The "open space" on this map of the Hollywood/Santa Monica conservation district? That's where the homes will be.

The “open space” on this map of the Hollywood/Santa Monica conservation district? That’s where the homes will be.

Hollywood-Santa Monica residents hoping to learn more about the new homes being built in their neighborhood are being given the silent treatment.

Last summer, Henry S. Miller sold 9.4 acres of land to Megatel Homes and development partner Centurion American. The land is located within the Hollywood Heights/Santa Monica Conservation District and is adjacent to the Santa Fe Trail and Lindsley Park.

Centurion’s original plans were to “begin developing 59 single-family home lots at the site” by November 2012 and have, “the first phase of lots completed in the spring of 2013,” according to an article in the Dallas Business Journal.

Once the lots are completed, Megatel is expected to begin home construction in two phases and finish construction this summer. The homes will be priced from $500,000. According to the Hollywood/Santa Monica Conservation District Ordinance, the homes in tract 2A must be Tudor-style and “look typical of the style and period of Tudor structures in the district.”

When the project was announced, some residents expressed concerns about how a developer who has, up to this point, built homes only in the suburbs would design homes that fit this style.

In hopes of learning about the home designs, we made several attempts to contact Megatel, with no response. So we contacted Clifford Nichols, president of the Hollywood-Santa Monica Neighborhood Association. Nichols’ experience has been no different.

“We have attempted to contact Megatel multiple times and have heard nothing back,” he says. “They seem unresponsive and don’t seem to be going about things the correct way.”

Neither Nichols nor the City of Dallas’ Margaret Fiskell, who oversees the applications for homes built in conservation districts, have yet to see anything from Megatel in order to review the new construction plans.

On Megatel’s website, there is no word of the Lakewood acquisition or whether the community will be given a name. People hoping to find an example of a Tudor-style floor plan on the website are also out of luck.

photo-9

In the past several weeks, bulldozers and survey flags have been on the land, raising concerns about construction proceeding without official review to make sure the plans meet conservation district requirements.

tree

The City of Dallas was contacted after some neighbors felt too many mature native trees were being uprooted. Recently, a City Arborist roped off trees along Shadyside Lane. Trees along the parkway require a permit to be removed per the requirements of Article 10 of the Dallas Landscape Code.

photo-11In the meantime, Megatel appears to be on schedule with its plan to have the lots completed by this spring, as the City has approved grading and paving for the first phase of homes.

Hollywood-Santa Monica board member Ed Zahra has repeatedly attempted to contact Centurion and Megatel to invite them to the quarterly board meetings to help ease concerns. Zahra says neither firm has “given the consideration of a return call or response.”

“The big question remains — how can their development, which if done correctly will be a tremendous asset to the neighborhood, proceed without first getting conservation district approval on what type of homes are to be built? The path that Megatel has chosen to take over these past eight months does not pass the stink test.”


WANT MORE?
Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.