Southeast Loop 9 Toll Road Will Level More Than 1,200 Homes
Town Hall Meeting in Cedar Hill with Citizens, TXDOT, Elected Officials Set for April 23
More than 1,200 families stand to lose their homes and property in south Dallas and Ellis Counties if TXDOT officials have their way.
Despite TXDOT claims that the toll project is to provide an “outer” loop around the southern boundary of the DFW Metroplex, the current alternatives will plow through neighborhoods in Midlothian, Cedar Hill, Glenn Heights, Seagoville and Lancaster.
City leaders in all these communities are in support of the project despite the pleas from citizens who stand to lose everything.
According to the TXDOT website, www.Loop9.org, plans are to complete study efforts and finalize the route by year end so that homes and property acquisition by eminent domain seizure, could begin as soon as early next year.
The Southeast Loop 9 Project is one of 6 toll road projects under contract to the foreign-owned Cintra Zachry firm. These projects were “grandfathered” in 2007 when the legislature passed a moratorium on all such projects as a result of public outcry.
In response to constituent pleas for assistance, State Representative Helen Giddings, whose district encompasses most of the south Dallas County area to be affected, has organized a town meeting to be hosted by local community groups that have joined together to recommend less costly, less destructive alternatives.
Giddings and State Representative Jim Pitts of Waxahachie, whose district also includes citizens who stand to lose their homes, are scheduled to attend. Giddings has invited TXDOT to present a Southeast Loop 9 status report to the citizens. District staff members representing State Senator Robert Deuell and other members of the Dallas County State delegation have also been invited.
County Commissioners Kenneth Mayfield and John Wiley Price have been invited by the community groups as have representatives from the city governments of Cedar Hill, Glenn Heights and Lancaster.
Citizens from all three affected communities are invited to attend. Community organizers have been distributing flyers, posting signs and sending emails to get the word out to all those with questions on the proposed road and those who are asking for elected officials to intervene and to ask TXDOT to look at alternatives that would save homes and neighborhoods.
WHO: State Rep. Helen Giddings, State Rep. Jim Pitts, County Commissioner John Wiley Price, County Judge Jim Foster, Jim Nesbitt, TXDOT Southeast Loop 9 Project Manager
WHAT: Town Hall Meeting
WHERE: Noble Champions Sport Horses Arena, 1302 S. Duncanville Road, Cedar Hill, TX 75104
WHEN: 6:30 p.m., Thursday, April 23, 2009
In addition to the TXDOT presentation, citizens will have opportunities to ask questions of TXDOT and other elected officials and representatives.
Community group leaders also intend to present their case for studying other options before TXDOT and elected officials.
Citizen questions and comments will more than likely be passionate and intense as these folks are fighting for their homes, financial security and safety.
WHY: Citizens in the communities in south Dallas County have come together through grassroots organizing to seek redress of their grievances with their city governments (who are not supportive of efforts to move the road out of neighborhoods because they view the road as a golden goose of property and sales taxes), TXDOT (that has planned this road with the usual MO of very little public notice or input), and county and state officials (who seem to be unaware of the high cost of the current road and its devastating impact on literally thousands of families in Dallas County).
After giving up on ever getting any help or support from city leaders, the community leaders went directly to State-Elected officials to seek help. The town meeting is a result of those appeals.
Mannix Smith is the Loop 9 Project Coordinator for the Lancaster Citizens’ Coalition. Donna Gersten is the Town Hall Meeting Coordinator for the South Cedar Hill Homeowners’ Association. Both Smith and Gersten have homes that will be adversely affected by the proposed Loop 9 route.
Email addresses for Smith and Gersten:
Mannix Smith: firstname.lastname@example.org
Donna Gersten: Donna.Gersten@gpisd.org
The community groups do not have an active website. A dedicated website: www.stoploop9.com was created by Joey Dauben, publisher of The Ellis County Observer. The site provides background on the project and documents the reasons for citizen opposition.
Dauben can be reached at: email@example.com