Neighborhood Group Gets Victory In Long Fight Against Cityplace Sam's Club

The development in question.
The development in question.
Trammell Crow

That Sam's Club, the one the neighborhood that calls itself the East Village has been fighting against for around three years, isn't going to get built. At least not right now, after Judge Michael O'Neill threw out the zoning change that would've allowed the Sam's Club in the first place.

Neighbors of the proposed super-store near Haskell Avenue and U.S. 75 have claimed that they were duped since 2014. They were notified of the zoning change received by Dallas builder Trammell Crow, but they said they believed that what was going to be built was something like the mixed-use West Village development across Central Expressway from their homes. They had no idea what was actually in the works until they read about it in The Dallas Morning News, they said.

Instead of the boutique shops and restaurants of the West Village, they were going to get a development centered on a 130,000-square-foot Sam's Club. Residents didn't want that, the vast concrete parking lot or traffic hassles, real or imagined, that come with a retailer that big.

"I was deceived by what I had been told, what I had seen and what I had read," David Shaw, an East Village Association member whose Carroll Avenue home would be less than 50 feet from the proposed Sam's, said in August 2014.

Attorneys for the East Village Neighborhood Association contended that the required notice the city of Dallas sent sent out to residents was inadequate and filed a lawsuit to stop the Sam's Club. Monday, finally, O'Neill agreed, saying that the improper notice voided the zoning underlying the project.

"Under state law, residents are entitled to receive notice of proposed zoning changes and the notice of this proposed change did not disclose that big box retail was under consideration," said Anthony Ricciardelli, one of the attorneys for the neighborhood association.

According to Ricciardelli, all his clients have ever wanted was a chance to fight zoning that would allow a retailer like Sam's to come into their neighborhood. They have no problem with Trammell Crow refiling the zoning request and fighting it out in front of the city plan commission, Ricciardelli said.

Scott Dyche, Trammell Crow's general counsel, did not say whether or not his company would reapply for big-box zoning. Trammell Crow is keeping its options open, he said.

“While we’re certainly disappointed with today’s ruling, we are considering all our options moving forward. We still believe this is a premier east side development site with its location, freeway access and proximity to neighborhood amenities and new Class A residential projects," Dyche said.


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