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05/20/04  Citizens have no protection under zoning laws.

To whom it may concern:

Anyone with the pockets for even minimal commercial development can acquire residential land, then destroy everything on it without ever applying for rezoning. The citizens don't have a thing to say, even with an entire rezoning process currently in place now which gives them that right because there are absolutely no deterrents for totally ignoring the rezoning process. 

In fact, it makes better business sense to ignore the rezoning process and the citizens who make their homes here.  Why?  Because if you destroy & develop a residential property, even for an obviously illegal use, you have not broken a single law or violated a single code or ordinance until you put a vehicle or a pile of something ON it, which then constitutes illegal usage.  Even then you will be invisible to the City of Dallas unless somebody reports you, and even after that all you get is a Notice of Violation & up to 60 days to move the pile or vehicle.  Do so, and you are in compliance, the City is satisfied. 

Repeat the offense, and the offenses aren't cumulative.  The City of Dallas starts all over again with a Notice of Violation so as long as you move the pile or vehicle, you can do the dance and continue to illegally use the residential property without paying commercial property taxes on the land.  It's totally up to you if you ever apply for rezoning.  Since developers think 3 to 10 years or more ahead, don't use the property if it's a hassle, just squat on it

It's already been destroyed and you can now wait as long as you want until there's no more opposition.  Then, anytime you feel ready, you can apply for rezoning, or not, strictly up to you.  If you want to use the property bad enough, not only do you have the right to apply for rezoning , even after destroying & illegally using it (in my case for over two years now), but you can re-apply ad infinitum if you're defeated the first time or any number of times.  This turns it into a simple race of the pockets and in a poor neighborhood like mine, guess who wins?
 
 I now live next to acres of residential property that were scraped and graveled over where before it was undeveloped wooded residential property.  Four businesses on my block alone have acquired residential properties, then illegally extended commercial businesses onto them without ever to this day applying for rezoning, which should have been done before the properties were destroyed.  I have been reporting this to the City of Dallas since March 01, 2002.  As of April 22, 2004  not ONE SINGLE CITATION has been issued.  I have climbed the ladder through three Code Compliance District Managers, the Director of Code Compliance, my City Councilman James L. Fantroy, and most recently Francisco Conde, the Mayor's Assistant & Public Information Officer.  Here is the inquiry he sent out on my behalf:

 


 
Friday, April 16, 2004; 2:20 p.m.

Mr. Raj Sharma,  Director
Building Inspection Division,  Dept. of Development Services, Oak Cliff Municipal Center,  City of Dallas

COMPLAINT FROM:

Mr. Clarence Steven Evans

COMPLAINT:  THREE UNUSUAL SALVAGE/JUNK SHOPYARDS NOW EXISTING AT THESE PROPERTIES.
  
THE CITY CODE:  -- R75A (Residential Zoning Designation)  District  --
Commercial and business service uses -- None Permitted.

JUST EXACTLY THIS IS BEING PERMITTED at four addresses:

12437 C.F. Hawn Frwy

12511 C.F. Hawn Frwy

12527 C.F. Hawn Frwy

12671 C.F. Hawn Frwy. -- NO BULLDOZING ON THIS PROPERTY (acquired the property behind it and never applied for commercial rezoning (CS).

There has been illegal destruction and development of these residentially zoned properties for commercial use without ever having applied for commercial rezoning, thereby permitting neighbors to oppose such commercial development within an R75-A District.

BUT THERE IS NOTHING ST0PPING THEM FROM DESTROYING AND DEVELOPING  RESIDENTIALLY ZONED PROPERTY FOR COMMERCIAL USE WITHOUT EVER HAVING APPLIED AT ALL, EVER, FOR REZONING TO COMMERCIAL FROM RESIDENTIAL.

ZONING LAWS APPROVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF DALLAS ARE DESIGNED TO PROHIBIT COMMERCIALIZATION OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY UNLESS DUE APPLICATION FOR AND APPROVAL IS GRANTED BY THE APPROPRIATE AUTHORITIES FOR SUCH ACTION.

That is not the case and the Dallas citizen above seeks redress.  Please investigate and report to the Office of the Mayor, and please copy any response to the citizen and the Mayor.

Best Regards.

Frank Conde, Public Information Officer, Office of the Mayor
 
 

I wake up every day to a junkyard and an even uglier junk yard fence that have been in my face on residential property since the first of 2002. 

The only response I have received is summed up by what James L. Fantroy told me, which is "all he can do is what the law allows".  Since the law doesn't allow him or anyone else to do anything, there is no crime.  Very budget friendly. 

Why allocate resources and manpower from an already overstrained city budget when you can solve the problem by simply declaring it not a problem because no law exists that says it is??
 
Every single homeowner in the City of Dallas shares this vulnerability.  For over two years now, I have been living next door to acres of proof that what little zoning laws we have give the citizens here absolutely no rights and no recourse when the rezoning process is totally ignored. 

If you doubt any of this, both 2001 (before) and 2003 (after) photos are in the aerial photo database on www.dallascityhall.com .
 
  Clarence S. Evans

 

                                        

    





                            

 

  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