Trophy Club Residents Say City Built Too Close To Homes

TROPHY CLUB (CBSDFW.COM) – Some homeowners say a pirate ship has hijacked the scenic view they once had from their backyards and the city hasn’t stood by its own ordinances.

The ship is part of a water park that has residents staging a mutiny against their own town. The park comes right up to their homes in Trophy Club.

The city is responsible for a buffer between them, but residents say it’s not there.

“When we bought the property it was beautiful all we saw was the sky,” said Julie Folley, who lives on Lilyfield Drive.

Folley loves coming out to her backyard, but it’s the view she hates.

“I can see the top of the pirate ship,” points out Folley. “If I leave my windows open I see the entire pirate.”

Folley says she knew about the water park before they moved in a little more than a year ago.

Then the town added a splash pad with only a small buffer between their backyards and the parking lot that came with it.

“It is required to be a sound and visual barrier,” Folley said. “As you see there is nothing back there.”

According to the city ordinance there is supposed to be a 40-foot buffer zone between the homes and commercial property. However, the only space between homes and the parking lot is about 11 to 17 feet.

CBS 11 News asked city manager Michael Slye why the city didn’t follow its own ordinance. He said, “I can’t answer your question. Your question specifically? I wasn’t there. I don’t know what the thought process was.”

Slye says the city wants to work with the homeowners and add some larger trees between the subdivisions and the parking lot, but he says they will not tear it up to add a buffer zone.

“I did not buy my house knowing that I would have a parking lot behind me,” Folley said.

For those like Folley the ship has not sailed, and she’s not about to surrender.

She says her family is now moving forward with a possible lawsuit.

Some neighbors are also worried about 70-foot tall light poles for a nearby ballpark under construction, as well as the noise and traffic coming from those venues.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Get over it! says:

    I dont live in Trophy Club but my children play ball at Independence Park and as long as I have lived here (3 yrs) that parking lot has always been there because we always park there. So if she is griping about the parking lot she isnt going to win and how could she have missed the parking lot when she moved in just a year ago. First the story sounds like she is mad because of her view but then she is made because there is a parking lot behind her and not a 40 foot buffer. Well I’m not sure there has to be a 40 foot buffer between a parking lot and a homeowners fence. If you think about it there is a 40 ft buffer between the fence and the actual swimming pool aka “the pirate ship”. If she wants a scenic view she needs to move to the country and buy land because your not going to find it in a thrieving communitee such as Trophy Club. I would love to live in this area and she should feel very fortunate to be able to afford to live in this nice area. Stop your griping and plant some red tip bushes lady!!

  2. John Scruggs says:

    Get Over It??? What a shallow response to a very large problem. I own a commercial property in a certain city. When I built, we had to jump through hoops to please the city engineers, inspectors, building officials, do everything by the book. Heck, we even got cited and fined by the fire department for, what was in my own opinion, making a minor mistake in the process (no second chances and no tolerance). I watched and continue to see the very same city skirt the processes in their own building endeavors. The whole thing just reaks of corruption and cheating..

    The story clearly states that the buffer zone is required. The city manager seems to even indicate the ordinance exists …. In my opinion what’s good for the goose … we should make these cities abide by the very same rules the rest of us are required to abide by. Property development is way more expensive when the rules are actually followed. When the rules are not followed, values of adjacent properties decline.

    CBS 11 News asked city manager Michael Slye why the city didn’t follow its own ordinance. He said, “I can’t answer your question. Your question specifically? I wasn’t there. I don’t know what the thought process was.”

    All I have ever asked for is to be treated fairly. Enforce the rules for all or Get the rules off the books.

  3. BIGD says:

    WELCOME TO FAIR PARK………………………NUMBER 2…….COMING TO ALL AREAS……SOON!!!!

  4. Mike says:

    I would rather have a parking lot that the proposed Fire Station that the City of Azle is trying to Ram Rod the Residents with. They are trying to force the placement and construction of this so called required facility despite public outcry against it. While I do not think that many residents are completely against a Fire Department they are against it in their back yards. With the noise and increased traffic who would want this in their back yard? It would be one thing if this was a planned community but this is not the case here. We all moved here for the rural aspect being next to a school and close to daily ammenities but a fire department in our back yard was not part of that vision.

