As we enter 1996, I thought it might be interesting to reflect upon positive changes in Lake Highlands during 1995.
As has been the case for several years, the primary task during the past year was to find ways to deal with some of our apartment problems. One property located at Kingsley and Audelia has gone from an abandoned neighborhood eyesore to an attractive, well-landscaped property, providing good quality homes for approximately 100 families.
My thanks to the neighborhood residents who worked for six months with John Goodman to improve conditions at that location. You did a great service for our community.
In the Hamilton Park community, Carlton Heights Apartments continues to be a plague upon the neighborhood. The owner consistently refuses to invest in his property, and as a result, the property has been taken to the Urban Rehabilitation Standards Board for action.
The owner has been given a very short period of time in which to make the necessary repairs and improve living conditions on the property. If he does not do so, the fines against him will be substantial.
We seem to have found a way to get this landlord’s attention. Fines of up to $2,000 a day have a way of doing that!
Other properties in Lake Highlands are receiving similar attention from their neighbors, and our goal in ’96 will be to see the same kind of improvements at Carriage Lane and Sunset Terrace that we have been able to see at Watermark and Highland Crest apartments.
Many of you have inquired about the property at the corner of Kingsley and Plano. With a great deal of persistence and patience, we were able to force the removal of these apartments on that property, and both tracts of land are to be redeveloped during 1996.
On the south side, mini warehouses are currently under construction. The Special Use Permit that allows them to be built was negotiated by the adjacent neighbors, and details including the color of paint and type of landscaping were agreed to prior to the permit being granted.
On the northwest corner, we anticipate the development of an assisted-living facility for the elderly to be operated by National Guest Homes Inc. This private development will consist of 78 units that provide independent living for the elderly, while at the same time having on-site assistance with medication and meals.
What else do we have to look forward to in 1996?
With the approval of the bond program last May, we can expect a substantial investment in Northeast Dallas during the next calendar year. The first of those investments is the purchase of land north of LBJ for the eventual development of a recreation center.
The land, located just south of Walnut on Audelia, will provide for the first time park and recreation facilities for thousands of Dallas residents in the Country-Forest, Jackson-Meadow and Woodbridge areas. While we do not have the funds to develop the land immediately, much of it is already graded and would be appropriate for ball fields within the next year.
Expect some other changes, too.
On the Dec. 13 agenda, the City Council approved a new heating and air conditioning system and new theft detection devices for the Audelia Road Library, as well as the first phase of funding for the study of McCree Branch Library so that we eventually will be able to deal with the flooding problems at that location.
Certainly one of the most asked questions in Lake Highlands can now be answered. During fiscal 1996, Ferndale Road will be resurfaced. No longer will we watch the grass grow on our street. Expect work to begin in April.
The water main project through Flag Pole Hill is also almost complete. Let’s hope the area is restored to a semblance of its original condition.
Happy New Year to All!