Sunday, March 26, 2006

HOMES & GARDENS at AshCreek Mobile Home Park - March 2006

Photos taken during a quick walk around the AshCreek Mobile Home Park on a sunny day in March. Man with the newly prepared garden plot (above) is Richard, 87 yr. old WWII veteran; Richard was proud to show us the newly prepared spot for his vegatable garden just behind his mobile home. Richard lives with his daughters here at the MHPark. One daughter is a hospice nurse.

Watch for more MHPark home photos to come!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Who Supported Actions Against the MHPark?

Thirteen neighborhood groups supposedly supported an application to the City of Dallas that included exaggerated and false claims against the AshCreek Mobile Home Park and residents! Are you a member of one of these groups? *See below - some have backed out as of summer, 2006.

Neighborhood Organizations listed on the Application

Several over 2 miles from the MHPark

Enclave at White Rock Association (166 homes)
Highland on the Creek Assoc. (107 homes)
Enclave of Ash Creek Assoc. (66 homes)
Forest Creek Association (16 condominiums)
Forest Hills Assoc. (637 homes) (8/12/06, Pres. of FHAssoc sent letter stating FH Assoc. no longer supports petition against the MHPark and pulled their name off this list)
Casa Linda Forest Assoc. (426 homes)
Forest Hills Security (learned in July '06 this group never voted on this petition and they have pulled their name off, are NOT opposing the MHPark)
Lakeland Hills Crime Watch (649 homes)
White Rock Village Crime Watch (330 homes, 5 apart complexes)
Forest Oaks Crime Watch (100 homes)
Hillridge Crime Watch (661 homes)
Harry Stone Crime Watch (796 homes)
FRI – Ferguson Road Initiative (20 Homeowners Associations)

Many people who live in these neighborhoods knew nothing at all about this action against the MHPark. The evidence in the application was gathered by Dolores Wolfe (Enclave of AshCreek) and Linda Madeley (Enclave of WhiteRock).

Ms. Madeley or Ms. Wolfe nor any of the neighborhood groups ever contacted the owner or manager of the MHPark to try to suggest solutions to their concerns. Instead the issue was sent straight to the City with unjust claims that the MHPark was a "magnet for crime" and a nuisance to the community. Every 311 and 911 call made from the MHPark was used as the evidence to prove this! The Board of Adjustments voted on Dec. 14, 2005, to take away the legal zoning status of the Park and has given Nov. 15, 2006, for all residents to be moved and the owner's business closed.

A lawsuit has now been filed by the owner (see Lawsuit). Main points include that at no time during the hearings was there any testimony proving crimes committed in the Park.

Did your Neighborhood Group sign onto this application? If so, did you vote to do so? Did you or anyone in your group truly review the evidence within the application?

*As of August 2006, only 11 signers of this petition remai, maybe less? And only one is directly adejacent to the MHPark. Some of members of these groups may not even know their Assoc signed on to this false information.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


To: The Residents of Ash Creek Mobile Home Park

On Monday February 27 a law suit was formally served against the City of Dallas Texas AND the Dallas County Board of Adjustment. The suit states that the BOA erroneously determined that "The Park" was having an adverse effect on nearby properties with NO indication that the Park could be seen from nearby areas and that the only testimony about criminal activity in the area was that no criminal activity was attributable to the residents of the Park. The board further erred by neglecting the cost of closure to those most affected by the decision. . .The Park Residents...

It further states that Mr. Taylor Brannon, who moved to have this action taken, was disqualified from serving on the board at that time.

The City failed to take into consideration the costs for any residents to move. There is case law REQUIRING the resident's cost be taken into account.

In summation, the City actions constitute an unlawful taking of property of both the land owner AND the Park residents. The Fifth and the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution have been violated, and Article 1, Section 17, of the Constitution of the State of Texas has been violated.

A permanent injunction enjoining the City and the Board from enforcing the unlawful order to prohibit the lawful use of the property as a trailer park has been sought.

