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Residents Question Use Of DISD Property


(CBSDFW.COM) – Steve Pickett –

A fight over the building of a new school and the impact on an east Dallas neighborhood is getting dicier.

The Dallas Independent School District will no longer use “eminent domain” to access land for a new O.M. Roberts Elementary school, but that doesn’t mean the DISD has stopped its controversial plan.

Shawn Busari can show you houses with windows boarded, and fences erected around them. Four such houses now belong to the Dallas School District. They were purchased as part of a plan to build and expand O.M. Roberts.

Now the school district has another plan and residents in the Jubilee Park neighborhood are left with property eyesores. “As you can tell within our community, there are boarded homes, and these homes represent our neighbors,” explained Busari.

After months of protests, school officials stopped plans to access Busari’s and others’ houses through eminent domain. The action was a victory to residents… sort of.

Norma Hernandez believes DISD will piecemeal development lot by lot. “They’re telling us now they want to put parking lots and playgrounds between the remaining homes,” she said.

DISD officials say the property for the new school will include land where a car wash now sits, but the district will hold on to the houses.

“I don’t know what we’re going to use the land for yet, nobody does. But we own the property, and we’ll take that [feelings of homeowners] under advisement,” explained DISD spokesperson Jon Dahlander.

While Busari will be the owner of her family home, she and others will be left with boarded up buildings and a new plan for the parcels, which will be determined by the new owners – the school district.

O.M. Roberts elementary is 100 years old. DISD officials say the new campus is needed because of overcrowding and the school’s age.

Read the rest of the story here..

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