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Thread: Dallas/North Lake: Cypress Waters Development

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    Skyscraper Member LakeHighlands's Avatar
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    Dallas/North Lake: Cypress Waters Development

    Foes say North Lake development a threat to lifestyle
    Coppell: Company seeks accord on housing, shops

    07:12 PM CDT on Wednesday, May 18, 2005

    By ERIC AASEN / The Dallas Morning News


    COPPELL – Residents say they moved here to live the good life and take advantage of a small-town atmosphere and good schools.

    The proposed development is in Dallas, but the property borders Coppell, and most of the land is within the Coppell Independent School District.

    While Dallas officials have not approved the Billingsley development, just north of LBJ Freeway, the company's plans leave Coppell residents uncertain.

    The development is one of the most significant issues Coppell has faced in the last decade, Mayor Doug Stover says.

    "We'd survive, but it would really alter the complexion of our community drastically," he said.

    It's a major concern for some residents who believe the development could forever change the sense of community that neighbors cherish, said Bridget Bell, a Coppell mother of two.

    "It would impact our city ... our quiet little way of life that we have out here," she said.

    Developer Lucy Billingsley says Coppell officials should have considered North Lake development in their master plan.

    "It's a shame that they never looked at this property and thought it might be developed," said Ms. Billingsley, a partner with Billingsley Co.

    Residents say they're not against the diversity that apartment units may bring, but they're concerned with the transient nature of apartment dwellers.

    The development could potentially include more apartments than are currently within Coppell city limits.

    Up to 2,500 children could live in the development – or about 25 percent of the district's current enrollment, school officials say. Billingsley officials say that estimate is too high.

    Residents also worry their new neighbors will overwhelm city services. And they're concerned that additional traffic will choke thoroughfares.


    Big plans for area

    Billingsley wants to fill about 325 acres south of the lake – which is dotted with trees, tall grass and wildflowers – with housing and shops. The company purchased the land from TXU last year.

    Billingsley submitted a zoning request to Dallas zoning officials to build the project, called Cypress Waters. Dallas' City Plan Commission and City Council have not voted on the matter. A vote hasn't been scheduled, Dallas officials say, but Ms. Billingsley estimates it may come in a few months.

    The land is attractive, she says, because of its location near the lake, access to LBJ Freeway and proximity to businesses.

    She wants to create a neighborhood that attracts "a fabulous mixture of people, small homes next to larger homes." She said it would be similar to the company's Austin Ranch development in The Colony.

    Coppell officials project that Cypress Waters will spark at least a 30 percent increase in traffic on area roads, and more cars will produce more pollution, said Clay Phillips, Coppell's deputy city manager. There's little room to widen roads, he said.

    Mr. Stover says the effects would be "staggering." The development would strain city resources, he said, including libraries, parks and youth sports.

    Ms. Billingsley says she's willing to add neighborhood amenities, including a school, community center, trails and parks.

    Coppell officials may request court intervention if the development isn't modified, Mr. Stover said.

    "We're hoping we can get voluntary cooperation from the developers to significantly reduce the density of this development or develop an alternative plan," he said.

    For now, Billingsley has scaled back its request from 5,800 units to 4,600, of which most would be apartments, says David Whitley, a Dallas senior planner. Ms. Billingsley said that Cypress Waters would include about 3,900 multi-family units, but she hasn't determined how many will be apartments.

    "We've got a lot of time to plan together," she said. "We want to work together. We want to ... create good solutions together."

    Dallas City Council member Steve Salazar, whose district includes North Lake, says he feels Billingsley has been working to address concerns raised by Coppell city and school officials.

    "Our interest is in making sure we work with our neighbors to make sure there is no negative impact," he said.


    Impact on schools

    Cypress Waters would hit Coppell schools the hardest, residents say.

    Families may flock to the development, residents say, because the school district has been rated recognized or exemplary since the late '90s.

    School officials estimate the development would create at least a 10 percent increase in the student population, or about 1,300 children, at build out. The district based those estimates on density figures at nearby apartments. Currently, about 10,000 students attend Coppell schools.

    Ms. Billingsley estimates that about 1,000 students could reside in Cypress Waters, but it may take up to 12 years to reach that figure.

    The district may have to build one or two more elementary schools to accommodate the influx, says Ralph Seeley, the district's chief financial officer.

    The district has received numerous calls from concerned parents, he said.

    A city-sponsored meeting to update residents on the proposed development is scheduled for Wednesday night.

    Residents, including Helen Howard, are particularly worried about the impact on their schools. She says she knows of at least three residents who have either sold their houses or are trying to move, partly because of the proposed development.

    "[The schools are] already overcrowded, and we're already paying exorbitant taxes, and there's just no way we can support" the number of students who may live in the development, she said.

    For now, Ms. Bell and her neighbors remain on guard.

    "We're waiting to see what we can do as a community and ... to support our city and our district," Ms. Bell said.


    Staff writer Emily Ramshaw contributed to this report.

    E-mail eaasen@dallasnews.com



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    Online at: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont....bf202a41.html
    "One of Dallas' strongest communities, Lake Highlands boasts a true sense of neighborhood spirit. Local stores reflect passionate support for Lake Highlands schools with school posters and signs. True to its name, the area features handsome traditional homes up and down rolling hills and charming, winding roads." --Lake Highlands People

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    Skyscraper Member LakeHighlands's Avatar
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    Now this is something new to the City of Dallas.

    This development is very different from most developments in Dallas. Why?

    Look at the map below. This part of Dallas is surrounded by the suburbs. It is actually a few miles from the Dallas Proper.

    The Purple Is Irving, the Green is Coppell, the light pink is Lewisville, the blue Carrolton, dark pink Farmers Branch, and the orange Dallas.

