You Asked, We Answered
In last week’s paper, I broke down the water tower on Northwest Highway, after a precocious four-year-old’s mother asked us how it worked. I probably won’t be filling in for Bill Nye any time soon, but it was a fun story.
That got us thinking, though: is there anything else in the Park Cities that you’ve wondered about? Transformers, building histories, graveyards, whatever. Throw it up in the comments, and maybe we’ll address it in an upcoming issue.
13 thoughts on “You Asked, We Answered”
Multiple questions, same theme. Who decides what can be a “park”? What are the Park Cities definitions of a “park”? Specifically, I’m using the corners of Hillcrest and Lovers as the basis for my query. The corners that are “parks” (only in name as they will never be used as such) now were literally just residential lots. Were they donated to the city by Hitz for the specific inention of turning them into not-a-park “parks”? If so, can I buy the tear-down next door and raze it to the ground or a vacant lot; and then donate it to the city with strict stipulations that it be used as a “park”?
Following Avid Reader’s theme, what happened to the “park” on University in front of HP Presbyterian church? About a year ago a nice median was turned into a “park” with lots of flora and fauna, now it doesn’t even have grass.
What’s the history behind the Highland Park city limit signs? It reminds me of a Winnie the Pooh drawing.
What is the story behind the HPISD boundaries? Specifically, I’m thinking of those living in Highland Park (city) west of the Tollway who aren’t in HPISD and also those living in Dallas (city, just east of the Tollway or just west of Central) but in HPISD.
@A.B. Not sure when the school district boundaries were set, but it could have been 75 to 100 years ago.
Regardless, to change them is almost impossible. Here is section 13.051 of the Texas Education Code:
SUBCHAPTER B. DETACHMENT; ANNEXATIONSec. 13.051. DETACHMENT AND ANNEXATION OF TERRITORY. (a) In accordance with this section, territory may be detached from a school district and annexed to another school district that is contiguous to the detached territory. A petition requesting the detachment and annexation must be presented to the board of trustees of the district from which the territory is to be detached and to the board of trustees of the district to which the territory is to be annexed. Each board of trustees to which a petition is required to be presented must conduct a hearing and adopt a resolution as provided by this section for the annexation to be effective.(b) The petition requesting detachment and annexation must:(1) be signed by a majority of:(A) the registered voters residing in the territory to be detached and annexed, if the territory has residents; or(B) the surface owners of taxable property in the territory to be detached and annexed, if the territory does not have residents; and(2) give the metes and bounds of the territory to be detached and annexed.(c) Territory that does not have residents may be detached from a school district and annexed to another school district if:(1) the total taxable value of the property in the territory according to the most recent certified appraisal roll for each school district is not greater than:(A) five percent of the district’s taxable value of all property in that district as determined under Subchapter M, Chapter 403, Government Code; and(B) $5,000 property value per student in average daily attendance as determined under Section 42.005; and(2) the school district from which the property will be detached does not own any real property located in the territory.(d) The proposed annexation must be approved by the board of trustees of each affected district, subject to the appeal provisions of Subsection (j).(e) Unless the petition is signed by a majority of the trustees of the district from which the territory is to be detached, territory that has residents may not be detached from a school district under this section if detachment would reduce that district’s tax base by a ratio at least twice as large as the ratio by which it would reduce its membership. The first ratio is determined by dividing the assessed value of taxable property in the affected territory by the assessed value of all taxable property in the district, both figures according to the preceding year’s tax rolls. The second ratio is determined by dividing the number of students residing in the affected territory by the number of students residing in the district as a whole, using membership on the last day of the preceding school year and the students’ places of residence as of that date.(f) A school district may not be reduced to an area of less than nine square miles.(g) Immediately following receipt of the petition as required by this section, each affected board of trustees shall give notice of the contemplated change by publishing and posting a notice in the manner required for an election order under Section 13.003. The notice must specify the place and date at which a hearing on the matter shall be held. Unless the districts hold a joint hearing, the districts must hold hearings on separate dates. At each hearing, affected persons are entitled to an opportunity to be heard.