Led by Highland on the Creek resident Leslie Hearn, a group of neighbors has formed to oppose the request by developer Mill Creek Residential to rezone The Lot and Local Traveler sites to a mixed-use project called The Trailhead.

“The construction of The Drake had a significant visual impact on us and we had no input on that project,” Hearn says. “At the grocery store, on neighborhood social media, and out walking the dog, I heard lots of concerned voices about Mill Creek’s request.”

Seeing no formal neighborhood opposition forming, Hearn “very reluctantly” took on the effort to gather a group of concerned residents.

“I agreed to help organize the efforts of groups from different neighborhoods, of all ages and representing diverse talents and interest. There are many people working in the background. Grass root efforts like this take a village with a common goal.”

The group has developed a Save the White Rock Lake Skyline web site and a Facebook page.

The Facebook group currently counts 35 members. The web site has a place to request a yard sign, although none have been spotted in any yard as of yet.

Hearn says the opposition centers around the height and density of the project and its impact on traffic. She says The Lot site is already zoned for mixed-use with a height limitation of 54 feet and four stories. The opposition group sees the rezone request of 85 feet, eight stories, 320 units and 13,000 square feet of commercial space as  “too much and too big.”

Members of the group attended the February 23 East Dallas Chamber on-line presentation of The Trailhead made by Michael Blackwell of Mill Creek.

“Much of the presentation focused on the trails and restaurants as ‘benefits’ of this development but that simply distracts attention away from the community’s real concerns,” Hearn says. “The trails are public spaces, not private amenities to be exploited for commercial purposes. Restaurant development doesn’t require 8 stories, 13,000 square feet of commercial space and 320 apartment units.”

Mill Creek and Blackwell have undertaken significant neighborhood outreach about the project, logging more than over 30 private meetings with neighborhood leaders, elected and appointed officials, and interest groups.

There will be three public virtual meetings over the next week to hear Blackwell speak about Mill Creek’s ideas for The Trailhead and pose questions on-line. The Zoom links and dial in numbers for the meetings can be found here.

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