    When did public officials forget who they work for? We have numerous residents who have attended the meetings during the proposed zoning change meetings in addition to the signed petition that the city has from the residents around the immediate area showing opposition to the Fire Station. With all of this the planning and Zoning board still passed the reccomendation to change the zoning of this land which is now off to city council for a final vote and disposition by City Council this evening(April 5) at 6:30 PM.

  5. Julie F says:

    If you would like to come to the meetngs and become “informed’ as we tried prior to building our home you will realize how idiotic your response actually is. We checked everything and DID our research. The parking lot was NOT behind our specific home at the time. We chose this lot based on the fact that we would not have to hear the cars directly behind us (the other part of the lot) and our back wall. Last year they EXTENDED the lot 18 parking spots within 11 feet off our wall. We also knew the pool was there and the items that were coming. We also researched they had to buffer it with REQUIRED trees and landscape that were VISUALLY AND ACCOUSTIC to our neighborhood. With that in mind we purchased the lot. We have not one tree, no buffer and stare out at lights and a pirate ship now. We don’t mind all the park and activities behind us, we mind that they did not follow their ordinances and rules that would provide this barrier for us. You are correct, we are very fortunate to have moved and can afford our home in Trophy Club and want to continue to love it. One day we may have to sell our home, and we plan on not having our home values drop because of the cities inabilities to follow their rules. Besides, maybe if you want to pay the increased taxes and the bond money we do that FUND the items you yourself actually come here to enjoy, your view on this would be different. Grow up and get a life and get the facts before you comment and make yourself look foolish.

    1. Capt. Sparrow says:

      What a rich snob!

    2. R.C. says:

      “Julie F” your not being completely open with the facts either. The town openly admitted to being out of compliance with the 18 parking spots. Theat is the ONLY gripe you and your neighbors have. They have already advised the trees will go in. The pirate a non issue quit bringing it up. The lights….also a non issue. These are all within compliance and you had knowledge of them all prior to your choice to purchase . Please keep focus. 18 parking spots IS the only legitimate issue. Every time you guys mention something other than the real issue it makes me laugh. Like the gate you guys wanted. The parking on the street. I drive your street just to check now. It is already flooded with your own cars parked on the street. It is quite fun to see. Oh yeah the berm you guys wanted. That one really makes me laugh. How much easier it will be for folks to stand on and see what your up to in your backyard. FOCUS: 18 parking spots is the only issue. I will back you on that all day. Everything else is smoke and mirrors. You look foolish talking about anything other than the real facts.

      1. anonymous says:

        R.C. You did not do your homework either, did you? The car spaces are out of compliance BECAUSE that should have legally been the area for planting trees. I don’t think the problem is the parking lot. I think the problem is a result of not having enough space to plant trees accordingly that are going to provide the proper buffer because the parking lot is in the way. Did you know that they did this as well with the previous parking that is there? At the time there were not homes built to dispute this but the area was zoned residential and the buffer should have begun back in 2003. Did you know that the current landscape plan gives no true buffer behind all the homes where the new ball fields will be? Oh yes, as mentioned, there is a 40 ft. buffer there, but the requirement for the buffer is for sound/noise and visual of this buffer will do neither because there is not enough allocated for coverage. Maybe they should have taken some of 100+ trees they planted recently in one of the parks and held them for this buffer area to increase the size of the screening? Tree USA? Go see the facts and the plans, not enough trees.
        Did the city make the same mistake twice with knowledge of wrongdoing? This is what it would seem since in their site plan for this project it shows the 40 foot buffer in the plans as late as late 2010.

        As for the residents wanting to be able to put a gate in? Why not? If it provides a way for the kids to get to school it is an asset. There are gates like this all over near lake-view Elementary an many of those home buyers bought their properties because it was easy for their children to walk to school. Seems a bit strange that the schools are on the other side of the street next to this subdivision but they still have to drive their children to school.

        Seems to me you just commented because you are enjoying the controversy however facts are facts and rules are rules.

      2. Jane says:

        R.C.
        “Oh yeah the berm you guys wanted. That one really makes me laugh. How much easier it will be for folks to stand on and see what your up to in your backyard.” For the record, the berm is to help with drainage issues due to the ballfield being 5′ higher than the home owner’s property. The homeowners would prefer NOT to have the berm but the threat of a flooded backyard was the deciding factor.

      3. Charles B. says:

        R.C. you wrote, “It is already flooded with your own cars parked on the street. It is quite fun to see.”
        Those are construction workers’ cars. Before 8AM or after 5PM, there are NO cars on the street.

