August 24, 2005

LHAIA August Meeting Summary

(Thank you once again to Ann Ward for providing the bulk of this summary.)

After the meeting was opened, David Cossum, City of Dallas Development Services, described the "Big Box" Ordinance enacted in late 2004. The ordinance affects most retail establishments containing over 100,000 square feet of space. It seeks to affect appearance by imposing architectural and landscaping standards, such as breaking up the facade to make it appear like multiple smaller businesses, incorporating landscaping into the parking areas to prevent uninterrupted expanses of pavement, etc. The City can make exceptions when warranted. For example, the proposed new Walmart Super Center would need an exception from the requirement of a 20-foot landscape buffer along Forest Lane. The site plan for the proposed Walmart is available (or will be; Mr. Cossum was not sure whether it had been submitted) from the City's Planning Department, 214-670-4209.

Steve Wakefield, LHAIA President, said the LHAIA wants to hear all complaints that the community has concerning the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market at Audelia and Walnut Hill. Please send such comments to He urged people to make comments a.s.a.p. The LHAIA is also encouraging people to contact Wal-Mart directly (Please see further information conerning this towards the end of this email). The proposal will go before the City Council either September 22 or October 22 (he stated both dates multiple times); watch the LHAIA web site for current information.

Susan Morgan, chairman of LHAIA's Economic Development Committee, said she would support residents who wanted to form a committee to make a formal neighborhood statement about the proposed Walmart. Mr. Wakefield spoke about the LHAIA Attorney Advisory Group, which has formed to advise LHAIA on all sorts of legal issues. The Group's initial project is studying ways of effectively outlawing the sale of drug paraphernalia. Other projects under consideration include intervention in a City lawsuit against a noncompliant apartment complex, initiating lawsuits against other complexes, and reviewing the City code for the purpose of suggesting revisions.

Mr. Wakefield solicited volunteers for weekly crime meetings at the Northeast Police Substation. Sean Christopher of LHAIA spoke about code enforcement. The LHAIA website contains information about code standards for both single-family and multi-family housing, and forms and instructions for reporting violations.

Mr. Christopher urged residents to take photographs of code violations and submit them to the City. Additionally, he said LHAIA needs volunteers for a new apartment code enforcement team. Mr. Christopher also said LHAIA hoped to improve communications among area crime watch organizations, to permit information about suspects and crimes to be shared more efficiently among the organizations. He solicited volunteers (he needs five or six of them) to be crime alert coordinators, who would facilitate the communications to and among crime watch groups.

Mr. Christopher gave an update on the sign beautification project. For those of you familiar with the project from past meetings, the design of the sign has completely changed. The new renderings should be posted on the LHAIA website later in the week ( ).Finally,

Mr. Christopher spoke about the possibility of establishing a Public Improvement District for Lake Highlands. In short, this would give LH its own police force of sorts that would respond to all 911 calls and have the ability to perform code compliance as well. This, of course, would come with some additional taxes. It was urged that this is something that is simply being studied and nothing further at this point. The survey process should take approximately 10 months.********************************