    This development will bring up many issues new to the City.

    Before I get to that, I have to say that Coppell is one of the better planned suburbs in DFW. They have great zoning/city planning and some of the toughest building ordinances in the area. Example, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, 7 eleven all are made out of brick and have small signs. Their shopping centers all have small white signage and are mostly made out of brick. The have business that look like houses and some that look like southern mansions. The city is beautiful and well planned. I really feel sorry for Coppell; life sometimes throws a curve ball at ya.

    The development is in the City of Dallas, but this part of Dallas is surrounded by the suburbs. From the article it looks like Coppell would be providing city service for this area. Of course all taxes are going to Dallas.

    Some Question
    Will Dallas build a fire and police station for this land?
    Will there be Dallas police and other city vehicles driving through Irving to get to the part of the city?
    Does it make economic sense for Dallas to keep this land?
    Should the City of Coppell refuse to offer any city service besides education to this development?
    Could Dallas sell the land to Coppell so that Coppell can control the development?
    Would these residents feel like they are part of Dallas even though they are miles from Dallas proper?

    There are so many questions here. I think this will be an interesting development to watch and see how an isolated part of Dallas is managed. The City has a hard enough time managing Dallas Proper, and I think this would be stretching already thin city resources.
    Last edited by LakeHighlands; 19 May 2005 at 01:11 AM.
    "One of Dallas' strongest communities, Lake Highlands boasts a true sense of neighborhood spirit. Local stores reflect passionate support for Lake Highlands schools with school posters and signs. True to its name, the area features handsome traditional homes up and down rolling hills and charming, winding roads." --Lake Highlands People

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    Mile-High Skyscraper Member rantanamo's Avatar
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    Nothing new

    There is something similar on Lake Ray Hubbard. It is single family housing though, but is Dallas and is surrounded by Heath, Forney and Mesquite. I believe services are paid for in a similar fashion to the way that non-DART member cities pay for their citizens to ride, link or have track running through their city. I'd imagine there are others like this as Dallas owns the land around its reservoirs. Its nothing new for a city to deem something like this worth it and offer up things like schools, extra service monies, etc.

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    Stuck in the past clipper's Avatar
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    Billingsley is a quality developer and Dallas needs the tax base. If the people in Coppell were so worried about this they should have bought the land and kept it a park.

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    Skyscraper Member LakeHighlands's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rantanamo
    Nothing new

    There is something similar on Lake Ray Hubbard. It is single family housing though, but is Dallas and is surrounded by Heath, Forney and Mesquite. I believe services are paid for in a similar fashion to the way that non-DART member cities pay for their citizens to ride, link or have track running through their city. I'd imagine there are others like this as Dallas owns the land around its reservoirs. Its nothing new for a city to deem something like this worth it and offer up things like schools, extra service monies, etc.

    I’m talking about the size of this project. This project will have 4,600 units and 3,900 multi family. At 100% occupancy: Lets say 3 people for multi family (being very conservative since apartment multi family is rarely 3) that equals 3,900 units x 3 =11,700 people.
    700 units x 2 = 1,400. Equal= 13,101 people! It would be much higher given that many more people live in multi family apartments even with a lower occupancy rate. That’s a lot of people to not have living in the city proper, plus there is still more land there. Coppell had almost 36,000 people in 2000. This development is about 1/3 of their city population. It is very dense and almost all multi family. Dallas will have a hard time dealing with this in the future. No one is going to want to run this, therefore leaving Dallas to provide all service to this development. School Districts are drawn separately so Coppell will end up with the kids anyways. That 30 percent increase they give in traffic etc. seems accurate.

    That’s a few thousand more than Highland Park.
    "One of Dallas' strongest communities, Lake Highlands boasts a true sense of neighborhood spirit. Local stores reflect passionate support for Lake Highlands schools with school posters and signs. True to its name, the area features handsome traditional homes up and down rolling hills and charming, winding roads." --Lake Highlands People

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    Mile-High Skyscraper Member rantanamo's Avatar
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    Then don't approve it if its so bad. Especially with kids. We should send them all to Germany.

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    LH Copycat Columbus Civil's Avatar
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    It's the wrong kind of kids.
    Dallas uber alles

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    Mile-High Skyscraper Member rantanamo's Avatar
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    I knew that kids like myself were generally not wanted in society. Like I said, if its that bad and will burden Coppell, Dallas should either compensate them appropriately or just kill the project.

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    High-Rise Member Texan#1's Avatar
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    I really don't know what to think about this planned development. I am always skeptical of apartments because as they age they are typically not taken care of the way they should be and they bring neighborhoods down and are an eyesore. Coppell is a nice suburb and in Dallas County and I think this development would hurt the city in the long run. They should either build single family homes or townhomes with some apartments (4,600 is way too many). It's all about finding a middle ground here.

  10. #10
    Mile-High Skyscraper Member rantanamo's Avatar
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    True, 4,000 is a huge number.

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    Lakewooder Lakewooder's Avatar
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    Yea, they moved to Coppell to get away from the "wrong" kind of kids and now here they are... you know how I like that poetic justice.

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    Please Drive Normally. Random Traffic Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rantanamo
    Then don't approve it if its so bad.
    That's the thing, the development is in Dallas so would be approved by Dallas, but all impacts would be on Coppell and Irving. Coppell theoretically has no say on what gets built there. Thus the reference to court challenge. I actually made a proposal for the TIA for the site, kinda glad I didn't get it now
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    Mile-High Skyscraper Member rantanamo's Avatar
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    Couldn't one argue that everything Coppell does has a tangible impact on Dallas? So then it would come down to simple courtesy on Dallas' part to include them in this, which they should.