Hang in there folks. WE WILL WIN!!!!

Steve Crossett, Owner
Ash Creek Mobile Home Park

Letters to Editor

Letter to Dallas Observer 12/29/05:
Divided we stand:
As a resident of The Enclave at White Rock, I want to let you know that there is a group of us that were/are strongly opposed to presenting that petition to the Board of Adjustment. It was far from a unanimous decision on the part of the homeowners association to do so.

We moved to the neighborhood in the spring, far after the wheels had been set in motion to have the trailers removed. I think you would be deeply saddened by some of the e-mails that floated around our Yahoo group describing the park and allegations of behavior about the people who live in it. In an offline e-mail, I was personally told that I had to "agree to disagree" on the topic of the petition by the person who constructed it, and it was inferred that I should stop further communications regarding my dissenting opinion. There were several of us who thought if anything at all should be done, we should help them clean it up and let the powers that be handle the rest. Unfortunately, that petition was going to be filed regardless of what some of us said, and I'm honestly not sure if we were in the majority or minority. I don't think we as a group did enough to try to stop it, and I regret it.

I don't feel like those of us in the Enclave with a dissenting opinion were represented at all in your article or by "our" homeowner's association. The article portrayed ALL of us as the haves picking on the have-nots, and that was not the case at all. Nobody wants the families in Ash Creek to be exposed to raw sewage or electrical wires as the inspection stated but, as an affluent community, together we had the ability to handle the situation differently. There have been huge, heated debates within our community that I am sure have permanently divided us.
Ashleigh Marcus, Dallas

Dallas Observer 12/29/05

Letter to Dallas Morning News, Letters - 12/26/06
Spare us the tears now

Re: “Will they be driven away? Trailer park in jeopardardy amid code violations, neighbor complaints.” Tuesday Metro – Dallas Morning News

I am one of the residents of the Enclave at White Rock who begged Linda Madeley not to proceed with her crusade to do away with the trailer park. Why is she tearful about the residents now, when she would not listen to those of us who tried to make her realize she was dealing with human beings, not just a trailer park?
Mary Canterbury, Dallas
Dallas Morning News – Dec. 26, 2005

Letter to Dallas Observor, 1/12/06
Anarchy in the trailer park: In regard to the letter by Matt Henry of the Enclave (Letters, January 5), your insensitive stereotyping and callousness toward the residents of Ash Creek Mobile Home Park does more to bolster that written in the Schutze article ("Board of Scrooges," December 22) than to defend you and your neighbors. Well done. I especially like the image of the gun-totin' trailer-park yokels whooping it up on New Year's Eve. Hey Matt, watch for stray bullets.
Holly B. West, Dallas
Jan. 12, 2006 DallasObserver

Letter to Dallas Observer, 1/5/06
McMansioned to death:
I wonder whether the builders and buyers of the houses in the Enclave at White Rock who are discomfited by the proximity of their less fortunate neighbors in Ash Creek Mobile Home Park ever gave a thought to those of us who have lived for decades on the pleasantly unpretentious streets adjacent to their invasive McMansions. For years we enjoyed an unspoilt view beyond Highland Road and the fun of watching from our front porch as fireworks exploded over Fair Park. These "puffed-up" houses have rendered such pleasures a thing of the past.
Tessa Oglesby, Dallas

Letter to Dallas Observer, 1/5/06
Up on the hill:
Wonderful article on those "up on the hill," cell phone surgically attached to their faces, keeping up with the Joneses, we don't care about anyone but ourselves idiots. I would like to know where the Ash Creek Mobile Home Park is so that I can judge for myself what the heck these numb minds are thinking. I think using the law to this end is immoral and unjust. But money is more important than people.
Lisa Hall, Dallas

See more letters and informaton - go back to the top and hit March Archives

Monday, March 13, 2006

City Runs Amok - Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor, Dallas Morn News

