Both oppose development because of it being gated. One wants, one doesn’t.

Every zoning case initiates the sending of ballots to every property owner within 500 feet of the proposal. The list of property owners is supplied by the city, which use the list to mail ballots. Since the documents in a zoning case are public record, developers and their representatives often secure the list to educate and influence as well as to secure feedback on their project.

It’s a delicate dance where opposition might be turned into support for a project. As I wrote previously, response rates for these ballots are famously low. There are times when the zoning request is so tiny, it would only matter to the city – in which case there’s barely a return. In more controversial cases where opposition is high and well-organized, the returns are much higher.

All this balloting matters for several reasons. Obviously, the City Plan Commission and City Council want to know what the immediate neighbors, who will be impacted most, think. They also want to understand the basis for their opposition and whether there are common, valid themes. If a vast majority of respondents hate one thing, and it’s a changeable and bad thing, the city can use their powers to make it work.

(more…)

Did a developer offer to buy votes of approval for his proposed residential project in North Dallas?

On Sunday, I received a note from Doug Bedell, a resident who seems to be leading the opposition to the proposed Northaven Trail Village project that would see 35 homes constructed on a 4.4-acre parcel zoned for 19 homes. The development was part of former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller’s anti-development campaign rhetoric and one of three precincts she bested council member Jennifer Gates. (Background here, here)

Bedell forwarded me an email from another resident, Amy Wallace titled, “Northaven Trail Village buying votes.” The brief email, dated June 12th, stated, “I was approached Sunday by Mr. Gleeson, who wants to build the homes where the school is. He was trying to collect my blue form for the city. I didn’t give it to him. Today he called me and offered me $300 if he could pick it up and deliver it downtown. He’s trying to buy us off!(Emphasis theirs)

For reference, “Gleeson” is David Gleeson who’s working with David Weekley Homes on this project.

There was no evidence supplied that this offer was made to more than Ms. Wallace and Gleeson responded that, “I made such an offer to one person — out of frustration and exasperation at trying to get that person to take the time to fill out the form. I have hand delivered letters/presentation to 49 homeowners who have not turned in their forms; placed MANY phone calls and follow-up calls; knocked on doors; follow-up emails.  MOST of the 119 residents in the Notification Area designated by the City obviously do not care about this case.”

A second response clarified, “no payments have, or will be made.”

(more…)

In our continuing Dallas City Council election coverage (ha!), let’s take a look at the third of three precincts won by Laura Miller (and its adjacent precinct tie).

Miller ran her campaign on an anti-development platform that resulted in her winning just three precincts where redevelopment cases lit a certain NIMBY fire. The first two were easy to understand for CandysDirt.com readers as they involved the extensively covered Preston Center and the Pink Wall’s PD-15.

The third development case was highlighted by Candy back in April and involved the redevelopment of the former Mi Escualita Preschool on Webb Chapel just north of Walnut Hill by David Weekley Homes (see map above). At the time it was part of Miller’s campaign fodder, but the election’s over and it’s time to look a little deeper and talk about today.

(more…)

A new build at Hockaday and Snow White was tagged by what some nearby homeowners allege to be a disgruntled neighbor. The brick home had “GREED” scrawled on the Snow White-facing side over the Labor Day weekend, according to NextDoor posts.

At least one person is less than thrilled about new builds going up in Northwest Dallas‘ Forest Knoll Estates neighborhood, north of Royal Lane near Midway Road. The first clue is the giant word “GREED” scrawled in spray paint on the Snow White-facing side of this Hockaday Drive spec build from ICF Custom Homes. The second clue is the barrage of posts on NextDoor speculating just who would do such a thing.

(more…)

Just off the phone with Al Coker of Al Coker & Associates, who is marketing an exciting new property in, get this: residential northwest Dallas. 

I have not seen them (thank you, rain) but they seem like the perfect answer to what so many downsizing Baby Boomers want: smaller private homes with some yards, privacy, warm contemporary styling, and lock and leave potential so we can get out of Dodge whenever. Just had this convo with Margie Harris and Stephanie Pinkston from Allie Beth Allman at lunch Wednesday: Margie said so many more homes in Park Cities and Preston Hollow would hit the market if owners had somewhere to go.

Al Coker

Margie Harris & Stephanie Pinkston

This development seems to fit the bill of what she was talking about!

The Court at Chapel Downs is a limited collection of twelve modern-inspired performance homes, and the official ground breaking takes place today, Friday the 23rd, in the am though no builder in his or her right mind will start a project until the ground is a bit drier.

The Court at Chapel Downs will even deliver its first three units mid September, 2018, so about eight months from now. I am loving the sleek bathrooms.

Where did the developer find this dirt?

(more…)