  6. anonymous says:

    Please keep in mind that the ordinances state there is to be a 40 foot buffer BETWEEN the area of these zoned properties such as the commercial and residential, not structures. Did the city council do their homework prior to spending our tax dollars on the construction of these parking areas knowing that they were in non-compliance with the ordinance? It was implied at one of the meetings that homework and research were not done by the home owners. One of the City Council members even stated “buyer beware”. Shameful. If residents tried to do something that was against an ordinance the fines and penalties no doubt, will be hefty, why they don’t have to follow the rules they created to make the city a better place is beyond anyone’s reasoning.

  7. julie f says:

    Hey R.C. if you are so knowledgeable, why not use your name in your comment? You are incorrect. The buffer should be there. Access to the schools should be there. We did not even bring up the access issue yesterday for the buffer at this moment is the concern. Yes, they have agreed to trees. How many? No buffer that will be effective most likely as Mike Slye has mentioned he will not plant our landscape or a forest. Did we ask for a forest? No we asked for an ordinance that is REQUIRED to hide/mask the items behind us, not for you to remove them or complain about them. I would not have to keep bringing up the pirate over and over, if I did not have to look at it daily.

  8. anonymous says:

    You cant expect the City of Trophy Club to be completely responsible for the Folley’s living near the pool. The parking lot extention has been finished for more than the 13 1/2 months the Folley’s have lived in their home. There should be a buffer but the Folley’s should shelter some of the blame because they have lived there since Feb 26, 2010 and they had knowledge that the parking lot was there or at least being built. City of Trophy Club can easily pull permit dates to prove the parking extention was their prior to them moving in.

    See: http://www.dentoncad.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=100&Year=2011&PropertyID=534865&PropertyType=R&AbsCd=SJ1203A

    I also find it strange and some what comical that you dont like the view but yet you wanted to put a gate access up in your backyard as stated in other articals. You might want to rethink your legal action because I’m afraid they might get laughed right out of the court room.

    I know if I ever buy a home that you have to be proactive and do your research prior verses after the fact. Accept some responsiblity here Folley’s.

    1. julie F says:

      As stated, I don’t mind the pirate there, nor the pool or even the ball fields. however we went on the thought that they are putting in the buffer of trees behind the wall to help screen the view…..that is what was on their APPROVED SITE PLAN. , and you are incorrect, I bought my house and the parking directly behind my home was started AFTER we moved in. They may have pulled permits but the job was not even started on anything back there until after we were here. Why did we wait to complain? We assumed that the landscape would go in at the very last of completion of the entire plan, why would they put landscaping in prior to the renovation of the area being complete?? Get a grip, YOU get the facts.
      In regards to a gate? We did ask about the gate to our builder AND the park and recreation director who thought it was a great idea UNTIL he realized that planning and zoning was not going to go along with it. We take responsibility for not going far enough for doing our homework on that. We also assumed the gate would be behind a screen of trees and would allow our children an easy way to get to school. Criticizing us will get you no where. See the point is, we are just trying protect ourselves and hold the city to its own ordinances, why be so hostile towards this? I hope one day the city does not do this to you.

  9. TCM says:

    R.C. You did not do your homework either, did you? The car spaces are out of compliance BECAUSE that should have legally been the area for planting trees. I don’t think the problem is the parking lot. I think the problem is a result of not having enough space to plant trees accordingly that are going to provide the proper buffer because the parking lot is in the way. Did you know that they did this as well with the previous parking that is there? At the time there were not homes built to dispute this but the area was zoned residential and the buffer should have begun back in 2003. Did you know that the current landscape plan gives no true buffer behind all the homes where the new ball fields will be? Oh yes, as mentioned, there is a 40 ft. buffer there, but the requirement for the buffer is for sound/noise and visual of this buffer will do neither because there is not enough allocated for coverage. Maybe they should have taken some of 100+ trees they planted recently in one of the parks and held them for this buffer area to increase the size of the screening? Tree USA? Go see the facts and the plans, not enough trees.
    Did the city make the same mistake twice with knowledge of wrongdoing? This is what it would seem since in their site plan for this project it shows the 40 foot buffer in the plans as late as late 2010.

    As for the residents wanting to be able to put a gate in? Why not? If it provides a way for the kids to get to school it is an asset. There are gates like this all over near lake-view Elementary an many of those home buyers bought their properties because it was easy for their children to walk to school. Seems a bit strange that the schools are on the other side of the street next to this subdivision but they still have to drive their children to school.