Dishonest Claims used to Shut Down Mobile Home Park
Re: State: Dallas ran ‘amok’ printed in Dallas Morn News, Mar. 4, 2006

Honest 311 and 911 calls made by citizens of a mobile home park have been used to suggest they are a nuisance and criminal threat to a neighborhood. Our city’s Public Nuisance Ordinance (under investigation by the State) has been used as a basis to shut down a long-standing business, the Ash Creek Mobile Home Park at 1801 Highland Rd. In a case to revoke the owner’s legal grand fathered zoning status, affluent neighborhoods including the Enclave of White Rock, Enclave of Ash Creek, Forest Hills, as well as Ferguson Road Initiative (FRI) have counted all 311 and 911 calls at this location as evidence against the property. The Board of Adjustments has used the misleading evidence in voting to terminate zoning for the MHPark and thereby force residents to move by November 15.

Sadly the 911 and 311 calls used against the MHPark were never reviewed for details. If the BOA, the City Attorney and the Neighborhood Associations had reviewed their evidence for fairness, they would have seen a different picture. Here’s a sampling of calls counted as nuisance and criminal: calls to repair street lights, requests for garbage carts, call to pick up a dead owl, calls reporting noisy dirt bikes in the creek as well as gunshots from the creek, report of a city truck breaking an electric line, calls to pay for extra bulk trash pick up . . . the list continues with almost half of calls being from citizens needing help from City Services or Police.

The Ash Creek Mobile Home Park is home to senior citizens on fixed incomes, working families and children, many Hispanics and several U.S. veterans of war. Their homes and lives are to be unfairly disrupted due to decisions by city officials based on deceptive information. The owner and residents are working to solve much needed property maintenance issues, however the people and this property are not a NUISANCE in our community. The real NUISANCES and problem makers live outside the MHPark in the form of community leaders and city officials “running amok” in efforts to see this property developed with expensive new housing. This goal was openly discussed at the BOA hearing, and the owner was badgered for not agreeing to sell his property to interested developers.

In the article Dallas ran ‘amok’, 3/6/06, Chief Kunkle acknowledged that practices related to the Nuisance Ordinance has become “arbitrary and unfair”. He sees a problem that our city can identify a property as ‘being a nuisance property without determining what kind of good-faith effort owners were making on the property.” This describes exactly what has occurred related to the Ash Creek Mobile Home Park zoning issue.

Every Dallas citizen should question the fairness and integrity used in the handling of this unfortunate issue. Neighbors who have supported this action should take a hard look at prejudiced attitudes and preconceived notions. These seem to be the MOST SERIOUS NUISANCES in our midst.

Marty Ray
Concerned Neighbors Of Ashcreek Homes, C-NOAH

Sent to Dallas Morning News - Letter to Editor

See Videos: When McMansions Attack Dallas

Here's the latest schedule for When McMansions Attack Dallas, video series created by resident of the MobileHomePark

A Dallas Mobile Home Park becomes the focus of controversy concerning an ATTEMPTED END-RUN AROUND EMINENT DOMAIN and ZONING status. See Board of Adjustments Hearings with residents and neighbors speaking on both sides of the issue. Motivation for this attempt to "get rid of the Trailer Park" has been openly stated to see the land sold so that expensive townhomes (McMansions) can be built in place of trailer homes.

Comcast cable channels 15B and 75 Digital

When McMansions Attack Dallas, is a continuing series
EVERY MONDAY at 10 P.M.Comcast cable channels15B / 75 DIGITAL

Lola's Letter

Written to Mr. Steve Blow, Dallas Morning News, Feb. 26, 2006

Mr. Blow,
I am writing to you as a concerned citizen of the East Dallas community. This is in regards to recent actions ptaken by the City of Dallas toward a mobile home park (ASH CREEK) that is situated on Highland Road near Ferguson Road. Several homeowner associations have done a lot of homework to rid our neighborhood of this mobile home park. Some of the issues are accurate:

* The owner of the land has neglected to upgrade and the result has been a decline of the mobile home park.

