Archive for the ‘Hamilton Park’ Category

Jerry Allen – Why the Hostility?

June 26, 2008

It seems like every time there is a controversial zoning issue in Lake Highlands, there is a group of people that wants to come out against Councilman Jerry Allen with some reference to next year’s election.

What I see is someone that listens to all sides and tries to come up with the best possible solution, and in the end he has the guts to make the tough call. Everyone ruffles some feathers from time to time, but in the end you can’t deny that he cares about Lake Highlands and the rest of his district. His assistant, Patricia Love, is always available when you have questions or need some help.

While I’m not a District 10 resident, half of my family has lived in District 10 for over 50 years and are pleased with having Mr. Allen as the councilman. When there’s an issue he gets right on top of it, especially when it comes to neighborhood safety.

Jerry Allen is a class act that listens to all sides and represents his district well. That’s what you want in a councilperson, right?

July 9, 2007

They’re Coming for Hamilton Park (again)

The Dallas Morning News has an article talking about a group that wants to turn Hamilton Park into one of these so-called urban lifestyle centers (link).

I have written about this topic in the past (link). I have family that are original homeowners in Hamilton Park.

I rarely talk race on this site, but why is it that other neighborhoods can be preserved as Historical Districts but Black neighborhoods are constantly looked at as profit centers?

I have learned about the history of my Mother in-law’s family. Her family lived on Spurling Road and attended church near Preston and Spring Valley. We were just looking at some old pictures on Sunday afternoon, some of which were taken inside their church. She talked about how my grandmother in-law called the City of Dallas and told them she would not be paying any taxes since the City wouldn’t even pave the streets in that neighborhood. Decades ago, it was a predominantly Black area. Now it’s a high-income neighborhood.

This method of operation is not new.

My father-in-law lived in West Dallas in the 1940s. Some people called it Eagle Ford. It was near Westmoreland & Singleton. As mentioned in the Dallas Observer in 1998 (link), the area was advertised as “colored lots.” Yesterday he told us how he, his father, and his brothers built their house from scrap lumber after World War II. You see, the war had ended and the scrap was from barracks that were no longer needed. His family literally pulled the nails from each piece of wood. They piecemealed sheet rock and other building materials to make a home.

City leaders put people in a neighborhood with no sewer, no water, and no plan. My father in law talked about buying water by the 50-gallon barrel and saving to buy a septic tank. He talked about how his father had to buy his own curb ramp because there was a ditch right in front of their house.

That’s what the City of Dallas used to call progress. Of course, when housing projects were all the rage everyone was forced off of their land. My father in law’s family moved their house to South Dallas where it still stands today.

It gets no realer than that.

If anyone thinks that Hamilton Park will be had for pennies on the dollar, they’re wrong. We’re familiar of all the various tactics used to “encourage” people to move off of their land. I’m not talking about eminent domain, I’m talking about those other tactics. We’re going to be much smarter this time around.