DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s a land grab by the Dallas Independent School District that could force local businesses from the sites they’ve occupied for decades.
The DISD wants to build a new elementary school and it says all the properties in the way need to leave. The district is claiming eminent domain to try and get the properties near Walling and Skillman Street.
The forced purchase could mean that the original Jake’s Hamburgers, a business that’s been in northeast Dallas for 30 years, would have to go. From antique stores, to gas stations, a wealth of businesses along an entire city block received “relocation” notices.
While some owners want to fight the land grab, others say they’ll move for the right price. Antique dealer Barbara Falk said, “Just from what I’ve been told, it’s like [they’re saying] ‘we’re going to buy your property’ and you have very little choice whether you want to sell it or not.”
Falk is also worried because the parcel of land is off of a busy six-lane street and near a liquor store. “I just feel like if your children were trying to cross that street, even with a crossing guard, that it would just be dangerous. I personally wouldn’t want my children crossing that street at all.”
The acquisition of property at the location is to make way to build a school to replace Jill Stone Elementary and ease the ever-growing population at Hotchkiss Elementary.
The proposed new school is one of more than half a dozen that the DISD wants to build with money from the 2015 bond program.
As it stands district officials say they’re “in the preliminary stages” of acquiring properties and they want to hear from the community and gather input. To give residents that opportunity, a meeting is being held tonight at Jill Stone Elementary, at 6606 Ridgecrest Road. It begins at 6 p.m.
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