* There are many maintenance items needed to be corrected, some serious and minor issues.
* The residents at the mobile home park are mainly Hispanic and low income residents.

The mobile home park is not the most pleasing to the eye. However, some of the charges brought against the mobile home park are unfounded:
* It is not crime ridden. The mobile home residents do call 911 on many issues to deter crime. We have researched the calls and know this as fact.
* It is not a haven for criminals. These folks work and are not on welfare. They can afford to live here and love to live here.
* There are wild packs of dogs roaming the neighborhood. If there are any wild animals it is the result of the enormous growth of gated community homes destroying this natural green belt and the animals have no place to go.
* They do not dump trash. Other folks not living at the mobile home park dump the trash.
* The owner has handled all city code issues when notified by the city. We have researched these violations and know this as fact.

I am disappointed in myself for not seeking the truth and knowledge before now and took the word of others that I thought were working for good. I also feel I have failed this group of my neighbors for not working with them sooner to save their paradise even though others do not see it as “their” paradise.

I am disappointed in the under handed ways others have used in getting rid of these people instead of speaking their truths which is they don’t find it pretty in their eyes and they want this land to better the economy and status. I am a member of a group of concerned neighbors that are willing to work with the owner and the residents of this mobile home park to bring this property in line with what would work for all parties. We call ourselves C-NOAH Concerned Neighbors Of AshCreek Mobile Homes. I could waste a lot of your time and mine presenting all the facts but I would like to invite you to visit with us and the opposition as well as the mobile home park residents and owners to see if you could find it a place in one of your columns. I just would like the facts presented in your open forum for both sides and let the wide community hear. Your column reaches a lot of good people. You have always stood for diversity and acceptance at all levels.

I am not opposed to progress but I am opposed to progress in the name of something that is not. We have requested meetings with Leo Chaney and several other folks to hear our position. Our opposition is strong and includes several large homeowners associations including Forest Hills Homeowner Association and the Enclave at White Rock. We are also not backed by our Forest Meade Homeowners Association for which I am member. The FRI (Ferguson Road Initiative) is also opposed to keeping this mobile home park as well as the adjacent Tennyson Golf Course. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Lola A. Bosher
Concerned Neighbor Of Ashcreek mobile Homes

Jim Schutze's "Board of Scrooges"

Jim Schutze's article written right after the BOA Hearing of Dec. 14 News Board of Scrooges

Code Violations??? or City Service Requests?

CODE COMPLAINTS used Against the Ash Creek Mobile Home Park
A TRUTHFUL Accounting of 154 listings all turned in as NEGATIVE evidence against the MHPark to the Board of Adjustments in 2005 by Ms. Dolores Wolfe and 13 Neighborhood groups. The BOA used misleading information about Code and Crime stats to revoke the MHPark's legal grandfathered zoning status on Dec. 14, 2005

Look at the DETAILS of each of the 154 s0-called code violations in the petition against the Park - all of these were counted as NEGATIVE EVIDENCE against the MHPark, even the duplicated entries and the simple citizen service requests. It makes one afraid to call 311 to ask for any City service as it can be counted against you in the future. Here is the real TRUTH and note at the end, how much difference from 2002 to 2005 which no one has thought to point out.

The 154 "violations" against the MHPark included all of the following:

Duplications and City Service requests (should not be negative code evidence)
- Duplicated listings, marked as “duplicates”or same date/request
42 - Requests for City Services – not “code violations”
5-20-02 – Request to City, limbs obstructing alley
7/29/02 - Oil/Chemical Spill “ upstream near St.Francis”- MHPark not faulted
5-21-03 – Plumbing report “no violation found…city property”
2003 - (2) requests for garbage roll carts
6/7/04 - Manager reported outsiders using MHPark BulkTrashArea
6/12/04 - Manager again reports outsiders using Bulk Trash Area
8/24/04 – (2 calls) Manager calls- trash not being picked up by city
6/7/04 – Manager reported city trash truck snapped elec. line
8/24/04 – request to replace street lighting
2005 - (4) calls for estimates to pay for extra bulk trash pick-up
(3) Calls to Animal Control to pick up a dead animal, front of MHPark (incl owl)
(1) Calls to Animal Control for animal trap to trap “strays” in park
(6) Calls to Animal Control about trapped (confined) stray animals (incl possum)
(17) Requests to Animal Control to catch stray animals (not Park animals)