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    Sea™ CTroyMathis's Avatar
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    Where three cities meet, a land fight is brewing
    Proposal is on Dallas land, but Coppell and Irving want it stopped
    08:33 AM CST on Friday, December 9, 2005
    By ERIC AASEN and EMILY RAMSHAW / The Dallas Morning News
    Visit: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont....1d940e2c.html

    A multicity melee over a controversial residential development near North Lake in Dallas just got uglier.

    Neighboring Coppell has made no secret of its distaste for Billingsley Co.'s plans to build apartments, homes and shops near the water's edge. Now the suburb has launched condemnation proceedings to seize some of the land in Dallas – a move that has Dallas officials hopping mad.

    While Dallas considers legal action, the developer is fighting fire with fire, amending its zoning request to allow it to double the density of the Cypress Waters project.

    Meanwhile, Coppell and Irving officials say they will withhold basic services – such as water and police protection – from the project unless a compromise is reached.

    The Dallas City Plan Commission is scheduled to take up the zoning change Thursday. But negotiations will resume today, when Dallas Mayor Laura Miller meets with Coppell Mayor Doug Stover and Irving Mayor Herbert Gears.

    Coppell officials say they also plan to meet with Dallas officials and Billingsley representatives today; Billingsley says it has no plans to attend that meeting.

    Cypress Waters is contentious in part because of its location. It's in northwest Dallas, connected to the city by a narrow strip of land.

    But it's bordered by Coppell and Irving, and most of the land is in the Coppell Independent School District.

    "For all intents and purposes, it's a part of Coppell," Mr. Stover said.

    Coppell fears Cypress Waters will diminish the city's quality of life, overcrowding the suburb's prized schools and choking streets with traffic. Irving thinks the development would be too dense. But Dallas officials say that the suburbs are overreacting and that the project will boost their city's tax base.

    Coppell's condemnation petitions, which the city filed last month, are – simply put – nuts, Ms. Miller said.

    "It would be like us saying, 'There's a big green space in Highland Park, and we're going to eminent-domain it,' " she said.

    Said Dallas City Council member Ed Oakley: "Dallas has no alternative but to fight back and fight back hard."

    Developer Lucy Billingsley, whose company is building 7-Eleven's headquarters in downtown Dallas, said the approximately 350-acre Cypress Waters site is ideal for mixed-use development; it's near North Lake and has easy access to LBJ Freeway.

    She says the attractive, upscale community – which she has said could include about 3,900 multifamily units – will provide an enormous tax boost to Coppell schools and Dallas.

    But Coppell city and school officials say the project is just too big. They filed separate condemnation petitions last month to seize parts of the property. The city wants to use the land for housing and parks; the school district, to build schools on.

    Coppell says state statute gives it authority to condemn land outside city limits.

    A Billingsley attorney, Tod Edel, calls the petitions ill-advised and says the city has no real need for the property. "They've decided to litigate, not negotiate," he said. "This condemnation is nothing more than an expensive stall tactic by Coppell."

    Dallas Assistant City Manager Ryan Evans said his city will take legal action if necessary to "protect our tax base."

    Dallas City Plan Commissioner Neil Emmons said it's too early to tell how the zoning board will handle the case next week.

    Once the board has made a recommendation, the project will go to the Dallas City Council.

    "We're taking a keen interest in it," Mr. Emmons said. "I would hope that the decision of the Plan Commission is based on thoughtful land use ... and not relative to any pending litigation," he said.

    Even if Dallas approves Cypress Waters, a key sticking point remains: Irving and Coppell aren't willing to provide the project – at least in its current form – with utilities and fire and police protection.

    Dallas officials say the suburbs' decisions to withhold such services are, at best, not neighborly. And while it would be more economical for Irving or Coppell to offer the services, Ms. Miller said, Dallas is prepared to do it.

    The city has given Billingsley the go-ahead to request even denser zoning so that Dallas can generate enough tax revenue to provide the services itself. But company attorneys say that doesn't mean Billingsley has plans to add more housing units.

    While all parties stew over Cypress Waters, Mr. Stover remains confident that Coppell can reach a compromise on its scope. He hopes today's meetings give Dallas and Billingsley officials a more accurate view of how the development will affect his city.

    Ms. Miller understands the high drama over the North Lake land, she says, but she hopes the mayors can find a solution that's fair to all sides.

    No one wants a nasty legal battle, Mr. Gears said.

    "If there's any way to avoid that," he said, "you'd think reasonable people would make the effort."

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    All Purpose Moderator warlock55's Avatar
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    I can understand Coppell's apprehension, and hope that an agreeable compromised is reached, but...condeming land INSIDE Dallas' city limits?! *LOLOL* That's so funny I'll be smiling the entire day now.
    It's nothing but a tricky legal delaying tactic, with no hope of success. On the other hand, isn't it nice for Coppell to finally give Dallas an issue that the mayor, council, and city staff all agree on?
    Consumers are not [the same as] citizens, and when a system pretends that they are, peculiar and even perverse things happen to decision making and democracy... - Benjamin Barber

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    Quote Originally Posted by warlock55
    isn't it nice for Coppell to finally give Dallas an issue that the mayor, council, and city staff all agree on?
    Now that is something new to the City of Dallas.

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    Skyscraper Member LakeHighlands's Avatar
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    This whole situation pisses me off. They City of Dallas says that it will provide services to this area since Coppell and Irving won’t.

    HOW MUCH IS THIS GOING TO COST US?

    We don’t have enough police as it is to take care of Dallas Proper!!! Our taxes go up year after year and services are cut at the same time.

    HOW MUCH IS THIS LEGAL BATTLE GOING TO COST US?

    Millions?!!!

    Instead of waging a legal battle with Irving and Coppell which is going to take years to resolve, why don’t the City of Dallas use that money to invest in the City Proper which badly needs it!!!

