UNIVERSITY PARK (CBSDFW.COM) – A University Park controversy just days away from a possible vote has become so heated that some say the mayor should go.
The issue: a proposed high-rise, which opponents say would cause safety hazards and traffic headaches.
When Danielle Booth looks out of her window, she sees Snider Plaza, the bustling shopping center steps away from SMU. She says the proposed redevelopment of the old Chase Bank property here would take away more than her view.
“It will literally change the skyline and the complexion and the feel of our community,” Booth says.
The biggest concern of opponents is the traffic that the project, which would include offices, retail and restaurants, would bring with it. Nearly 5,000 new vehicles a day, according to developer Strode Property Company’s numbers. Booth, a mother of four, fears it would be much higher.
“Last year I saw a kid on a bicycle get hit coming home from the middle school. There’s that much traffic around where we live. And to add to that traffic exponentially would leave me in deep fear for my children every, single day,” she says.
Neighbors are also upset about the height and scale of the proposed 7-story building and surface parking.
“I understand that the neighbors are upset, and council is concerned about some of the very same issues they have, and we’re doing the best that we can to balance the interests of the full community,” says University Park Mayor Pro Tem Dawn Moore.
She says there could be a motion at Tuesday’s meeting to continue to tweak the proposal. But neighbors are so frustrated they’ve started a petition to allow University Park residents to vote to recall elected officials, namely the mayor.
“If he’s not doing his job, then we should be able to remove him from office. It’s as simple as that,” says Booth.
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