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01/10/05  Hillside Conservation District (Proposed)

I am a resident of the proposed Hillside Conservation District.

After reading your posting on the Greenway Parks debacle, I am relieved someone out there is putting info out there that is not slanted in the city's favor!

I signed the original petition which was represented to us (the residents) as a "feasibility study" of the pluses and minuses of turning our neighborhood into a CD.  I attended the meetings and looked at the data presented by the city representatives who were leading the meeting (Nathaniel Barnett, being the leader, with support from Leif Sandberg and Commissioner William "Bulldog" Cunningham.

During the first meeting, it was apparent there was much opposition and many questions.  An organized group of property owners made it immediately known they wanted to be dropped from the "study".  It was suggested that we remain open minded and not draw any conclusions until we attended more meetings.  It was also stated that duplex owners in opposition would not be dropped from the CD.

After two more meetings, it was clear this "study" was not that, rather the CD was being rammed down our throats, even though there was growing opposition and resistance to the CD. Every effort to hear opposing views was squashed by the city reps, and the presentations were repeats of the same info with our opposition to the way things were going falling on deaf ears.

During our first breakout session in meeting three, residents of my sub-division, Briar Creek Estates, voted 21 to 0 that the existing deed restrictions were to be left as is.  Six voted to have them made into a CD, and 18 voted that they did not want a CD at all.  When the 4th and last meeting was held, the handout with the results from our session were so inaccurate that many on the floor spoke out, but were told to save it for the breakout session to come.

It was announced at the 4th meeting that the duplexes were at last granted exemption from the CD, and they received that in writing.  In our breakout session, Sandberg was to be the moderator, but our group was so incensed at the distortion of the minutes of the first sessions, Sandberg was not allowed to continue until the misrepresentations were corrected.

It was then decided that we should vote on whether or not anyone wanted a CD in our neighborhood or not.  The vote: 3 in favor, 24 opposed.

We asked Lief how we could have our sub-division excluded like the duplex owners, and he stated that with this latest vote we were well on our way to just that. This remains to be seen.

One of neighbor stated he was in favor of the CD when we first stared this, but with the way the process had been handled he was now against it.  Another stated that much of our apprehension was due to the perception that this thing was like the Queen Mary coming at us with no way to stop it.  

oth of these statements are true, and the whole process should be scrapped as well as this so-called study.  One neighbor met with representatives from the City of Dallas Plan Commission, and was told the CD was a done deal in their view.  In a later voice message to the same neighbor, a P&Z representative stated the process was indeed flawed and they would be working with the city attorneys to revamp the whole process.  One even said that they would definitely not want to live in a CD!

No word on when our fifth meeting will be held, but I will advise if there is anything noteworthy. 

It seems that the city has a hidden agenda, or they would be more willing to discuss openly at the meetings, rather than railroad this thing through in the face of such vocal opposition. This fact alone calls into question the motives of the city in this matter.

I am hoping that this CD can be stopped and am proud the majority of my neighbors have stood against this misrepresented process.  I am saddened at the prospect that either way, this issue has accomplished nothing more than a damaging rift between neighbors in a neighborhood I have called home for the better part of 47 years.  Until this issue, everyone has lived in harmony and peace.

One note of interest: The city webpage has not posted any of the minutes from our meetings since the July meeting. Wonder why? 

Appreciate your time and any further insight into this mess!





  Ward politics is the Devil's key to the soul of the city council.  It is how some council members got themselves in trouble in the past.  It is the bait that will get others in trouble in the future. 4/6/8