    Better yet, sell that land to Irving and Coppell, and then use the money from the sale to invest in the City Proper.

    This is a stupid fight for the City of Dallas. Don’t waste our tax money on land so far from the City.

    To the City Council…

    If you want to develop something… DEVELOP SOUTH DALLAS!!!! How much of South Dallas sits empty?

    There are so many better things to spend our TAX dollars on than some little piece of land several miles from the main part of the City.

    This is ridiculous fight! :firegrin:
    "One of Dallas' strongest communities, Lake Highlands boasts a true sense of neighborhood spirit. Local stores reflect passionate support for Lake Highlands schools with school posters and signs. True to its name, the area features handsome traditional homes up and down rolling hills and charming, winding roads." --Lake Highlands People

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    Administrator gc's Avatar
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    I agree with your thoughts on heading south. The problem is, nobody wants to go there. Must change what is reality or at least perceived as reality down there first.
    “We shape our Cities, thereafter they shape us.”

  19. #19
    All Purpose Moderator warlock55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LakeHighlands
    This is a stupid fight for the City of Dallas. Don’t waste our tax money on land so far from the City.
    Well, it sounds like that the development will pay for itself if Coppell refuses to provide services and Dallas has to construct some facilties out there. Dallas is fortunate to still have some land where there is currently demand for construction, so they should take advantage of it. Also, this is good infill development that, unlike most large scale projects around here, won't be contributing to sprawl. If they build a neighborhood school, and provide the housing and retail mix they're talking about (and hopefully make it pedestrian-oriented to reduce all the project vehicle trips) I think it'll be a good project for the city.

    Also, I doubt the legal battle will be that big a deal. Condeming another city's land is an outrageous action, and will probably be dismissed if it ever sees the inside of a courtroom.
    Consumers are not [the same as] citizens, and when a system pretends that they are, peculiar and even perverse things happen to decision making and democracy... - Benjamin Barber

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    Yeah, this size of development could bring in enough tax money to pay for its services and more. Dallas is doing the right thing.

  21. #21
    Supertall Skyscraper Member TexasStar's Avatar
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    Yeah, Go Dallas Go!!!!
    Smash Irving and Coppell like the little bugs they are!! :guns:

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    Lakewooder Lakewooder's Avatar
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    OK you know I won't let this pass -- the article mentions Coppell's "prized schools" being threatened. Just what are they expecting?

    BTW, the Coppell High was finally returned to acceptable status after appealing its unnacceptable rating. Funny how everyone assumes that because the school is suburban and not Dallas that it is 'prized'.

  23. #23
    in 773 940's Avatar
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    Coppell likes to think it's the Southlake of Dallas County.

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    Perpetual Amateur
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    nice call, 940

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    Please Drive Normally. Random Traffic Guy's Avatar
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    Planners urged to OK homes near lake
    Planners advised to OK homes near lake
    Dallas, Coppell, Irving try to settle differences on controversial project



    12:00 AM CST on Saturday, December 10, 2005
    By ERIC AASEN and EMILY RAMSHAW / The Dallas Morning News


    Dallas planning staffers recommended Friday that the Dallas Plan Commission endorse a controversial residential development near North Lake.

    The recommendation follows discussions held the same day among Dallas, Irving and Coppell officials about Billingsley Co.'s Cypress Waters project, which officials in the suburbs fear will crowd schools and congest streets.

    Another meeting is scheduled Tuesday among officials from the three cities, some of whom hope to hammer out a compromise over the northwest Dallas development. The Dallas Plan Commission plans to take up Billingsley's zoning request Thursday.

    Dallas Mayor Laura Miller met Friday with Coppell Mayor Doug Stover and Irving Mayor Herbert Gears. Separately, Coppell city and school officials huddled with Dallas and Irving officials. Developer Lucy Billingsley also talked with Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm.

    City officials from all three cities found Friday's talks encouraging.

    "We concluded we'd like to resolve this and not go to court," Ms. Miller said.

    Said Mr. Gears: "We made a lot of progress in just laying out and detailing our positions."

    Mr. Stover hopes Tuesday's discussion allows officials to "talk honestly and openly without the legal cloud above all of us."

    The meeting is scheduled to include the three cities' mayors and city managers. Ms. Billingsley and the Coppell school superintendent are expected to be invited, Mr. Stover said.

    While city officials hope to reach a compromise, how that would happen is unclear.

    Coppell and Irving would like Billingsley to at least downsize Cypress Waters, a 355-acre site that's connected to the rest of Dallas by a narrow strip of land. It's bordered by Coppell and Irving, and most of the land is in the Coppell Independent School District. Coppell and Irving officials both say they'll withhold basic services – like water and police protection – from the development unless a compromise is reached.

    Dallas officials, however, support Cypress Waters because it will boost their city's tax base.

    Billingsley has amended its zoning request to allow it to double the project's density. The city has given Billingsley the go-ahead to request denser zoning so that Dallas can generate enough tax revenue to provide the area with services on its own.

    "It could be anticipated," a Dallas planning staff report stated, "that a higher intensity and density of development than previously contemplated by the applicant is necessary in order to support the cost of infrastructure and service delivery."

    E-mail eaasen@dallasnews.com

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    Please Drive Normally. Random Traffic Guy's Avatar
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    Another one today. Might be a good show down at CPC, if it didn't all get lovey-dovey in the morning briefings.

    James Ragland:
    North Lake squabble a developing trend


    07:57 AM CST on Thursday, December 15, 2005

    We don't see fights like this often.

    In the midst of an ugly, months-long verbal slugfest over a proposed development, the city of Dallas and two of its suburban neighbors gave each other a big fat hug and offered surprisingly sweet words of encouragement.

