City of Dallas Acquires Former Shingle Mountain Site, Looks to the Future

The property that was once a pile of shingles could become a community park

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The Dallas City Council on Wednesday voted to officially acquire most of the site once known as Shingle Mountain on the South Central Expressway.

Blue Star Recycling operated a shingle grinding operation at the location that could not keep up with all the material that wound up there.

The mountain grew tall behind the home of Marsha Jackson. She said dust from the shingles was a constant health threat that caused lingering damage.

“That property is too close to our property. It's less than 100 feet from my bedroom,” Jackson said.

She moved to the neighborhood called Floral Farms 26 years ago when the name was still an accurate description of the community.

She first noticed the shingles piling up in January 2018 and began complaining with little success.

After lawsuits and years of government excuses, the city eventually reached a settlement with the owner of most of the property to get the shingles removed.

That deal called for the city to accept ownership of the land after the cleanup, which happened Wednesday.

“The main thing is, we are overjoyed that the city did acquire this property,” Jackson said.

Earlier this year there were concerns when a new recycling company set up on the portion of the site that the city was not to acquire.

Jackson said that firm had no certificate of occupancy from the city and was quickly shut down.

“I am glad that it's gone, because if it's not, here we go again with the same thing,” she said.

As the vote happened Wednesday to accept the largest portion of the land, Council member Omar Narvaez said the city has new environmental policies.

“And it also does not allow this type of an issue to happen again,” he said.

Architecture firm HKS is working with neighbors and city officials on plans to put a park on the land.

“And to allow Dallas to serve as a model for how to address these inequities,” HKS Vice President Erin Peavey said.

Neighbor Genaro Viniegra Junior told the Dallas City Council he supports the park plan.

“The shingle mountain caused a negative impact in our community. We want to see something positive come out of this,” he said.

Jackson said the community is also pushing for new zoning rules that would forbid new industrial uses in the future.

“We have 23 homes in here. For the businesses already here, we allow them to stay there, but no more industrial business here, because it is hazardous to our health,” she said. “I want to keep fighting for people that don’t have a voice.”

After what she has been through, Jackson said she is working on new college degree in public administration to better equip her to continue to speak out.

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