commission did not agree to re-open debate on the controversial Sam’s Club down near Cityplace, called East Village. Channel 8′s David Schecter was there and has all the details. A few members were sympathetic and even voiced concern that the notification process had been flawed. One member voted against Sam’s: Gabrielle Soto. J.L. Forke was there, along with several concerned Realtors. The neighbors vow to continue and have not ruled out possible legal action. Here’s part of what leader Jonas Parks, the Accidental Activist, posted on his group’s Facebook site:

“(I am saddened by)… our failure to secure the public hearing, but for lack of care the commissioners showed today and for lack of consideration of the citizens they were supposed to serve and to advocate. Having learnt from this, We are going to rise stronger, more organize and go all the way to show them together we are mightier than them.”

One other member sitting at the table had some words, too, and we will have more on that very soon.

Giant pool floatSorry folks, I’m working on some posts and getting antsy. My daughter just found this at Sam’s Wholesale Club on Northwest Highway. It holds up to 6 people and will take up our entire swimming pool. It’s just one example of what the good people in East Dallas will be able to buy at the new Sam’s Club at Cityplace and walk home with.

Jonas Park_2014-1-2He’s a quiet, almost shy young man who was born in Korea and came to the United States to study in 1991. Jonas Park lives in East Dallas and has emerged as the leader of a small activist group not happy that a Sam’s Wholesale Club is moving into their neighborhood.

“The last thing I think of myself as is an activist,” says Jonas, “but I love my neighborhood. I was one of the first ones to move into a new house here because I believe in this neighborhood.”

Jonas works as an art director and set designer. He teaches what he calls “donation yoga” at his home, for free, and teaches professional yoga classes at the Joule Hotel, Exhale Mind & Body Spa, and other locations across Dallas. He first heard of the Sam’s Club moving into his neighborhood through NextDoor, a private social network that connects neighbors to promote neighborhood cohesiveness and communications.

East Dallas, says Jonas, is changing. When he first moved to Rusk Court in 1998, they used to hear gunshots all the time, he told me. Now “young white women jog the neighborhood”, he says, because the Dallas police are on top of crime, and the neighborhood is changing. For the better, says Jonas. He and others do not want to see it take a step backwards. (more…)

currenteastvillageSam'srenderingThey took over a large room in the Agape Methodist Church on Columbia Ave. in East Dallas, set up easels, graphs, and maps of the area to let the neighborhood come see Sam’s last Thursday evening. Water and cookies were served. About 12 location residents wandered in, if that many. There were so few residents, there was no need to speak to the group. So Scott Dyche, general counsel for Trammell Crow (CBRE), Joel Behrens and others spent a lot of time on their feet just talking one on one, or one per groups of three.

Actually, of the 12 ish people there, one was a newbie reporter from the Dallas Morning News, and some were Oak Lawn/Uptown residents who came over to examine the development. (more…)

9930 Cloister Front

I was telling my husband about this house at 9930 Cloister last week. We drive by it every single day because it’s at the corner of Cloister and Peavy, a street well-trafficked by anyone who lives on our side of White Rock Lake.

This home is rare bird because while some important updates have been done, the kitchen and hall bath are time warps back to 1956, which was when this cute two-bedroom, two-bath home was built. Pam over at Retro Renovation will adore these two rooms, which have original tile and cabinetry, a big plus for any 1950s aficionado, and the bathroom has the original pink tile and a double-sink vanity.

“Maybe we should buy it?” my husband asked, half joking.

“Well, let’s see if it’s still on the market …” I responded, which caused my husband’s mouth to fall open.



By now I’m sure you’ve read just about all of the postmortems on the infamous shout fest of a town hall last month regarding a proposed restaurant at Boy Scout Hill. But even if you’ve had your fill, I implore you, find room for just one more: Eric Celeste’s “Whose Lake is it Anyway?” in the June issue of D Magazine. 

This is an important column to read because residents of Old Lake Highlands and other White Rock Lake-adjacent neighborhoods need to see what other Dallasites see, from the outside looking in. Whereas Lyle Burgin and Richard Knopf just wanted to build a restaurant atop what they thought was an underused portion of White Rock Lake Park, residents saw it as an abominable incursion on public space that was a slippery slope toward turning the “Crown Jewel of Dallas” into an amusement park.