    They promised to try to settle their feud like ladies and gentlemen rather than acting like back-alley bullies or gangsters fighting over turf.

    That was Tuesday.

    But today, the parties will trot back to their corners – Dallas on one side, Coppell and Irving on the other – and resume slapping each other upside the head (with the utmost respect, of course).

    As odd as that may seem, it really makes perfect sense when you understand what this scrape is all about – power and control.

    Today, you see, is when a rather contentious 355-acre residential development near North Lake comes before the Dallas Plan Commission.

    On paper, it looks like one heck of a project. The Billingsley Co. wants to build a grand mix of apartments, houses and shops in northwest Dallas. That's fine with the Dallas city staff. The bigger, the better, they say, because an expanded tax base will help pay for the basic services the city would have to provide.

    But if you've been paying any attention, you know that neighboring Coppell and Irving are up in arms over the proposal, threatening to withhold their own basic services from the new development if the project isn't whittled down significantly.

    Coppell has even launched condemnation proceedings to try to take some of the land away, saying it may need the property for new parks and schools.

    Now, you might be asking yourself why the cities of Coppell and Irving and the Coppell Independent School District are sticking their noses into Dallas' business?

    To that I offer four words: Get used to it.

    These days, with it getting harder and harder to figure out where one city's sidewalks end and another's begin, local governments are paying close attention to how developments outside their city's limits might affect them.

    That's precisely what this North Lake brouhaha is all about, said Coppell Mayor Doug Stover, whose 50-year-old city is landlocked.

    "Our philosophy in Coppell is to think regionally and act locally," Mr. Stover said. And if Dallas thinks it can sign off on such a massive development without regard for its municipal neighbors, he said, "That won't work."

    Forget for a moment whether Coppell, as Mr. Stover suggests, has a right to try to grab land from Dallas to build parks and schools. That's for the lawyers and courts to decide.

    What's intriguing is that Coppell and Irving have managed to force Dallas and a major developer into lengthy negotiations about how to develop a tract of land in Dallas. They've been talking for nearly a year.

    "I think we're going to see more and more of this as we get along" and the region keeps sprawling, said Mike Eastland, executive director of the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

    "At some point, these are some things that the region is going to have to sit down and grapple with."

    Mr. Eastland said he found it encouraging that officials from the three cities huddled Tuesday and agreed to continue talking.

    Hmmm. He's probably right.

    But basically both sides agreed to disagree. And they agreed that developer Lucy Billingsley, who expressed disappointment through a spokeswoman that her plans are still being stalled, should continue trying to see if she can appease the suburban concerns.

    "It was quite a powwow," said Dallas Assistant City Manager Ryan Evans. However, he added, "They did not drop any legal action, and we have not [slowed down] progressing with our zoning."

    So, at the end of the day, all of the sweet talk may not mean anything, although Mr. Stover and Mr. Evans said they were confident the issue could be resolved peacefully.

    But today, Mr. Stover said, each side will return to its opposing corner before the Dallas Plan Commission. "We will go down there and stand in diplomatic opposition," he said.

    E-mail jragland@dallasnews.com
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    So who has the legal standing here? And why is Irving mad if it is going in the Coppell ISD?

  28. #28
    Supertall Skyscraper Member aceplace's Avatar
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    This brouhaha just points out the idiocy of empowering municipalities to do things that should be done by regional planning bodies.

    And the issue of Coppell seizing land in Dallas by use of eminent domain? Presumably Dallas could retaliate by seizing land in Coppell....

  29. #29
    Please Drive Normally. Random Traffic Guy's Avatar
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    Well, fun times at CPC today. I missed the start of the fun since it was moved way up on the agenda, from last. Kinda weird since it made everybody else wait 2+ hours.

    Short form is that it passed, higher density and all, 11-1. Development agreement must have the details of utility connections and public service coverage, and each plat has to go through the system like normal so there will be City oversight. Members had little sympathy for Coppell and Irving and looked somewhat annoyed at the eminent domain gambit. Basically said to play nice and fix the problems.

    Fun parts:
    - Kathie Gautille (CISD board president) clumsily dodging an equally clumsy race-card deployment by Betty Culbreath (CPC chair).
    - News that Irving recently approved townhomes and 0-lot-line development in the chunk of Irving south of Hackberry. But they are not the ones complaining so much about density.
    - Avery asking Coppell mayor/CISD pres why they didn't ED the open parts of Coppell that are east of Belt Line if they need school land so badly.
    - Crack by one of the commissioners about Dallas selling water to Irving and Coppell, and those cities not selling it back to Dallas for this project.


    edit to answer above questions:
    Irving mad about traffic at Belt Line and MacArthur. Probably also the loss of green space next to their big retail and townhouse developments between 635 and Hackberry. They are happy about the retail part of Cypress Waters that is in Irving.

    I joked that Dallas should try to eminent-domain the Coppell sewer and water facilities they need to serve Cypress Waters. Possible fire stations and police stations too. Then there'd be no lack of easy connections to utilities It was a transparent ploy to slow down or screw up Billingsley. Backfired by pissing off the City of Dallas (except maybe Mayor Miller) and getting twice the density approved. ROTFL...
    Last edited by Random Traffic Guy; 15 December 2005 at 10:30 PM.
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  30. #30
    High-Rise Member antoinekhuu's Avatar
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    The suburbs have leeched away Dallas'resident,business,company and Dallas didn't do a thing.Now something happen swithin Dallas's city limit that affects them secondarily and they make a fuss about it.
    This event should send a clear message to those suburbs.Don't mess with big city.

  31. #31
    Skyscraper Member LakeHighlands's Avatar
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    This is another royal mess! There is so much misinformation about this project. In addition to that, the majority of people have the whole condemnation thing wrong. The Newspaper did an equally poor job explaining what condemnation means. I will explain later, but the whole city limits changing hands thing is all incorrect. From what I see above, no one understands what truly happen under condemnation.

