|NEWS: TEARDOWN CITY|
|by Scott Bennett||Sun, Sep 18, 2005, 03:55 PM|
North of I30 a battle rages. And it is getting bloody. In neighborhood after relatively affluent neighborhood perfectly habitable homes (perhaps in need of a little fixing up) are being torn down to make way for McMansions or as others call them "Texas Castles." In some parts of North and East Dallas 50% of existing neighborhoods have already been replaced by new jumbo homes.
North and east Dallas areas are popular because they have something most developing areas in Collin and Denton Counties don't: trees. Of course the Dallas areas were barren too when they were developed but that was 40-50 years ago and the trees have gotten mighty tall.
Developers assert that while many homes being torn down are serviceable they are being replaced with new homes worth two to three times what the tear down was worth on the tax rolls and that is good for a landlocked city like Dallas. Community residents retort that the new homes are ugly because they are out of proportion to the remaining neighborhood, violate deed restrictions, and drive up the taxes of smaller homes because they drive up lot values.
The Dallas City Plan commission has recommended the Dallas City Council adopt an "overlay" that would restrict new development in both size and height (a copy is available at www.forwarddallas.org/files/up/NeighborhoodOrdinance.pdf.). The plan would require that 75% of all homeowners in a neighborhood be required to petition for the creation of a limitation plan.