    Seems to me you just commented because you are enjoying the controversy however facts are facts and rules are rules.

  10. Really? says:

    “I did not buy my home knowing I would have a parking lot behind me” . You have lived there for 13 1/2 months and it didnt become an issue until the pirate ship was there. If you wanted access did you not ask this question before you moved in? I guess you can look on the bright side at least the pool itself isnt directly behind you and at least the parking lot serves as some what of a buffer.

  11. B.B. says:

    You have to love the Town of Trophy Club. A new resident doesn’t do their homework and buys an expensive home with open land behind it. They don’t attend any P&Z meetings, Parks Board meetings, City council meetings, or Town Hall meetings(2) nor do they even call the Town staff to find out what the final development of the area behind their house will look like. However, once the tractors show up (surprise) they decide to do some homework. In all their efforts to sink this project they find out that the previous Town Manager and Council failed to get a variance from their own ordinance(which would have surely been granted) to add additional parking for the spray park. Then they try to leverage this one True oversight clearly not done intentionally to effect the entire development of this much needed athletic facility. The amazing thing is that our Town Manager has bent over backwards to try to address this issue and the residents had hours at a city council meeting and have had hours of Town Staffs time trying to work with them. Personally, I am tired of this spectacle and Mike Slye and Town Council it is time to Lawyer up. The other 7000+ residents of TC are very appreciative of the fact that our community has invested in these much needed facilites for our children. During a time when kids are glued to video games, facebook, twitter etc… our town and its citizens are building facilities so our kids can enjoy the great game of baseball, football, soccer, and swimming. Mike Slye and Town Council those of us citizens that are truly Invested, Involved, and active in this community will be there at every meeting to support you so lets LAWYER up and get on with it. This lady’s three minutes of fame are running overtime.

  12. Julie F says:

    B.B. we did our homework. We researched. We, once again are not against all the goodies behind us. We are sore at the fact that the site plan showed a buffer on it, even the plat from 2010 that this nice landscape buffer was there and existed. When it was actually put in the ground, the parking lot was there and did not allow enough space for planting appropriately which is our concern. You must enjoy the fact that we look like we don’t want these facilities behind us. That is incorrect. We want them here and in our city, we just want to screen them from view as noted on the site plan. If the site plan and plat are not done as planned, as this parking area was constructed in this way, there is no way to “research” out what they have done until it is there. Do you really think this was just one oversight? Maybe you need to review all the ordinances and plans for the original pool from 2003. They overlooked it then, they overlooked it now. On the front and first page it states with the word “required” to the 40 ft buffer of this latest site plan. The buffer has a very specific definition of what its “job” is to do between the space and what is to be there: landscape as a screening. If you were going to purchase your home and you were me, and you saw you would have a screening of trees and then OOPS suddenly there are none, you think when you go to sell your home this won’t be an issue for the next buyer? Just trying to protect our family. By the way, this is not my battle alone, it is my street and over 30 neighbors on our street did go to a city council meeting recently as you probably know. I did not approach channel 11, they showed at my front door and I strictly gave them facts. I did nothing malicious to the city but expressed my concerns on the lack of screening. The city is going to provide 10,000.00 in landscaping now additional but if you have priced out landscaping this is not going to go very far, and certainly may not make a nice screening that is visual and sound as noted in their definition of the buffer. They have capped this cost without even a landscape plan to know what this money can buy. How can they be certain there is enough without properly researching this out? My neighbors near the ball fields in the current plan do certainly have that 40 foot buffer now but in the plan it does not show the essentials and necessary amount of trees to provide a proper screening. This is all we want. We love Trophy Club, we just want to keep our investments with a good screening. One complaint was the cost of taking out the parking that is so badly needed. On the agenda for Thursday night they will have discussions of extending Byron Nelson parking lot. I think this is a great idea. Takes care of the extra parking for overflow in this area instead of right behind our wall so that the buffer can be enforced with the landscaping it needs and yet somehow the cost and funding of this project now I wonder if it exists for we were told there was no more money. No reason to be angry and mean towards us here, we want our values to stay up for our homes, which directly will some day affect yours as well when they go to comp the pricing of selling homes. We are in it for everyone. Just follow the rules as we as residents have to follow them too. Why are so many angry over this?