    This thing is far from over. It going to take years and I see a big EPA issue about to wreak havoc on this development.
    "One of Dallas' strongest communities, Lake Highlands boasts a true sense of neighborhood spirit. Local stores reflect passionate support for Lake Highlands schools with school posters and signs. True to its name, the area features handsome traditional homes up and down rolling hills and charming, winding roads." --Lake Highlands People

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by LakeHighlands
    This is another royal mess! There is so much misinformation about this project. In addition to that, the majority of people have the whole condemnation thing wrong. The Newspaper did an equally poor job explaining what condemnation means. I will explain later, but the whole city limits changing hands thing is all incorrect. From what I see above, no one understands what truly happen under condemnation.

    This thing is far from over. It going to take years and I see a big EPA issue about to wreak havoc on this development.
    Enlighten us. I'm confused about the whole process.

  33. #33
    Please Drive Normally. Random Traffic Guy's Avatar
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    There is some confusion between eminent domain and annexation. ED means that Coppell would "own" the land and put what it wants on it... But land would still be in Dallas and part of Dallas tax base (although as a school or park rather than something productive).
    "Deaths on the road are to today's criminal justice system what domestic violence was in the past: as natural & inevitable as the weather."
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  34. #34
    Please Drive Normally. Random Traffic Guy's Avatar
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    DMN grinds along...
    Controversial North Lake plan advances to council vote
    Dallas: Panel backs development, to dismay of Coppell and Irving


    08:03 AM CST on Friday, December 16, 2005
    By ERIC AASEN / The Dallas Morning News

    Despite strong opposition from Coppell and Irving officials, Dallas' Plan Commission on Thursday endorsed a controversial residential development near North Lake and passed it on to the City Council for a vote.

    The vote followed a tense exchange between Coppell and Billingsley officials over actions each side has taken leading up to the vote, including threats of condemnation from the suburb and the company's request to potentially fill its land with more houses, apartments and shops.

    The fight over Cypress Waters is far from over. While the zoning request moves forward, specific development plans must be presented to Dallas officials before Billingsley starts building.

    Coppell Mayor Doug Stover was disappointed with the commission's decision, but he said he remains confident his city can reach a compromise with the developer over the project's size and density. Mr. Stover and Irving Mayor Herbert Gears also have met with Dallas Mayor Laura Miller about the project.

    "We haven't abandoned hope," Mr. Stover said after the vote.

    Neighboring Coppell and Irving oppose the developer's plans, saying the project is too big and would diminish quality of life and potentially cause traffic problems. The property borders Coppell and Irving, and most of the land is in the Coppell Independent School District, where officials say such a large project could lead to overcrowded schools.

    But Dallas officials support Cypress Waters because it would boost their city's tax base. Commissioners followed suit, voting 11-1 Thursday to forward the matter to the City Council.

    Many commissioners expressed support for Billingsley's plans, saying it's the best use for the land.

    "I'm hopeful that ... at some point in the future we can all co-exist and enjoy this development," Bill "Bulldog" Cunningham said. "I can't see anything that's any better for that land."

    Before the vote, Coppell officials issued their harshest words yet about Billingsley's plans and offered impassioned pleas to commissioners, encouraging them to halt the zoning request and allow the three cities to talk about revising the project and developing long-range plans for the area. Several dozen people from Coppell, including city staff members and city officials, attended the meeting.

    Mr. Stover called Billingsley's revised denser zoning request an "ill-advised charade" and outlandish, saying it was in retaliation for separate condemnation petitions his city and school district filed to seize parts of the company's land.

    "We all know it cannot and will not work," Mr. Stover told commissioners.

    Billingsley attorney Kirk Williams said Coppell officials were throwing around "a lot of misinformation" and taking part in legal posturing.

    "Their interest is not in long-range planning," the attorney told commissioners. "Their interest was in being sure that this case did not go forward."

    Developer Lucy Billingsley, who says the revised zoning request wasn't retaliatory, told commissioners her company is enthusiastic "about the opportunity to bring an amazing new development ... an important development to Dallas."

    While the commission wasn't focused on the density of Cypress Waters, the topic came up frequently.

    The city has given Billingsley the go-ahead to request denser zoning so that Dallas can generate enough tax revenue to provide Cypress Waters with utility and public safety services. Coppell and Irving say they'll withhold those services unless a compromise is reached.

    But Billingsley representatives say the suburbs' density concerns are premature. The company will have a better idea of the density when it issues its development plan to Dallas officials.

    There were other skirmishes on Thursday. Some commissioners questioned whether Coppell's opposition to the development was fueled by worries that Cypress Waters students might negatively affect the quality of Coppell schools.

    Coppell city and school officials say they're concerned about the number of children who would attend their schools, not the makeup of the student body.
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  35. #35
    Administrator tamtagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aceplace
    This brouhaha just points out the idiocy of empowering municipalities to do things that should be done by regional planning bodies.
    word

  36. #36
    High-Rise Member VectorWega's Avatar
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    I know someone that moved from Valley Ranch to Coppell because of "these kids". Haha, sucks for them.

    On a side note, I do laugh at these people purchase a home at a premium just to be in a good school district when they don't even have kids yet. A lot can happen between the time your child is born and the time your kid goes to school (like this development..lol). Also, does it really matter where your kid is goin to school in 2nd grade? Is your kid going to be selling drugs to pre-schoolers if he's not in one of the top school districts?

