The Dallas Neighborhoods Plus program has so far failed to solve code enforcement problems in one target area according to the community leader for code issues there.
The Kiestcliff community, bordered by Kiest Boulevard, Hampton Road, Ledbetter Drive and Cockrell Hill Road, is the 12th Neighborhoods Plus target area in Dallas.
“We’re surrounded by apartments, trashy businesses, open fields that lend itself to a lot of illegal dumping,” said resident Michael Fritz. “We’re trying to have cleaner, safer neighborhoods.”
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After seven months of meetings with city officials and neighbors, Fritz said code enforcement solutions are insufficient.
Piles of tree limbs and other debris can still be found in places the city partially cleaned. The area has junk cars, peeling paint, bad fences and bad retaining walls at some properties.
“Neighborhoods Plus has been a complete failure with regard to code issues,” Fritz said. “We told them that they’re closing out cases. They’re not following through. They’re not cleaning up properties like they should.”
Kiestcliff is in the City Council district of Councilman Casey Thomas.
“We made some progress. We had some gaps in terms of the consistency. But once again, we had a meeting with the neighbors. The ball is back rolling,” Thomas said.
Code enforcement officers were in Kiestcliff Tuesday doing a code sweep for violations. Notices were placed on illegally parked cars and properties with high weeds.
“We’re expecting, as a result of the sweep, individuals to do things they otherwise wouldn’t do,” Thomas said.
Kiestcliff is the second target area in his district since the Neighborhoods Plus program began more than two years ago.
“It’s a work in progress, and that’s where we want to go,” Thomas said. “We want to make sure we have the same results in Kiestcliff that we’ve had in Red Bird with the Rebirth of Red Bird initiative.”
Citizens in Red Bird have confirmed success with Neighborhoods Plus issues that went beyond just code enforcement.
“We have seen good progress,” Red Bird Advisory Council Member Gregory Demus said.
Portions of Red Bird Lane were recently repaved and Twin Falls Park on Red Bird Lane will soon have new parking spaces as a result of citizen input, Councilman Thomas said.
“It’s your neighborhood, plus the city working together. That’s the whole concept of neighborhoods plus,” said Thomas.
The concept is also to see that success spread other neighborhoods that have been troubled for years.