    1. Linda says:

      Laugh, Laugh, Laugh. MOVE !!

  13. anonymous says:

    becase your acting like a rich snob that didnt do their research and wants to blame their own mistake on the city. And that parking lot was there way long before anyone lived behind it and the plat shows it going way down the row of homes. And what “site plan” did you look at? The one the home builder showed you? This is what happens when you buy a home with undeveloped land on it. Just like everything else when planning “there subject to change”. Whats the big deal about seeing the pirate ship anyway? If my family and I lived behind it we would love seeing it out our window. Soon as those bushes grow in your not so manacured lawn might help shield the view.

    1. Scott F. says:

      Rich snob, that is funny!

  14. Scott F. says:

    We knew that there would be a complex there and we knew that it was zoned “CR”. As a function of that zoning, we also knew that the town was required to provide a 40′ acoustic and visual barrier. While it is true that we closed on our house on February 26th of 2010, we had been working with the builder in the design phases since June of 2009. Yes we made attempts to ascertain what would be behind us, yes we did our homework.

    Do you think, because this has just come to a head, that we woke up a month ago and decided we did not like what was behind us? Really? We have been working at this for months. We have been talking to members of the town council, the zoning board, the parks and recreation board…etc. It has come to this because they have not really heard us. The only way that we could have done our homework on this would have been with a mind-reader because we certainly had no way of knowing that the ordinances that are on the books would not be followed.

    Do you think this is about baseball? I am, frankly, neither for nor against baseball. You think that we should just let them disobey their own ordinances so that you can get in a few extra innings? If that is what you think then you are not reasonable.

    And, for those of you that think we should be quiet because we are “rich”, I do hope you are kidding. I can assure you that while we are not crying poor, we are not “rich” either. But even if we were that has nothing to do with whether or not the town is responsible to follow its own rules.

    The overriding fact in all of this is that 1) the rules were in place when we bought our house. 2) the town admits and no one can dispute that they did not follow those rules. 3) the things that we are asking for are required by those rules.

    Do we want to be able to put a gate in? Yes because we want to have access to the park. Why would we want to do that if we did not like the park? Are there other issues than the buffer? Yes but everyone on the street has basically chosen to deal with those separate issues outside of this context so that is why we have not focused on them.

    Those of you that have expressed support, thank you very much!

    Even those of you that think we should shut up and put an end to our “three minutes of fame” cannot dispute the argument about the buffer on legal grounds and I appreciate your comments as well.

  15. Edna says:

    Edna
    I am very confused by all of this. Bottom line, the Folleys bought a house in a very nice housing development and paid a hefty dime for it. They were promised a 40 ft buffer between them and a welcome, but noisy and active city recreation center. That was not provided. They know that when they go to sell their home, they will be expected to promise the buyers the same things they were looking for. If not, then the home will not sell or the price will go down considerably. It is not their integrity that is in question here. What violation did they do? So, what are the possibilities? Let’s see, did the builders and the city enjoy a secret little compromise? Is the city hoping that new people moving from out of state to the area will be just afraid to complain or feel so privileged to live there that they will be willing to take the bumps and not challenge them?? 11 feet is not much space to plant a substantial tree, bush that can branch out and create an adequate sound barrier and still grow tall enough to create privacy. If those issues are not important to you, then you probably would not complain, but if they are and you were promised something that was written for all to see as a city ordinance then it is simple, the city needs to keep its word. This is kindergarten stuff. You make a promise important enough to be a written ordinance, you keep it or be held accountable for it. Why attack people’s integrity, their financial status or anything else. Just keep your word. It is that simple. Remove the parking spaces back to create the 40 ft. buffer and plant the necessary trees, or quit lying to people just to sell them a very expensive pig in a poke. The city did accept these folks taxes and said not a word and they paid them. You may care less about a 40ft. buffer, but, if we don’t start caring about what is important to others when they were PROMISED it then, don’t expect them to stand behind you just for justice’s sake when you have an issue. Among all of you that were, doing your homework or suggesting that these property owners do theirs, did you find and reasons on the book that were given as exceptions for NOT putting up the 40 ft. buffer? If not, then what more homework should they have to do?? This seems so black and white that the rocket scientists should not have to get involved on this one. Do what you say you are going to do. I always thought that to say one thing and do another was called lying. Maybe you see that just as business as usual. That does not say much for Trophy Club, or Texas, or America.