(h) At the hearing, each board of trustees shall consider the educational interests of the current students residing or future students expected to reside in the affected territory and in the affected districts and the social, economic, and educational effects of the proposed boundary change. After the conclusion of the hearing, each board of trustees shall make findings as to the educational interests of the current students residing or future students expected to reside in the affected territory and in the affected districts and as to the social, economic, and educational effects of the proposed boundary change and shall, on the basis of those findings, adopt a resolution approving or disapproving the petition. The findings and resolution shall be recorded in the minutes of each affected board of trustees and shall be reported to the commissioners court of the county to which the receiving district is assigned for administrative purposes by the agency and to the commissioners court of the county to which the district from which territory is to be detached is assigned for administrative purposes.(i) If both boards of trustees of the affected districts approve the petition, the commissioners court or commissioners courts to whom the matter is required to be reported shall enter an order redefining the boundaries of the districts affected by the transfer. Title to all real property of the district from which territory is detached within the territory annexed vests in the receiving district, and the receiving district assumes and is liable for any portion of the indebtedness of the district from which the territory is to be detached that is allocated to the receiving district under Section 13.004.(j) If both boards of trustees of the affected districts disapprove the petition, the decisions may not be appealed. If the board of trustees of only one affected district disapproves the petition, an aggrieved party to the proceedings in either district may appeal the board’s decision to the commissioner under Section 7.057. An appeal under this subsection is de novo. In deciding the appeal, the commissioner shall consider the educational interests of the students in the affected territory and the affected districts and the social, economic, and educational effects of the proposed boundary change.(k) Any additional tax resulting from a change of use, as provided for by Chapter 23, Tax Code, and the interest and penalty on the additional tax, that is imposed for any year on land in the annexed territory shall be paid to the school district that imposed the tax.
Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.
Easier to read here:
OK, not so worried about changing them. Really just thinking about how it was decided to set them that way in the first place.
Re: the hp homes west of the tollroad… Before the tollroad, railroad tracks existed there and as I understand it, state law precluded requiring children to cross a railroad to get to school so the houses could not be in the hp school district. For many years though, until the mid-70s, families in that area could pay “tuition” for their kids to go to hp – and many did. There was a desegregation lawsuit (about the time busing started in disd) and the practice had to stop…
What is the strategy for the improvements to the water supply system in HP and UP that is currently underway?
I remember reading (in the UP bulletins that comes with the utility bill?) that the final system will provide bottled water quality from the tap. Is this because we are getting a new, state of the art system to replace something that was installed when the utility district was first created or because we decided to pay for the privelege of being able to take Evian showers?
I think this is the culmination of a long term utility improvement plan that started a couple decades ago, but I don’t really remember the whole history. I would love to find out more about our utility systems and how they integrate with the rest of North Texas.
1. @HPMOM, could you or anyone else reference the name of the lawsuit or cause number, and do you have that state law about railroad tracks? Thanks.
2. Can someone (or possibly the Dallas Country Club) explain the 2011 taxable values, specifically the
$1,827,760 land value? Building value of $11,962,470? Both certified 2011 value per DCAD…..Curious. Thanks. Oh yes, how many acres is the Dallas Country Club?
@Hpmom,…(W.HP and HPISD) i’m still waiting on the cause number to the lawsuit you referenced, and, the state law you mentioned about children crossing over railroad tracks to get to school?
Seems odd? Since so many railroad tracks exist in rural America, that would have been an intersting ordeal back then….so as you say, railroad tracks prevented HPISD from integrating with W. HP? hmm. really.
re: homes that are in HPISD but city of Dallas. We get the wonderful benefits of the schools, but the city services of Dallas. most importantly police / 911. what would it take to annex those areas into UP or HP?
@Gayle. Best bet to achieve that is to sell your Dallas/HPISD house and buy a UP/HPISD house. Just a guess, but to join UP, probably your neighbors would have to all agree to pursue a change, Dallas would have to agree to de-annex you and give up your property taxes, and UP would have to agree to annex you. There’d be issues with ownership of roads and connections to utilities. Too much agreement. Not going to happen.