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


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