    1. Mark Hibler says:

      Edna please! This is Progressive America, government here is not liable to its word nor accountable to the people. Truth is only what the media or politicians tell you it is and if someone has a dollar more than you by all means HATE them since they must have stolen it. I hope most of the ignorant statements on here are from city employees directed to do so by a city that would have to look up integrity in order to know what it is.

  16. Susan says:

    Wowee.

    First of all, I agree with what B.B. said. At a time when our kids are being enticed by so many outdoor activities, any public venue promoting being outside and socializing should be revered, no matter how much it blocks your view of the sky.

    Let me digress and go a little off topic. I live further away from the hustle and bustle, but in a tightly-knit neighborhood. My house was one of the first five built on the block. When the studs were up, I stepped onto what was to be my property for the first time. There, behind the house being built, was a park. Not just a playground–a huge park with eight baseball diamonds, three basketball courts, volleyball, football, a playground, walking trails, and more. My heart leapt for joy, and I immediately knew I wanted the house. My kids can not only walk out our back gate and go to school, but they can also walk out our back gate, be standing in the park, and join their friends for dozens of activities–which they do.

    There’s no amount of noise, view blockage, or bickering that could take away the joy that brings me.

    1. Gloria says:

      Amen Susan! No amount of noise, view or parking lot could take away the joy my children would get to experience. And even if it did to protect my investment I would be planting me some bushes on my property that are capable of growing at least 10 feet (I have them myself) because my home backs up to a highway. . This is America and we know now days not everyone keeps to their word it is just a way of life and you have to learn to accept it and be 10 steps ahead of anyone your working with. Is it right that they didnt keep their word? No

  17. confused says:

    she didnt know she was buying a house with a parking lot behind it? But yet Scott F says they have been working with the builder back in 2009. When was these 18 spaces added to the already existing parking lot?

  18. Scott F. says:

    When we closed on February 26th, the only thing there was the pool. The splashpad and its accompanying parking lot extension opened, to much fanfare, on July 4th. Our work with the builder prior to buying our home was an extensive process as we customized quite a few things in the plan. All of that work was done while we were still living in the Nashville, TN area.

  19. Scott F. says:

    To Susan and Gloria I will say, again, that we love the idea of having the park behind us. We would love to be able to have the kind of gate that you are talking about so that we can access it. Additionally we look forward to the time when it is complete and we and our kids can enjoy it. As you can probably see from the video, we have planted a line of trees in our yard that are intended to provide the screen that is missing. All that said, this does not relieve the town of their responsibilities as it relates to the landscaped buffer.

  20. Steve says:

    http://www.cdr3.com/redtip/ This is what you need!

    Also this (http://www.dentoncad.com/docs/plats/SJ1203A.tif) shows the date to be 2007 on this map I found. The property and lots already zoned. Did you think that big piece of property owned by the City wasnt going to be utilized? This is a landlocked community and they are going to use every square inch.

    1. Scott F. says:

      I am glad you pointed that out because that is, in fact, the one that I held up in the March Town Council meeting. This clearly shows that the area in question was already zoned “CR” and it shows that the town clearly knew long before they put the splashpad in that it was going to be in direct proximity to a residential area. I would expect them to use every square inch where possible but even the approved site plan spells out in very plain english that they know about the residential area and are aware that it requires the buffer zone.

      1. Julie F says:

        Yes Steve,

        The buffer zone was actually on the drawing on the plat that we got from the City just a few months ago. It actually has written out the buffer of 40′ right on it and is stated on the front page of their APPROVED site plan as REQUIRED. We have done nothing wrong. The parking behind us only hinders enough space to be able put in the appropriate plants, it is not the actual parking that is truly the issue. When we purchased the house, we tried making a very informed decision and knowing we would have some screening was very important and in the plans, so we had no fear of what was directly behind us, the community pool itself was already there. Everyone has their own choices to make whether they mind privacy or not, we came from another home that had an acre backyard, and we knew what we were getting here. That was ok but why should the city not put in the proper barrier between us it calls for? It calls for this for a reason and the biggest reason we are fighting this is our property values. We want them to stay up as would anyone else. I love to hear the high school games, the park behind us with ball games, it is the sounds of community, but there are times when just having a bit of peace and privacy in your own yard is important and it is to us, and we researched to make certain it was accounted for in their plans or we would not have picked this particular lot.
        Some here can be angry and mean and try to degrade us, go ahead. You are not standing in our shoes. We did our very best to be informed. Where did we go wrong? We trusted their final site plan. No shame in that. Did I mention I found it interesting as well that the Highlands Brochure shows this park with soccer fields and not baseball fields? Just stating that we did our homework and we saw all the “untrue” litature” out there but this is why we made sure we had our information straight from the city.

