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Sommerman Says Residents Can Have a ‘Burned-Out Church And a Homeless Encampment’ or Cottonwood Forest Improvement
Dallas County Commissioner Andy Sommerman presents the plan for Cottonwood Forest.

Similar music, totally different verse: An reasonably priced housing venture is proposed on Forest Lane, and nearly all of the residents don’t prefer it. This model entails District 2 Dallas County Commissioner Andy Sommerman, who held a public assembly Monday evening on the proposed Cottonwood Forest single-family growth. 

Dallas County secured American Rescue Plan funds — designated solely for workforce housing — to buy the $6.5 million property on seven acres at Forest Lane and Stults Street. 

Whereas the commissioner stated he acknowledges that some residents don’t just like the venture, there aren’t numerous choices for the location. 

“I actually like this venture,” he stated. “There’s no Plan B. I don’t have the cash for it. Your selection is that this or a burned-out church and a homeless encampment. If you wish to put a park there, I don’t have [the money]. That is what the {dollars} had been earmarked for.”

Reasonably priced Housing

The houses within the proposed Cottonwood Forest growth could be for “nurses and academics” who earn between 60 to 120 % of the Space Median Revenue, Sommerman stated. 

“This isn’t poverty housing; that is workforce housing,” he stated. “That is for those that are having problem discovering houses to dwell in as a result of the value of actual property is so excessive within the Dallas space. Once more, these are single-family dwellings.” 

Cottonwood Forest
James Armstrong

Anti-flip and anti-rent restrictions could be positioned within the contracts when the houses are marketed and offered, Sommerman defined.  

Closing on the property is imminent, set for early April, Sommerman stated. 

Whereas he hasn’t chosen a builder or introduced a building timeline, residents took observe that Builders of Hope CEO James Armstrong was in attendance at Monday’s assembly. 

In an effort so as to add extra reasonably priced models to the realm, Dallas County Commissioners Courtroom has permitted eight reasonably priced housing initiatives up to now yr. The plan, in accordance with Assistant County Supervisor Jonathon Bazon, is to offer 2,000 reasonably priced models by 2026. 

It may get a roof over the heads of those that won’t in any other case have the ability to afford one, however residents within the space of Dallas’ CIty Council District 10 say they’ve been overwhelmed with reasonably priced housing these days.

Residents at a separate public assembly a few days prior expressed considerations {that a} lower-income bracket may deliver extra crime to their neighborhoods. 

Most Residents Don’t Like The Plan. 

Among the residents who attended Saturday’s assembly additionally confirmed up Monday evening. 

“Precisely how is that this going to assist the group?” one resident requested. “We do have a significant downside right here. There’s numerous crime on this district.” 

Residents at Monday’s assembly needed to know the way incomes could be verified, whether or not site visitors research could be performed, and whether or not a police substation could possibly be constructed within the space. 

Cottonwood Forest

“I’m involved with what is going to occur if it turns into like Valley View Mall, with roaches and rats operating all via the neighborhood, not simply the vermin, however the human form,” one other resident stated. 

Whereas homebuyers might be vetted on the outset, “it’s not doable and it’s not possible” to observe whether or not somebody adjustments jobs or their earnings will increase or decreases, Sommerman defined. 

Different residents raised considerations in regards to the affect of building on the encircling neighborhoods. 

“Westfield Avenue and Woodshore [Drive] have been decimated and torn up for over two years as a result of contractors couldn’t full their work,” a resident stated. “Demolition of the church goes to have extra affect on site visitors instantly. Is there going to be some sort of efficiency clause in that contract the place whoever will get it has to pay for on daily basis they’re late?”

Sommerman remained direct all through the assembly, saying there could be efficiency clauses.

Northwood Estates resident Mike Nelson stated the brand new growth would negatively affect his property values. 

Mike Nelson

“What the appraisal district does, I’ve no energy over that,” Sommerman responded. 

District 10 Dallas Metropolis Council candidate Sirrano Keith Baldeo tried to show the discussion board right into a stump speech, saying he wouldn’t assist the venture if elected in Could. 

However Dallas County doesn’t want the assist of the Dallas Metropolis Council or Metropolis Plan Fee. The land is already zoned R-10, so a rezoning isn’t required, Sommerman defined. 

District 10 council candidate Kathy Stewart additionally attended Monday’s assembly. 

Representatives from Dallas Space Fast Transit agreed to share with their actual property workforce the neighbors’ requests for fencing between the DART station and Stults Street. 

Commissioner Sommerman stated he heard loud and clear that some folks don’t prefer it, however reiterated that his choices are restricted. He took names and e mail addresses of attendees and promised to maintain them up to date on the venture. 


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