A Long Time Coming: The History of Floral Farms’ Advocacy
HKS did the first community engagement workshop to discuss park programming with Neighbors United on 5/16 . The kids also designed their own park ideas using toys.
Socially distanced in person and digital engagement has begun with HKS and Neighbors United on the park design and we are excited about working with other organizations and individuals to make this park happen!
Unfortunately an application for a rock crushing operation was recommended for approval by the City Planning Department to be in Floral Farms at the end of two residential streets. The application was denied with prejudice thanks to the City Plan Commissioner for District 8 and the residents and supporters who spoke out against it. The case is up at 2:15:02.
Stakeholder meetings continued to be conducted and support for the park project began to grow. HKS Inc., agreed to perform pro-bono design work for the park through the Citizen HKS program and the Dallas Regional Chamber continues to be an advocate for the park and plan. Shingle Mountain was officially removed fully on February 26, 2021.
The City of Dallas announced at a Special Called meeting that the property where Shingle Mountain is could be acquired for $0 as part of their settlement agreement with the owners, and that they would be soliciting community input on appropriate land uses for the site. Fortunately, the neighborhood-led plan identified the site a potential park location, so Neighbors United reached out to various stakeholders to discuss the potential for a park project.
The cleanup of Shingle Mountain began over Christmas time.
The feedback from October was incorporated and the final draft was created and presented to the residents in November 2020. This meeting was filmed and featured in BET’s “Disrupt & Dismantle” as a case study for how neighborhoods can organize and enact positive change in their communities.
Neighbors United hosted a public review of the plan draft for residents, business owners, and local officials. The newly appointed City Plan Commissioner for District 8 was invited as well as Peer Chacko with Planning and Urban Design, and Councilman Atkins. Councilman Atkins was able to attend the meeting.
Every resident was sent a packet with the proposed zoning changes that could best meet the vision and needs of the community. Feedback was solicited and incorporated into the draft by phone, email, text and in person.
July – August 2020
After the analysis had been conducted, the NSDP team conducted 1 on 1 interviews with the residents and some business owners to discuss potential zoning districts that could meet their needs.
April – June 2020
During this time, the NSDP team conducted parcel analysis for the land use and zoning in the area, and assess what needed to change to meet the community’s goals.
A survey was distributed in the neighborhood. The survey provided quantitative feedback based on the qualitative visions the residents created.
The Neighborhood Self-Defense Project and Neighbors United conducted two visioning sessions in the neighborhood for residents to share their vision for Floral Farms.
The Inclusive Communities Project, Downwinders at Risk and Southern Sector Rising launch the Neighborhood Self-Defense Project, funded by the Communities Foundation of Texas, to support Floral Farms in the creation of the neighborhood plan.
The Floral Farms neighborhood was successfully awarded an Authorized Hearing to comprehensively review the zoning in the neighborhood. This required a vote by the City Plan Commission on August 15, 2019. The video of the case starts at 3:12:48.
Southern Sector Rising, a coalition of neighborhood leaders in Southern Dallas launched to campaign for the closure of operations at Shingle Mountain and for environmental justice for Floral Farms. During the press conference launch for the campaign, the City filed a temporary restraining order on the company to stop operations at Shingle Mountain.
Downwinders at Risk, the Inclusive Communities Project, Pastor Hatley with the Cowboy Church and Paul Quinn College all spoke out against two proposed concrete batch plants for Floral Farms. The permits were thankfully denied. The case is heard at 18:38 in the January 17, 2019 City Plan Commission video.
The first story about Shingle Mountain was published in the Dallas Morning News, leading to the formation of Neighbors United, the residential association in Floral Farms.