  21. Edna says:

    Gloria?? Not everyone keeps to their word and we just have to accept it? Baseball diamonds, football fields, walking trails are awesome for our children, but it is Okay to lie and not keep to your word??? Interesting.
    Susan, Were you promised a 40 ft buffer behind your property? If not, what is your argument. What if someone loved to have chickens and thought that a rooster crowing at 5:30a in the morning was a good and comforting way to wake their children for school and lived next door to you? If you complained, would that mean you hated chickens or just that when you invested in your property you did not expect a farm animal to wake you each morning. Keep to the topic. These people do not hate the park, they do not hate children, they love their development. They also do not have access to their park by a convenient gate like you do, because they were promised things that they were not given. It is that simple. If anyone is worried that the park will somehow be affected by this, that is not what these folks are asking. They want the city to simply follow its own rules. Why is that so hard to understand?

  22. Steve says:

    what exactly are you wanting th city do? If you will re-read the part Gloria wrote she did state that is wasn’t right but that it is the way people are now days. People just don’t keep to their word especially City governments. Yes you have a right to privacy and the city did promise you to put bushes so what else do you want the to do? And again the property behind you was being utilized before you moved in and to think they wouldn’t expand it further (because that is what she said in the video “I didn’t buy a home for a parking lot to behind it”) is foolish especially when you have the huge high school and multiple single family homes going up around you and behind you. So exactly what is your complaint is its either the buffer or its the parking lot? Yes they should stick to their word and it should have been a 40 foot buffer but you cant sit there and say that when it came time to sell you would say to a buyer “sorry about the pirate ship behind our house its just there and instead of planting 10 foot screening shrubs we have decided to instead cut our nose off to spite our face because the city didn’t do what they were suppose too”. No! You would (or should) make every effort you could to insure your house will sell even if you have to spend your own money! They aint tearing up that parking lot and you know they wont. Plant your own shrubs or even try to get them to plant the shrubs on your side. Also I don’t see the 40 foot buffer on that plat drawing in the link above. Also isn’t there a public access just about 5 houses down that will go out into the new portion of the park? It says “common area” on the plat drawing right? Really it is too bad that there wasn’t a side walk that goes all the length of that sub division. Whats done is done though. Winning against city goverments is very hard and costly. Good luck!

  23. Scott F. says:

    Steve, thank you for the well wishes. We are going to do what we need to do because it is NOT about the parking lot per se. It is about the 40′ buffer. I am not speaking for everyone, I am only speaking for myself when I say that what I want is for them to follow the law and live up to their commitment. I don’t see any way that they can do that without tearing out the parking spaces that encroach on the buffer zone. More importantly and the real key to me is that they need to create a visual and acoustic block that is aesthetically pleasing. The way that they have interpreted the requirement is that it be 40′ of green space. That is not what it says. They told one of our neighbors that he is not effected because he has 40′ behind his house. That is not what it says. The buffer zone is meant to provide an aesthetically pleasing and appropriate 40′ zone that provides a “visual and acoustic buffer”. That is the long and short of what our fight is. Will we get it? Well, as almost everyone has pointed out, we SHOULD. If we don’t then it will definitely not be due to a lack of willingness to try.

  24. Edna says:

    My hat off to you, Mr & Mrs Folley, for pursuing getting this city to keep its commitment to its citizens. I really don’t see this being anything but that. Am I concerned about your buffer zone personally? If at all, not at the level you are concerned, naturally. It is not my problem. But, my problem and everyone’s problem is this give it up and forget it attitude that seems so rampant among many folks today. The old, “well you can’t fight city hall”, give up with your tail between the legs attitude that imparts to the very children we want ball fields and water parks for, to just give up easy and go with the flow. Where does that stop? Sometimes buffer zones are really about principle and not about trees and shrubs. A city that can be allowed to use bait and switch tactics to encourage development will at some point cross a line that is much bigger than buffer zones. Just sayin’

