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Former Head of City's Urban Forest Advisory Committee Begs CPC Not to Approve Walmart

The proposed site of a new Walmart off Ledbetter. Photo by Robert Wilonsky.
The proposed site of a new Walmart off Ledbetter. Photo by Robert Wilonsky.

Published November 17, 2011 By ROBERT WILONSKY


Longtime Friends of Unfair Park will recognize the name Steve Houser: He's the former chair of the Dallas Urban Forest Advisory Committee honored by George W. Bush in '08 for his volunteer work saving the city's trees. Reason I mention him today: The arborist sends word that he and other past and present presidents of the Dallas Historic Tree Coalition are vehemently opposed to that Walmart proposed at IH-35 and Ledbetter, which we told you about last week and which goes before the City Plan Commission this afternoon.

As we noted Friday, city staff is concerned about Walmart's plans to bulldoze 6,468 caliper inches of protected trees while mitigating only 10 percent of that loss -- a familiar subject for those who caught Monday's discussion about developers' occasional willful disregard for tree replacement as dictated by Dallas City Code. City staff, which wonders why Walmart isn't taking over the former Sam's Club across Ledbetter, has told the CPC that Walmart is "proposing a tree preservation area in lieu of providing required mitigation, but the area they are proposing to preserve is already protected as floodplain."

To which Houser and Bill Seaman, past DHTC presidents, and current president Mary Graves add this:

The Dallas Historic Tree Coalition contends that the applicant's requests are contrary to the spirit of Article X and are detrimental to the general health and welfare of the citizens of Dallas. ... Additionally, the Dallas Historic Tree Coalition asks that no trees located within the Five Mile Creek 100-year flood plain contribute in any manner to a mitigation plan, as those trees are protected through the Flood Plain Ordinance.

Their whole missive follows.


About the author

Mr. Robert Wilonsky

Mr. Wilonsky, former city columnist for The Dallas Morning News, is communications director for Heritage Auctions and a frequent contributor to DMN. He previously wrote for Dallas Observer.

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