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Southwest Dallas Neighborhood Fighting For Rezoning

By Jane Slater, CBS 11 News
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The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge behind the La Bajada neighborhood in Southwest Dallas.

The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge behind the La Bajada neighborhood in Southwest Dallas.

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A group of activists in the La Bajada neighborhood combed their streets Saturday morning, making detailed measurements of the community in hopes of gaining a restriction that will block nearby future development before it begins.

Residents in the Southwest Dallas neighborhood will send the measurements to city officials to apply for NSO – Neighborhood Stabilization Overlay – Status.

If this is granted, the neighborhood would be specially zoned only for single family housing, which prevents all multi-family and commercial projects.

“There’s a lot of sentimental value … here in this house, I raised all my children,” said resident Felix Lozada. “My wife died in this house, my father died in this house.”

The area sits near the Trinity River, and is part of what the city hopes to redevelop under the Trinity River Corridor Project. The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge – a cornerstone of the area’s development finished in June – cuts over the skyline just behind a home near the border of the neighborhood.

The majority of La Bajada residents tell similar stories: Their relationships with their neighbors often date back to the early 1940s. The majority of homes are paid off. Few families leave the neighborhood.

And why would they? With the redevelopment project so close, many residents are sitting on a plot of cash, and they’re close to friends and family.

“I have really been seeing people coming around wanting to buy up property,” Lozada said.

However, homeowners say much of the interest comes from developers hoping to build condos and upscale high rises. These are properties that would drive up property values and potentially force residents from their homes.

“We have been comfortable, we love it here,” Lozada said.

Taking measurements of the community is a prerequisite for NSO Status, which can be an ugly word to future developers because it limits development to single family dwellings.

So, on Saturday, homeowners took measurements for hours, hopeful that development and change in West Dallas won’t mean a change in address.

“If the NSO goes through, they are not going to price us out of our homes,” Lozada said.

Area developers said that it was too soon to estimate if the area would get the NSO Status.

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