Remaining MINOR Code Issues (calls) within City records:
2 – Plumbing Issues (2002 only, no others in the 154 listings)
1 - Illegal Dumping (2003 only)
1 – Oversized vehicle (2003 only)
5 – Bulk Trash violations (putting trash out too early)
11 – High Weeds (2002-03 only) posted at individual homes
18 – Illegal outside storage (all in 2003 posted in a 2 day period to individual homes)
25 – Litter (all in 2003 posted in a 2 day period to individual homes)
5 - Junk Motor Vehicles (all posted on one single day in 2003)
8 – Litter (all posted in a 1 day period in 2004, posted to individual homes)
2 – Prohibited roosters
1 - Case reported to Animal Control of too many cats at 1 residence
7 - Reports to Animal Control about resident pets being loose
2 – Other misc. Animal related violations

88 Total minor Code complaint issues (not 154 as alleged in application against MHPark)

71 – Code Complaints are from 2002/03 – all cases closed
17 - Code Complaints are from 2004/05 - all cases closed

Prepared by Marty Ray, January 10, 2005
Review of these findings welcomed!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Truth Letter - Actions Against the MHPark

It is truly sad that less than truthful information has been used to suggest that the AshCreek Mobile Home Park is a neighborhood nuisance and safety hazard within our community. With dishonest statistics regarding crime and code violations as a guide, the Dallas Board of adjustments voted to revoke a grand fathered zoning status and disallow the Ashcreek Mobile Home Park to continue operation.

It is striking that legal “evidence” presented against the MHPark apparently was never carefully reviewed by the BOA or neighborhood leaders who supported the action against the Park. At the December 14 hearing, a BOA panel member waved pages of alleged code and crime stats and said he had to vote against the MHPark because of the overwhelming evidence. He even questioned whether code cases (dating back to 2002) were “closed” or still open cases. Amazing! With all cases clearly marked “closed”, he had not reviewed the details of this case nor had other panel members or the City Attorney. Yes indeed, all code complaints to date had been cleared (all cases closed) – and most importantly – over 40% of the code issues were not VIOLATIONS in any shape or form – but were simply normal, common citizen calls for city services. Swayed by false information and with little time spent on facts, truth was not the winner of the day. The Dallas BOA set a Feb. 15 hearing to determine when residents must be moved and the owner’s business terminated.

Extensive Code Violation Claim Untrue: Ms. Dolores Wolfe representing 13 Associations, in her application to the BOA, stated that the Mobile Home Park is a “magnet for crime with extensive code violations.” She presents as evidence from the Dallas Customer Service Request System, 154 dated entries from 1/2/02 thru 7/19/05 for the MHPark on Highland Rd. In the application, she counts every single one of the 154 entries as negative ”code complaints” or violations. She fails to reveal that over 40% of these listings (66 of 154) are not code violations of any form. Sixty-six are either duplicate entries or normal calls for city services. AND, of the 88 code issues left, 71 date back to 2003, only 17 are dated 2004 thru July of 2005! A detailed review is attached with a breakdown of services requested. This is very serious information seemingly presented falsely against the MHPark, helping to sway opinions of Neighborhood Associations and influencing the vote of the BOA on Dec. 14.