  37. #37
    Please Drive Normally. Random Traffic Guy's Avatar
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    Better yet, why are you giving up the education of your child to a bunch of unaccountable government bureaucrats? If you want something done right, you need to do it yourself.
    "Deaths on the road are to today's criminal justice system what domestic violence was in the past: as natural & inevitable as the weather."
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  38. #38
    Lakewooder Lakewooder's Avatar
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    City, schools prepare for land battle
    Coppell: Property condemnation used to fight project in Dallas



    12:00 AM CST on Sunday, February 12, 2006
    By ERIC AASEN / The Dallas Morning News


    The battle between Coppell and Billingsley Co. over a controversial residential development near North Lake in Dallas is likely to be lengthy, costly and nasty.

    Bring it on, both sides say.

    Coppell city and school officials, who vehemently oppose the large number of proposed apartments and houses, are pressing ahead with condemnation proceedings to try to seize part of the Billingsley property, which borders the suburb.

    Coppell also wants to hold bond elections in May to pay for the land, even though Dallas has green-lighted zoning for the Billingsley project and the company is moving forward with its approximately 350-acre Cypress Waters development.

    Meanwhile, Coppell's bills are mounting: The city and school district have spent about $900,000 on the issue, said Clay Phillips, Coppell's deputy city manager.

    Coppell Mayor Doug Stover is willing to spend more because he wants to preserve his city's quality of life.

    Most of the Billingsley land is in the Coppell Independent School District, so city officials are concerned that Cypress Waters residents will overcrowd Coppell schools. Officials also fear the residents will congest streets and overwhelm city programs.

    "If it requires the city to spend a couple million dollars to do this, then we'll spend a couple million dollars," Mr. Stover said.

    Coppell's condemnation actions are unusual, unprecedented and wrong, said Eddie Vassallo, Billingsley's lead attorney in the condemnation matter.

    "It's a scary precedent to think that if a city doesn't like a development in another city that they can condemn it," he said. "That's kind of shocking."

    Coppell declared in its condemnation filing that it is empowered by the Texas Local Government Code to "exercise the power of eminent domain outside of the city's territorial boundaries" to build parks and work force and senior housing. Coppell school officials want to seize some of the land to build schools.

    But it would be up to the courts to decide whether Coppell city and school officials have the legal right to take the land, Mr. Vassallo said.

    He added that despite condemnation threats, Billingsley is "not stopping in terms of building" Cypress Waters. Billingsley intends to draw up development plans, which are subject to Dallas approval.

    The Dallas City Council approved denser zoning last month for the northwest Dallas project, but Coppell is considering filing an action to void the zoning.

    To add to the brouhaha, Dallas has filed petitions to take depositions from Coppell officials regarding the Billingsley project.

    Among the next steps in the eminent domain matter: Special commissioners will assess the land value and damage to be paid for the property Coppell wants to condemn, although it's unclear when commissioners would meet. The commissioners' assessment is likely to be appealed, sending the matter through the courts, Coppell and Billingsley officials said.

    For Coppell, the legal bills will only rise. Of the approximately $900,000 in bills, city officials are footing 70 percent. The city has set aside about $500,000 this fiscal year to cover North Lake costs.

    The Coppell school board decided in January to continue paying 30 percent of North Lake costs, up to $400,000. The board will reassess the matter if the district reaches that cap. Coppell Superintendent Jeff Turner estimates the district has spent more than $250,000 on the matter.

    For Dr. Turner, the money is worth it.

    "We feel very strongly that we have a right to be at the table with land use that's going to be negatively impacting our community," he said. "What's that worth? That's worth a lot of time, money and consideration."

    Eminent domain cases can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and linger in court for years, said Rider Scott, a Strasburger & Price attorney who has represented both North Texas condemners and condemnees but isn't involved in the North Lake dispute.

    It's not uncommon for a city to condemn external land in certain situations, Mr. Scott said, such as if it needs to connect water lines to a reservoir or a wastewater treatment plant. But cities interested in building low-cost houses generally condemn land within city limits instead of going outside their boundaries, he said.

    Mr. Vassallo said that Coppell has no right to take his company's land. He's not aware of a Texas case where a city condemned external land because it "doesn't like what another city is allowing [on] that property."

    But Coppell school and city officials have plenty of support from residents, such as Sharla Myers, who says she's concerned that there isn't enough space in Coppell schools to educate Cypress Waters students.

    "The city has to do what it has to do," said Ms. Myers, who has two children in Coppell schools. "I realize it's an awful lot of money" that Coppell is spending.

    The Coppell City Council plans to call a May bond election soon to have money available if it were to purchase parts of Billingsley property. Mr. Stover believes voters will "stand in line in a hurricane" to approve the bonds. The Coppell school board is planning a similar election.

    Mr. Stover, however, would still like to reach a compromise with the developer, although both Coppell and Billingsley officials aren't sure that's possible now.

    But one thing is clear: All sides are anticipating a long legal fight.

    Mr. Stover said: "If it takes 15 years, we'll go the distance."

    Said Mr. Vassallo: "Billingsley will go another mile past Coppell."

    E-mail eaasen@dallasnews.com



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Online at: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont...2.3e81590.html

  39. #39
    Please Drive Normally. Random Traffic Guy's Avatar
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    The beat goes on
    Developer sues city over land
    Coppell: Firm seeks damages over use of eminent domain

    12:00 AM CST on Saturday, March 25, 2006
    By ERIC AASEN / The Dallas Morning News

    The game of hardball has escalated in the North Lake residential development battle between the city of Coppell and Billingsley Co.

    The developer has filed a lawsuit against the city that seeks monetary damages resulting from the suburb's attempt to seize the private land near the lake in northwest Dallas.

    Coppell is improperly using eminent domain to take the Billingsley property, company attorneys say. The suburb has no legal authority to interfere with the property and is illegally attempting to take property outside its city limits, the suit states. As a result, the company says, it's losing money.
    ...
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  40. #40
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    This drives me nuts, I hope Coppell loses a ton of money.

