August 18, 2005

Lake Highlands Area Improvement Association

The next meeting of the Lake Highlands Area Improvement Association will be on August 22nd at 7:00pm at the Lake Highlands North Recreation Center. This is the umbrella association for Lake Highlands representing about 14,000 homes and the L Streets Neighborhood Association is one of the member organizations in LHAIA.

They will pick up the Drug Paraphernalia Petitions at the August 22nd General Meeting.

The agenda will be as follows:·
New City of Dallas Big Box Ordinance Presented by David Cossum – City of Dallas Planning Department ·
Lake Highlands Attorney Advisory Group· Update on the Drug Paraphernalia Campaign·
New Code Enforcement Campaign·
Crime Watch and You·
Update on the Sign and Beautification Project·
Retail News & 911 Campaign·
What's happening in the Apartments ·
Preview of "Apartments Exposed—From Best to Worst"·
Idea of a Lake Highlands Public Improvement District·

Please share this with your neighbors and friends.

Bill Blaydes's Town Hall Meeting Summary

Summary of Bill Blaydes's
Town Hall Meeting on August 16, 2005

Mr. Blaydes began the meeting at 7:00 p.m. at the Lake Highlands High School Student Center. He introduced City representatives and then announced that Northeast Division Deputy Police Chief David Brown had that day been promoted to First Assistant Chief, the second-highest position in the Dallas Police Department. When Chief Brown entered the room, the capacity crowd gave him a standing ovation. Mr. Blaydes introduced Assistant City Manager Ramon Migues, who presented the 2005-06 City budget that City Manager Mary Suhm had proposed that day. The proposal calls for a 2.7-cent property tax increase per $100 of assessed value, a 3.8-percent increase from the current rate. Proposed enhanced public safety services and debt service for the 2003 bond program drive the increase. Other features of the budget proposal include a 75-cents-per-month increase in the residential sanitation fee and higher water rates. The Council will debate the budget proposal, which is subject to change. The entire budget proposal is available on the City's web site. Chief Brown then addressed the crime issue. He reminded the group that crime had decreased 11 percent in the Northeast Division during 2004 and even more in Lake Highlands. The decline is continuing in 2005. Chief Brown said the types of crimes that occur in Lake Highlands can largely be prevented by residents' taking four simple precautions: not leaving valuables in vehicles; not leaving garage door openers in vehicles; not leaving garage doors open while unattended; and not leaving the door between house and garage unlocked. Mr. Blaydes then introduced representatives of a real estate company representing Walmart in connection with a Walmart Super Center proposed for the northwest corner of the Forest-Abrams intersection. Mr. Blaydes supports the project and says it is appropriate development next to an interstate highway. The rep showed artist's renderings of a building with landscaping and an exterior more interesting than the typical blue and grey Walmart "box." The project would rely upon existing streets and traffic lights. It would replace the Royal Inn, a 236-unit apartment complex, the American Inn (formerly Howard Johnson's), a 50,000-square-foot office building, and one vacant lot. Walmart plans to take the proposal to Planning & Zoning on September 22 and to the City Council on October 26. Meeting attendees raised a variety of concerns, generally about traffic, upkeep, and Code compliance. The City's Chief of Code Inspection was in attendance, and complaints about the existing Walmart grocery store were so vociferous that she actually left the meeting to take a look at that store! Mr. Blaydes said residents could keep up with progress on the Super Center proposal by checking the City's web site. He encourage residents to email him with their concerns about the proposed project. On other subjects, Mr. Blaydes advised that the TIF (tax increment financing) district was still in the works but had been set back when the organizers determined that it required fewer residential and more commercial elements than in the original plan. He said interior demolition had begun this week at the shopping center at the northwest corner of Skillman and Walnut Hill and that the owner already had fully leased the planned new center. Development of the southwest corner of Royal and Skillman still is under discussion. The Wendy's at Audelia and Walnut Hill is under construction, and the owner is talking with another retailer about leasing the former Braum's property between the Wendy's site and Taco Bell. Mr. Blaydes also said a possibility exists that the entire shopping center on that corner may be sold. He put in personal "plugs" for Eat the World restaurant and the Thai restaurant at Plano and Walnut Hill. The meeting adjourned at about 9:00.