Unfair Crime Evidence claims: Ms.Wolfe also insists in the application that the Park is a “magnet for crime” and again uses statistics falsely to make her point. She includes every single police call from the Park as proof of a “crime within in the Park”. This includes calls by MHPark citizens reporting loud dirt bike noise along creek banks or gunshots coming from outside the Park in the creek area or other suspicious activities occurring in the creekbed or the railroad track area. The “crime” reports given as evidence against the Park are very questionable. Sworn testimony from the hearing revealed that no arrests have ever been made at the Park for gun violence, prostitution, drug related crimes, or other abusive or violent crimes. Only one arrest was confirmed (arson by a troubled teenager in early 2005); the family has since moved. In direct contradiction to Ms. Wolfe’s dramatic crime claims, Park residents gave testimony over and over at the hearing that the MHPark is a quiet and safe place to live. An overabundance of crime is not an issue in this small neighborhood of senior citizens, single moms, and working families with children. Ms. Wolfe and others should apologize for unfairly stirring up overstated crime issues against his small long-standing neighborhood.

The Owner, slum landlord? The Park land has been used legally for mobile homes since 1949. With a legal grand fathered zoning status, one family has owned this business for over 45 years. Mr. Steve Crossett, is the owner; his 82 yr old mother, Sue Crossett is the Park administrator. Ms. Crossett and her now deceased husband purchased the MHPark in the early 60’s. Mr. Crossett is often degraded for living outside Dallas, and several community leaders have spread the word that he is only interested in the Park as a “cash cow”. Many have publicly called him a “slum landlord” who doesn’t care about his property or the people living there. It is very interesting that those making these claims had never met Mr. Crossett before the Dec. 14 hearing nor had contacted him at anytime about their concerns about the MHPark conditions. According to Mr. Crossett, calls from Dallas are primarily from someone wanting to purchase the Park land. Unfounded prejudices against this business owner have grown through slander and rumor and some continue to honor prejudices as fact.

Positive actions with the MHPark Owner: Myself and a group of neighbors on Barbaree Blvd, a street running into the Park, did contact the owner in Feb. 2005 and talked in person to him. We sent a letter listing concerns, including clean-up suggestions and ideas to improve looks at the Park entrance. The owner was 100% cooperative and this summer, he installed new lattice fencing at the Park entrance. Mr. Crossett has addressed every single code complaint that has come to his attention, a fact supported by Code Enforcement records. At the hearing he testified that Park water lines had been replaced recently; he also said that he welcomed suggestions and was willing to do anything necessary to improve conditions of the Park. In talking with him personally, he expresses concern for the residents, the manager, and shows a special interest in his mother’s work with the Park. Does this information spell “slum landlord”?

In Summary: Much recent improvement to Park conditions is evident. Note that of 89 “real” code complaints, 72 are from 2002-03 compared to only 17 in 2004 thru July 2005. These true statistics shed positive light on the MHPark and its owner yet have gone unrecognized by those who want only to see the Park closed down! It should be of great concern to all that respected community leaders have dealt with the MHPark situation in a most prejudiced way – not seeking solutions, but building a case on unfair rumors. Claims are that Park residents need to be moved away from unsafe, indecent and unsanitary living conditions! “Leaders” are busy deciding how to assist in their relocations, ready to save them from disgraceful living conditions.

Terrible living conditions? Let’s see what they are: no plumbing violations since 2003, 5 times in a 42 month period the Park has put their bulk trash out too soon, high weeds and illegal outside storage - all closed cases and only in 2003, one case of a woman with too many cats - case now closed! Has anyone known someone with too many cats in any other neighborhood? Junk vehicles – again only reported back to 2003, no recent complaints. Oh, let’s not forget the animals running all over the place. Look close, and see most calls to animal control were for “trapped” STRAY animals and for aggressive STRAYS who found their way to the Park. Very few animal control incidents are for actual “Park” animals. Again, look at the code complaint list in detail.

From the evidence presented from Ms. Wolfe, does her evidence when looked at carefully really prove a case of hideous living conditions and crime? What are the real motives here? The goal to develop the land with expensive single family housing was mentioned more than once by Ms. Wolfe at the BOA hearing. Can we see a glimmer of the real motives in all this? Every Neighborhood Association who signed the application against the Park should review factual information and reconsider. Whether one aesthetically likes the Park or not, no one should support dishonesty and half truths in a legal case involving such a sensitive social issue.

