Articles by

Zachary Dickens

03/06/15 12:46pm
Photo via ESD's Facebook page

Photo via ESD’s Facebook page

If you’ve been wondering — as we have — why signs regarding a zoning change have been hanging on the fence at Episcopal School of Dallas, you got your answer in the Metro section of the Feb. 24 Dallas Morning News. As David Flick reports, ESD wants to build a new lower school on a 7.6-acre plot south of its Midway Road campus that is currently occupied by single-family houses. That would allow ESD’s youngest students to leave their facility at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church near Preston Center and be at the same location as all of their older schoolmates.

To absolutely no one’s surprise, some people who live near ESD are not happy about this proposal. Their NIMBY (Not In My Backyard, for the uninitiated) concerns about increased traffic echo those voiced by neighbors of the Alcuin School, where officials are proposing the opposite change: adding high school sophomores, junior, and seniors to a campus that has traditionally served only youngsters.

Today, the Alcuin School’s proposed changes were approved by the Plan Commission. They move on to the full council, so the battle of schools vs. neighbors is far from over.

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02/24/15 1:11pm
Photo by Tony Webster, via Flickr

Photo by Tony Webster, via Flickr

We haven’t been writing about crime much lately for two reasons:

1. The Dallas Police Department continues to withhold the juicy narratives from its incident reports. Emily Toman and Rachel Stone of Advocate Magazines recently did a great job of explaining why this is frustrating to people besides us perennially complaining journalists.

2. Lately, the incident reports from the Park Cities police departments have been little more than identity thefts or purses being snatched from unlocked vehicles.

However, one recent incident report from University Park did catch our eye. A Realtor with a home address in Plano told police that $5,200 worth of her signs were stolen from eight different properties between Jan. 7 and Feb. 8.

First of all, is the going rate for a yard sign these days really $650? Wow.

Secondly, why would this particular Realtor’s signs have been targeted? We reached out to her via email in an attempt to get more details, but she hasn’t responded.

Meanwhile, University Park Officer Lita Snellgrove clarified that the brokerage in question is a family business.

“There could be a family dispute among the owners,” she said. “The victim does not suspect rival Realtors of taking the signs.”

Have any agents reading this ever had their yard signs stolen — by family members, partners, or anyone else? If so, did you bring the cops into it?

02/04/15 11:35am
Kelli Ford will soon have a luxurious greenhouse for growing vegetables and other plants. (Photo by Nir Shafir, via Flickr)

Kelli Ford will soon have a luxurious greenhouse for growing vegetables and other plants. (Photo by Nir Shafir, via Flickr)

No matter what you’re thinking of getting your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day, you’re going to have to step up your gift-giving game if you’re going to compete with Gerald J. Ford.

The namesake of SMU’s football stadium is giving his wife a 1,500-square-foot greenhouse that will be nearly 16 feet tall. We know this because the University Park City Council signed off on the present to Kelli Ford last night.

OK, technically, the council signed off on an amendment to the ordinance governing Planned Development District 32 — a.k.a. the Fords’ 6.2-acre property — that will allow the greenhouse to be erected.

According to Harry Persaud, University Park’s chief planning official, the Fords own the largest single-family lot in UP. It’s on the tax rolls for $31,198,820, and it held the No. 2 slot in the two most recent editions of D Magazine’s biennial rankings of Dallas’ most expensive homes. (Tom Hicks’ place in Preston Hollow topped both of those lists.)

The City Council saw no reason to deny Ford’s request to build a greenhouse. In fact, they had three big reasons to approve it:

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01/28/15 9:47am
Voters across the Dallas area will go to the polls on May 9 to elect mayor, city council members, and school district trustees. If you want your name to appear on a ballot, you should know that the filing period for candidates begins today. (Photo by iStock)

Voters across the Dallas area will go to the polls on May 9 to elect mayors, city council members, and school district trustees. If you want your name to appear on a ballot, you should know that the filing period for candidates begins today. (Photo by iStock)

One way to ensure that your property values stay high is to get involved in your community. For example, you could represent your neighborhood on the city council or school board.

Of course, you’d have to convince your neighbors that you’re worthy of their votes. But that comes later. First, you need to get on the ballot. And today is the first day to file a candidacy for the municipal elections that will be held across the Dallas area on May 9.

Here’s a look at which seats are likely to be contested in the neighborhoods where our readers live and work:

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