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DISD Has Ended Jubilee Park Land Grab

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Dallas Observer

Robert Wilonski

November 05, 2010

On Wednesday, word was the Dallas Independent School District was this close to backing off efforts to snatch, for pennies on the dollar or none at all, several Jubilee Park homes in order to make way for the new-and-improved O.M. Roberts Elementary, promised as part of the 2008 bond package. Mark Mathie, the attorney repping the home owners for free, had received word from state Rep. Eric Johnson's office: DISD's dropping the suits, voiding the contracts and moving on. Only, Mathie had yet to see the district's official confirmation when last we spoke. And district officials never responded to Unfair Park's what-the-what.

But late yesterday, we got the goods: In letters dated November 3, Phil Jimerson, DISD's deputy chief of operations and the man in charge of construction, told the owners of five Jubilee Park homes the following:

 

The Dallas Independent School District previously indicted an interest in looking into acquiring your property, above referenced, in connection with its search of property on which to build school facilities under the 2008 Bond Program.  In fact it entered into a Contract of Sale with you, but you have indicated that you choose not to close same.

This letter is sent to you, as a matter of courtesy, to inform you that the District will not be pursuing the acquisition of your property at this time.  Any pending court actions will be dismissed by us and the pending Contract will be terminated by separate notice letter.

Thank you for your courtesy and interest.
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The district has also terminated contracts with the owners of three properties who initially took the district's low-ball offers before realizing they'd been screwed. Per attorney Florentino Ramirez, the district wants its earnest money returned. Other than that, that's that. A few simple sentences bring to an end months' worth of fighting. As Mathie said Wednesday, it ain't often you fight City Hall — or, in this case, 3700 Ross Avenue — and win: "This, to me, is really something special."

 

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