At the Hearing, one panel member said, we have to put emotions aside in making decisions regarding the Mobile Home Park. Are we seeing TRUTH set aside as well? Well meaning people of our community should take the right steps, the positive actions, and work (not to figure out how to relocate the Park neighborhood) but to assist them and encourage them to continue work to improve the very place they already call home!

Marty Ray, Dallas, Texas
Jan. 11, 2005

Marty has lived on Barbaree Blvd. for 34 years within 6 houses of the Mobile Home Park.
She is part of a neighborhood group who has worked with the Park
to suggest improvements.

A growing network of neighbors in the area are joining forces to insist on Fairness to the Mobile Home Park and the owner in this issue! Many recent letters to editors also reveal that the neighborhood is divided on this issue.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Carol's Letter - Loss of Community-Loss of a Neighborhood


Dear Mr. Steve Blow,

I was hoping you might be interested in considering for you column "a tale of two communities"..... Here is the story: There is at the end of our street a small mobile home community that has been there for over 50 years...The residents of this community are;mostly Hispanic, working class, (working poor in many cases), single moms raising children, (there is an excellent elementary school within walking distance), senior citizens on very limited incomes, in other words non-affluent people. This community is old, not fashionable in any sense, and worn around the it a perfect community..of course not, but it is a community in every sense of the is non-homogenized, it is not gentrified, it has age, ethnicity, income level...and strangely enough it works...and has worked and has not been a bother to anyone...

Moving forward with the story....

At one time most of the area surrounding this mobile home park was undeveloped..the back side of this mobile home park abuts a golf course, the side to the left is a creek, on the right side is a railroad track...beyond the railroad track was undeveloped green belt land...for years..and years..and years... Then developers found this area, the proximity to white rock lake, the golf course and easy access to downtown, made this an enticing site...and soon the land to the right of the mobile home park across the tracks became a couple affluent gated communities... Pretty soon the persons residing in the gated communities tired of looking down (they literally and figuratively look down) upon the old, tired mobile home community..and plans were put into action to rid the area of this perceived blight upon the do this they aligned themselves with the Ferguson Road Initiative (FRI) an organization with grand plans to revitalize this area of the city, to bring in rooftops, rooftops, rooftops and then hopefully encourage retailers such as Starbucks, the gap, etc. to locate in the near areas (apparently the persons who reside in such gated communities will frequent these well-known establishments) ...

Ergo..a petition was signed, and statistics gathered, mainly 311 and 911 records compiled from info. from the last few years...any code violation or complaint was also included in the report...This information was then provided to the city, action taken and a hearing date established.. The purpose of the hearing was to determine if the grandfathered zoning status of the mobile home park could be revoked...

The hearing.... really a civics this hearing all of the above "stats" were presented...representatives from both sides of this issue were heard...but herein lies the "glitch" in the story....No-One on the board judging this case bothered to take the time to learn if these statistics were accurate, or if in fact they were even correct... one of the seated members of the board (co-chair as a matter of fact) found the proceeding so boring she slept through nearly all of as is the outcome of many an issue when the numbers of those who have greatly outnumber those who don't have the fate of the mobile home park was sealed....the perceived blight will be removed from the land....and over 50 families find themselves in the position of possibly being homeless....Dallas being a typical city in that the number of low to moderate income level properties either currently available or being constructed is far less that the need.....Not only that, but a grave disservice was allowed..yes, allowed to happen....when you have a handful of concerned people facing a much greater number of persons determined to have their way...odds of a a fair and equatable solution are slim to none... what exactly would we like from you....a voice perhaps...a forum maybe... a chance to present both sides...and to also maybe wake up a few people to what is happening in our city...development can be good, bringing more tax dollars into the city coffers by way of more expensive homes, ergo, increased property values, higher property taxes...on and on and on....but at what displace these families does what... and what does it say about us as humans, should we not honor the credo that we are duty bound to treat one another as we would like to be treated....with respect, honesty, and be valued....

