Neighbors seek a park to replace Dallas Shingle Mountain with clean up complete

The park plan requires a city zoning change

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Five years of fighting have produced results at the notorious Shingle Mountain site in Southern Dallas.

The tainted soil that was found under the shingle pile has now been removed and replaced, completing the site cleanup.

“Right now this thing can be anything we want it to be. It’s going to have no restrictions,” Dallas City Council Member Tennell Atkins said.

Neighbors want the land on South Central Expressway near Simpson Stuart Road to become a park, which they have also requested for several years.

“I think it would be a great slap in the face to residents since we were the ones advocating for this if they were to let something else come in here and build up,” neighbor Marsha Jackson said.

Atkins, who represents the neighborhood, said the site cleanup completion represents a turning point opportunity to show how Southern Dallas can change to compete with more prosperous Northern Dallas.

So Called Shingle Mountain grew to tower over neighboring homes, far beyond city and state rules.  Neighbors started complaining about it in 2018.

Blue Star Recycling intended to grind and reuse the shingles but went bankrupt.

“We're excited about the cleanup of it. We've been waiting since 2018 when we first started this,” Jackson said.

The city began removing the pile in 2020 and discovered soil contamination beneath the shingles.

Along with soil remediation, the site elevation has also been lowered to eliminate stormwater runoff to neighboring properties.

Contractors hauled away 47,000 cubic yards of tainted soil and hauled in 7,000 yards of clean fill to level the site. Grass seed was planted on top.

“It was under budget and on time, ahead of schedule. Now that's something you don't hear from the City of Dallas with a project,” Atkins said.

The city wound up owning the land after a lawsuit with the recycling company.

Atkins said the park proposals still require city zoning approval and could be part of a city-wide land use review.

“We feel that we've been harmed so much, the city should be able to give back to the community and have this park done,” Jackson said. “Look around. We have no sidewalks for the kids to walk up and down. I had to drive around here.”

Atkins said North Dallas would never have accepted Shingle Mountain and other environmental problems the Southern Dallas area still has.

“If we want to be a great city, we've got to clean it up. We've got to invest in the Southern part of Dallas,” Atkins said.

The Shingle Mountain clean-up cost $5 million between removing the shingles and replacing the tainted soil.

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