May 5, 2006

Opposition to Development in Lake Highlands

May 5, 2006

Dear Lake Highlands Residents,

As you may have heard there is a development planned for Timber Creek Apartments (Northwest Highway/Skillman) by Trammell Crow. Whether you are driving east on Northwest Highway or go north on Skillman, this site serves as a gateway into our area.

There have been several groups, all from outside of Lake Highlands, that are putting pressure on Gary Griffith (this is development is in his district) to oppose this project. Some of these groups include residents in other parts of Dallas, The Sierra Club, and LULAC.

These groups have concerns about the trees and tearing down the homes of low-income renters. The Dallas Observer also wrote an article about putting these people on the streets.

What all of these groups fail to mention is that there are over 28,000 apartment units in Lake Highlands alone and another 20,000 in Vickery Meadows. There is more than enough room to house all of these renters in other apartments in Lake Highlands. Nobody will be left on the street.

Trammell Crow has also said that it will give people up to a year to find a place to live.

The LHAIA has been working with Trammell Crow on tree mitigation. It is unfortunate that some trees will be lost, but trees will be replanted in medians all over our area. In addition to the LHAIA, the Dallas Children’s Theater has been working with Trammell Crow on tree mitigation.

When Timber Creek was built it was an adult only complex like much of the apartments in the Lake Highlands area. Federal law made it illegal to have adult only apartments in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Since then Timber Creek has turned into a multi-family apartment complex. This complex was not built or equipped to handle families living there. There are no playgrounds for the children. The complex is also approximately 30 years old and in need of costly repairs.

For years we have battled high crime, the lack of maintenance, and other issues at the apartment complexes that have greatly hurt our community. Finally, we have a developer looking to come into our area to bulldoze one of these apartments and replace it with a new development that will enhance our community.

If this project is opposed, it can set a dangerous precedent and message to developers that our area does not want to see apartments redeveloped. It doesn’t matter if you live in the northern most part of our area (Richland Park Estates, Whispering Hills) or in the southern area (Dixon Branch, Eastwood Estates); apartments have an affect on all of our neighborhoods. I urge you to let the City Council know how important redeveloping apartments are to you. Again, the defeat of this project can have an impact on future redevelopments of apartments close to your immediate neighborhood.

It is imperative that you as residents of the Lake Highlands area let your voices be heard. We have numerous apartment complexes in our area and it is important that some of them are redeveloped. As it stands right now, we have a higher ratio of renters to homeowners than the city of Dallas as a whole. We need this kind of redevelopment in our area, and I hope you will let Gary Griffith know how important the redevelopment of apartments is to you.

Please let Gary Griffith and the City Council know that the redevelopment of Timber Creek is important to enhancing the quality of life in our community.

It is time to let your voices be heard.

Gary Griffith’s email

Gary’s phone number
(214) 670-4069

Bill Blaydes’ email

Kindest Regards,
Sean Chris

Sean Christopher
Executive Vice President
Lake Highlands Area Improvement Association
Phone: 214-550-3407