What to Know
- A resident of the Bella Lagos development in Dallas started a petition for the neighborhood to be annexed by Grand Prairie.
- Fred Allen, one of the original homeowners in the development, said he had 100 signatures so far.
- Dallas City Councilman Casey Thomas said he would be open to holding to community meetings with residents about the petition.
You must drive through Grand Prairie to get to a Dallas neighborhood called Bella Lagos, west of Mountain Creek Lake. And now, residents of the new community are petitioning to become part of Grand Prairie instead.
Resident Fred Allen was one of the original Bella Lagos homeowners 13 years ago.
"I feel like in 13 years that I'm a kid who's been put in time out in a corner and forgotten about. We don't get what we pay for out here," he said.
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Allen said code enforcement and police and fire protection are weak in the isolated community.
"I'm not bitter at anybody in Dallas. I'm just bitter at the way the system works for this neighborhood," Allen said. "We're not getting our fair share. I think we deserve better than what we're getting."
Of the 250 homes in Bella Lagos, Allen has 100 signatures on a petition, so far, seeking a change in the city limits, so Bella Lagos becomes part of neighboring Grand Prairie instead.
Dallas City Council member Casey Thomas who represents the neighborhood said he was open to considering the change, but wanted to hold a public meeting first to hear from residents first hand.
"If the residents in that area would prefer to be annexed into Grand Prairie, I would be glad to begin that process," Thomas said.
Thomas said Dallas could make a stronger commitment for services in the area and that might give neighbors reason to think twice about the change.
"If this is something they're interested in, show them the pros and the cons. I think they need to understand both sides of it. And whatever they prefer, that's how we'll move forward," Thomas said.
Public records showed Dallas received around $1,000 a year in property tax money from each Bella Lagos home. Residents could save money with the slightly lower Grand Prairie property tax rate.
"I think we'd be better served, absolutely," Allen said.
Grand Prairie spokesperson Amy Sprinkles said her city already had an interlocal agreement with Dallas to provide first response fire protection to Bella Lagos. She said Grand Prairie was open to a discussion about annexing the area.
"I don't understand why we're still here," Allen said. "If Grand Prairie is serving our needs, why aren't we in Grand Prairie?"
Thomas said he hoped to schedule a community meeting on the issue soon.
Dallas recently transferred some park land to Grand Prairie for better maintenance, so Thomas said there is precedent for making border changes in the area.