Thanks for your time; I look forward to hearing from you.
Carol Lyons
March 9, 2006

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Dec. 14 Board of Adjustment Hearing

Emailed to area neighbors 12/15/05

Dear neighbors,
Yesterday the Board of Adjustments of Dallas voted unanimously to revoke the Ash Creek Mobile Home Park legal grandfathered zoning status.

Lola, Bobbie, Cathy, Laurie and myself were in attendance in support of allowing the MHP to
stay within our neighborhood. Eight Barbaree neighbors have been active in a group that has been in communication with the owner and manager to make improvements - (I have
served as spokesperson for the group).

Anyway, be prepared for the land at the end of Barbaree to within a year become an empty lot - as 51 families from the Mobile Home Park will be displaced. At least 30 residents from the "park" were present, along with Mr. Crossett (the owner) and his 82 yr.old mother (the original owner who still manages the park). 15 speakers spoke to keep the Park and spoke to the allegations about crime and code violations against the Park. I have read the code violation report, more than 1/2 for sure are for bulk trash, high weeds (in the creek) and litter
- also stray animals. We pointed out that this land is right in between a creek and a railroad track and very vulnerable to having illegal dumping from outsiders (all the time) and wild and stray animals coming into or being dumped into the Park. The applicants in this case (to remove the Park) were ademant that ALL this Code violation and the calls about gun shots came from the Park itself - accused the nice people there of being mostly criminal and uncaring of their properties.

I wish you had been there to hear and see our "neighbors" down the road. We met and heard from a nurse who lives with her 86 yr.old father who is a WWII veteran, a single mother of two children who go to Sanger elem., a mother with a deaf son who has the opportunity of the programs at Sanger, a mother whos son and daughter are in Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, a single man who researched places to move his small trailer and found the Ash Creek Mobile Home Park to be the most quiet and no crime Mobile Home Park that he could move to, also many others who testified that the Park was not an area of crime as accused by the applicants from area upper class neighborhoods. We met and heard from Mr. Crossett, a quiet spoken man who said he was willing to do anything necessary to bring the Park into compliance and has done so with every single code request all along the way. He was drilled by the "other" side - Ms. Dolores Wolfe, a resident of the Enclave of Ash Creek (at Lakeland and Ferg) She has lived there for 4 years and is interested in seeing more high-end development in our area and probably more "walled" neighborhoods - including at the end of Barbaree.

The "other side" did not hide the fact that they wanted to see the MHP be developed into townhomes of $300,000 price range. Mr. Crossett was badgered because he has not accepted offers from developer, Mr. Charles Magee, to purchase his land - Mr. Magee's name was used repeatedly as a developer who is willing to develop properties on Barbaree and at the MHP.

So, neighbors - sorry you could not hear all this in person - it is hard to describe. Lola, Bobbie, Kathy, Laurie and I saw with our own eyes the primary purpose behind all of this - to grab the land and rid our neighborhood of the lower income people. It is an outrage in so doing, that they made wrong accusations against a less powerful and poorer group that live at the Park. However, this group was very good in their speeches before the Board, showed respect and intelligence in their statements. They tried hard to show that this was the place they wished to live because it is quite and peaceful and has access to good schools, etc.

Be ready Barbaree - as the "Enclaves" and developers in our midst come back and begin to get zoning changes all around us to build more oversized "giraffe" houses behind walls. Mrs. Wolfe - the spokesperson for the "Enclaves" even stated in her rebuttal that it did not matter that the MHomePark land was in a floodplane (as I and others pointed out) she said flood plane lands CAN BE developed with proper filling.

The next Board of Adjustments hearing to set a date to displace all the people of the "trailer park" and close Mr. Crossett and his mother's business is Feb. 15.

Stay tuned!