  25. B.B. says:

    I am so confused I don’t know what some of you are reading. Are we reading the same language? The naysayers keep saying the town lied, or didn’t follow its own rules as if this was a GREAT conspiracy against the vacant lots that existed at that time. Are you kidding me? I am going to make this real clear for everyone. There is a BIG difference between a LIE and a MISTAKE. The PREVIOUS Town Manager and Council made a mistake in not asking for a variance which again (would surely have been granted) and these people are trying to use the Towns MISTAKE to rectify what they must view as their own Mistake in purchasing a home in a location they are no longer happy with now that the park is being constructed. I ask all of you what benefit will it have for Mrs. Follley if the town rips up $30,000 worth of concrete (18 parking spaces) How does that have any material benefit for her situation. Is there less noise if cars and people are 15 ft futher away from the back of her house and the taxpayers of our town have now wasted probably all told $40,000. It is utterly ridiculous and the rest of you should see this for what it is. Mrs. Folley knows the 18 parking spaces mean really nothing it is just her way of trying to strong arm the town into meeting her demands which seem to change every day. They have already offered all kinds of landscaping etc to try to minimize the impact on her property and her response is to call the MEDIA. Well Mrs. Folley while you are trying to use the Power of the Press to iintimiidate the town you are sure to witness the POWER of the People that have lived in this town for years and raised our kids whom desperately need these facilities. I encourage all the Town Council and staff to move on and if that means time in court then lets get started. Pandering to people that will never be satisfied is a waste of our town staffs time. I would also encourage anyone on this blog that supports the park to email or call the Town Council members to offer their support.. They have better things to do than read these blogs and so do I so I am moving on as well. This blogging was kind of fun for just a little while.

    1. Scott F. says:

      So you keep admitting that the town clearly made a mistake and yet we are supposed to just let that go. That might be the way that you deal with mistakes, but that is not the way that I do it.

      “Is there less noise if cars and people are 15 ft futher away from the back of her house”…well, obviously YES. The difference may not be extreme but there clearly IS a difference. $40,000.00? Where did THAT number come from? If the “studies” that have been done cost that much then the town should be asking for their money back because they certainly were not worth it and that money would have been far better spent in a proactive way.

      “They have already offered all kinds of landscaping etc”…All kinds of landscaping? They have agreed to $10,000.00 worth of landscaping. Anyone that has put in landscaping will recognize that the cost is highly likely to be significantly higher than that in order to create the required barrier.

      We are not people who will “never be satisfied…”, we can easily be satisfied by having the town step up and follow their own rules. I am really having trouble understanding why that concept is so difficult to understand.

      The one thing I do agree with you about is that the council’s time would be much better spent doing something about this issue than reading these comments.

    2. julie f says:

      Interesting this person sounds and has many of the actual information he is quoting as a particular town council person. Interesting that he has blown up the facts, the facts here written that only this board member would know. Why do you feel threatened? Did we tell you that you lied? No. Did we tell you that you are bad? No. Did we ask you for an appropriate buffer. Yes. Did you state you would even try anywhere along the buffer line, NOT my home but any of my neighbors to have these trees planted so that we could have a visual and sound barrier and yet state you will not plant a forest? yes. Did we ask for a forest? NO. This is not my battle as an individual and I only went behind a camera because they caught me at home. I am not the only one here trying to defend their street. I am one individual who wants a fair ending to all this. Did your town council members tell you I tried discussing LAST spring the possibility of even helping with some tall trees within the walls of our home and if you could not provide the buffer, could you provide us some trees in our yards to help? I do recall that briefly coming up just recently by another one of my neighbors and the answer was a straight NOOOOO. We were willing to compromise. Maybe you should reconsider how you speak to people when trying to make progress instead of being on attack. I also spoke to a member recently about maybe having to just take out the last 2 or so just to make room for a staggered tree there, not 18 spots. I was trying to have discussions, you, my friend don’t want a forest, Yes, Mr. Tree USA does not want to plant the trees. I spoke with a landscaper yesterday to ask his opinion on this 10,000. He was able to tell me it is going to hard to cover much on that budget. Did you check this out with a landscaper? No, you are trying to buy us off, we just want trees, we don’t want to hurt our town, on the contrary, we want to help it in resale for everyone.

  26. John says:

    Does anyone find it Ironic that while Roanoke is threatening to use Eminent Domain to acquire someones property for more parking for their new downtown restaurant area(which is quite nice I might add) here in TC we are spending a couple thousand of our tax payer dollars to appease some naysayers that now have a park for kids in their backyard. I thought I had seen everything.

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