  41. #41
    High-Rise Member UrbanHope's Avatar
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    Why doesn't the city just sell it to Coppell once the bonds are approved? For us to have to provide city services to that land is absurd.

  42. #42
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    Why? It is legally part of the city. Should we sell off parts of Far North Dallas? It is like a suburb all its own. If Coppell wanted it, they should have gotten it.

  43. #43
    Super Moderator Tnekster's Avatar
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    Sought-after land goes up for sale

    Dallas Business Journal - March 31, 2006by Christine PerezStaff Writer
    http://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/st...wscolumn6.html

    For years, developers have tried to get their hands on a prime 212-acre tract at the northwest corner of Interstate 635 and Belt Line Road in Coppell. Now the Lesley family, which has owned it for more than 50 years, has finally decided to sell.

    Todd Jones with Transwestern Commercial Services has been tapped to market the property.

    "This land has been highly sought after by all the developers in town; it has now reached national scope," he said.

    Jones said he's targeting developers capable of pulling off an upscale mixed-use project.

    "Obviously, this is the gateway into the city of Coppell," he said. "We're looking for someone who can do office, retail, hospitality and industrial."

    Or, everything except multifamily.

    On the east side of this key intersection, the city of Coppell is embroiled in a fierce battle with developer Lucy Billingsley, who aims to build at least 4,000 apartments on her 350-acre tract. Dubbed Cypress Waters, the development lies within the city of Dallas, which has given zoning approvals, but within the Coppell Independent School District.

    Crowding concerns, and worries that the influx of new residents could overwhelm Coppell schools, has the city trying to gain control over the land using eminent domain. Billingsley has responded with a lawsuit of her own.

    Jones said there's no asking price; the family is going to let bidders determine the market. Offering packages went out to potential buyers this week; the deadline for offers is April 20.

    GVA acquires property
    A partnership led by GVA Cawley has acquired Parkside Corporate Center, a 96,000-square-foot office building at 16301 Quorum Drive in Addison. Centre Cos., the original developer, was the seller. Terms of the transaction, which closed March 17, weren't disclosed.

    John Conger and Mike Pierre with GVA Cawley are heading up leasing efforts.

    "It's one of the newest buildings in the area, having been built during the last wave of development," Conger said. "We bought it because it's hard to replace value-office product in that particular submarket. We have some vacancy and we're going to add value by upping the rents and finding tenants that need this type of space."

    Parkside Corporate Center sits about a block west of the Dallas North Tollway. It's 30% leased, with about 70,000 square feet available.

    cperez@bizjournals.com | 214-706-7120

  44. #44
    Please Drive Normally. Random Traffic Guy's Avatar
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    Response from a Coppell resident to the fight against Cypress Waters: http://www.savecoppell.com/
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  45. #45
    Administrator tamtagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tnekster
    Dallas Business Journal - March 31, 2006by Christine PerezStaff Writer

    Todd Jones with Transwestern Commercial Services has been tapped to market the property.
    ...
    "Obviously, this is the gateway into the city of Coppell," he said. "We're looking for someone who can do office, retail, hospitality and industrial."

    Or, everything except multifamily.
    Lets hope there arent any historic buildings on the property.

    Seems like Coppell would want the sales tax revenue and customer volume represented by thousands of people living in thousands of apartments receiving city services from Dallas.

    Personally, I think it's very unsavory for the city of Coppell to bawk at the educational needs of any child.

  46. #46
    Please Drive Normally. Random Traffic Guy's Avatar
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    I can't find the story on the DMN site, but Coppell voters approved the bonds for both city and ISD to proceed with their eminent domain efforts for this Dallas land. The article mentioned the City wanted the land for workforce housing. As in the savecoppell.com site mentions I can't see how workforce housing versus fairly high-end multifamily will reduce the impact on Coppell schools and demographics.

    The current Mayor of Coppell also won his race.
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  47. #47
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    Poor people should live in other cities

    Like the people of Coppell, I think poor people should live in other cities. Who do these developers think they are building affordable housing near my house? Next thing you know there will be people walking on the sidewalks to get to the grocery store. When I am in line at 7-11 I might see 3 children sharing the same slurpee and then I will be forced to think about their socio-economic background, and that is uncomfortable. What ever happened to segregation? Can't we put 'these people' and their 'bad kids' in South Dallas?


    Won't somebody please think about the Children!!



    PS - This same exact thing will happen to the park at I-30 and Dalrock that Dallas owns. The upkeep of the park is too expensive so the land will be sold to a private developer.
    Last edited by LakeRidge; 15 May 2006 at 03:57 PM.

  48. #48
    Stuck in the past clipper's Avatar
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    Look at it this way, if Coppell can take part of Dallas in a legal move, can't Dallas take say the Park Cities or a piece of Plano? What's good for the goose. . .

  49. #49
    Smile... :) mikedsjr's Avatar
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    What is the possibility that this area that will be developed could be a hazardous location for the children and everyone else, due to the proximity of the power plant?
    Listen to the Dividing Line, Pirate Christian Radio, CARM, White Horse Inn and RTS University the most nowadays.....

  50. #50
    Smile... :) mikedsjr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LakeRidge
    When I am in line at 7-11 I might see 3 children sharing the same slurpee and then I will be forced to think about their socio-economic background, and that is uncomfortable.
    Having 3 kids sharing the same slurpee isn't the problem. Having adults who lack responsibility to act the way they tell kids how to act is a problem. Having divorces is the problem. Having verbal fights in front of kids is a problem. Having no father in the household is part of the problem.
    Listen to the Dividing Line, Pirate Christian Radio, CARM, White Horse Inn and RTS University the most nowadays.....

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