Dear Editor:

I am not an economic or real estate developer, but I don’t understand why Dallas tycoons of recent years are driven, seemingly by compulsion, to kick-off growth with these Miami Beach, Biscayne Bay-like condos.

There are plenty of existing homes around the lake housing families with enough disposable income to support other kinds of business like restaurants, live music venues, etc. In these examples, everyone can enjoy the lake instead of those few who can purchase a view.

My husband and I do not plan to support any development that implies revitalization, as if dangling a carrot. We will support a comprehensive solution involving city planning, parks and recreation, conservation and private interests — all with the explicit and collective goal of revitalization for our area.

It seems any high-rise on the lake is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, promising to give us something that we don’t have, presumably because we need it somehow. But we came to the neighborhood for what it has, and to sacrifice the shores of White Rock Lake while simultaneously compromising the opportunity to do something that is in the interest of the neighborhood has the scent of good, old-fashioned carpet bagging. — Aaron Horton

Dear Editor:

We in Casa Linda are also tracking closely the smoke-and-mirrors presentations Mark Miller has been making. Retail expansion/growth/replacement is simply a matter of the market following the money.

The whole area from Forest Hills around the lake to Northwest Highway has had a phenomenal reversal of bad fortunes and has experienced a meteoric increase in property values over the last 15 years. Merchants are catching on and have started clamoring for the best spaces available.

There isn’t a single thing Mr. Miller can do to impact that ongoing process (except perhaps build a totally out of place eyesore to screw up property values). — David Baillif

Dear Editor:

As a long-time Dallas resident, including the last seven in the Lake Park Estates neighborhood of East Dallas, I am pleased to see you reporting fairly on the proposed Emerald Isle project.

I am a strong proponent for this type of development, but I believe it is critical that people on both sides study the options and alternatives to this proposal with open eyes, ears and hearts. East Dallas along Garland Road is SLOWLY crawling out of 20-30 years of neglect. We should be mindful that the things we complain about the most — crime, roadways, and a short supply of quality restaurants and retail — may not be addressed to our desires without the large infusion of capital being planted into this seed project.

Like many others, I am also concerned about the proposed 25-story height of the structure, but believe that quality design can give even tall buildings a pedestrian feel and presence. Quality design could make Emerald Isle an icon that further defines our city and what it means to live in East Dallas. I also believe that this facility will probably end up about the size of Turtle Creek developments (in the 15-20 story range). Many people I have spoken with would be in favor of a development of this size.

Emerald Isle is certainly not a panacea, but with community support and direction it could be the start of something truly wonderful for our neighborhoods. — Joshua A. Theodore

Dear Editors:

As an opponent to this planned building, and as one who attended the Little Forest Hills Community meeting, I picked up on Mark Miller’s comment that there will be no high-rise development on the west side of the lake because “there is too much money and influence on the west side.”

The translation to this is that Mr. Miller feels there isn’t enough money or influence on the east side. He essentially is saying that no one with money or influence would want this in their back yard, so that’s where he will try to put it.

A building of that nature is totally out of keeping with the White Rock area. It does not fit the community. I believe if rezoning is approved that it would set a precedent and that within 15 years there would be a string of such behemoths invading the skyline.

I view myself as an advocate and a steward of the White Rock Lake area. I do not want this development to happen on my watch. That is not the legacy I want to pass on to my grandchildren.

The tenor of the community meeting at Lakeview Christian Church was overwhelmingly against this project. As a native East Dallasite, a past resident of Little Forest Hills, of Casa Linda Forest and Forest Hills, prior member of Lakeview Christian Church, grandfather of two boys who attend St. Bernard’s school, almost literally in the shadow of this proposed monolith, past president of For the Love of the Lake and current board member of that organization, I urge the White Rock Lake community to not let this project go forward. — Steve Tompkins
Dear Editor:

I really want you to know how much I appreciate your even-handed treatment of the Emerald Isle development proposal.

I am for development in our area, but I am for responsible development and development that meets the needs of the community. Nothing in Mark Miller’s argument or in the Provident Realty Advisors website (providentrealty.net) has convinced me that either this project or this company are right for our area.

I am convinced, however, that no deal is better than a bad deal. As the Alamo Drafthouse project in Casa Linda shows, we will have plenty of opportunities for economic development in the future, and we should only act on deals that are appropriate to our neighborhood and fit within currently zoned height restrictions. — M. Robert Turnage


Dear Editors:

In response to the Bryan Harvey “Ask a Cop” column that discussed young mothers pushing strollers on the street instead of the sidewalk, I was amazed that the question was whether this action was at best advisable, at worst possibly illegal.

It might be better for the questions to begin with “Why would a mother push her stroller in the street? By choice?”

Young mothers are a lot of things, and overly cautious is usually one of them. Perhaps the reason they are “breaking the law” is because our sidewalks are in such disrepair that they’ve chosen one obstacle course over another. Maybe not a wise choice, but given the choices, hardly reprehensible.

Why doesn’t someone address the real problem — having our sidewalks fixed so they are safe for mothers and pedestrians alike to walk along without fear of tripping and falling over a jutting piece of concrete? Neighborhood associations raise money for all sorts of necessary and not-so-necessary improvement projects in the area, but no one has ever talked about this, and it continues to baffle me. It’s one of the hallmarks of a safe and cared-for community. — Ana Maria Castronovo


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