Mistletoe Heights Neighborhood Meeting
February 21, 2017
Host: Jeff Davis 2325 Mistletoe Drive
Officers: Josh Lindsay, Jeri Jo Blackmon, Mary Peipert
Secretary: Valerie Ewing
Neighbors: 52 (including 5 guests)
Special Guest Speakers: Officer McClellan, Tabitha Butler, Catherine Huckaby, Katherine Smith, Kevin Howell.
7:10 pm Meeting started with Josh Lindsay, President of Mistletoe Heights, introducing guest Officer McClellen. He talked about crime in our area, including TCU theft and that 90% of cars broken into are those with doors left unlocked. Burglars prefer unlocked homes and cars because they prefer to be quiet. If you have a recurring issue, please notify him. If you have an emergency, call 911. Nonemergency number: 817-392-4222. Please report all break-ins, even if something is not stolen, because they keep track of every incident. NPO contact information:
Email: Robert.McClellen@fortworthtexas.gov Phone: 817-372-2418
Email: Joshua Caprio, email@example.com. Phone: 817-858-8609
7:15 pm Tabitha Butler, Community Engagement Liaison, was the next guest introduced. Her role provides a link between neighborhoods and city leadership. Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 817-392-2045. Packets containing information and resources for the city of Fort Worth were distributed.
7:18 pm Other guests in attendance were briefly introduced: Catherine Huckaby, Manager of Community Engagement, Katherine Smith, the District Director for Ann Zadeh, and Kevin Howell, contractor with the city.
7:19 pm Minutes from last meeting, held November 2016, were passed out. The minutes had also been submitted via email that same month. Motion to approve minutes, motion seconded and approved.
Volunteer positions available in the MHA: Newby Park, Social Director, Street Reps.
Two street reps needed: 2200 Weatherbee and 2300 West Rosedale South
Vacancies recently filled by neighbors generously willing to volunteer their time:
Yard of the month: Claudia Camp
Wine and Walk: Leslie Houston
Historic Preservation Committee: Robert DeVargas
7:30 pm Treasury Report: Jeri Jo Blackmon, MHA Treasurer, distributed the treasury report. Key points: Expense category reflects a $200 donation to Boy Scouts Troop in memory of Joseph Vories. Announcement: Realtor of the Year Award was given to Gaye Reed by the Greater Fort Worth Association of Realtors.
7:35 pm Newsletter: Mary Ellen Peipert reported that if anyone has anything to contribute or if you know an interesting story about a house in our neighborhood, please contact her.
Development: A developer met with the MHA officers recently to discuss developing a multiplex on two properties located east of RR tracks north of Mistletoe Blvd. The developers would like to meet with our neighborhood but it will not be until August 2017.
Welcome Basket: representative was not present; not discussed.
Berm: Robert Camacho talked about grafﬁti. If you see it, report it to the City. Use the app: myFortWorth. You can take a picture, use a pin to map the location and City of FW is notified immediately.
Trafﬁc: The intersection of Mistletoe Avenue and Jerome is now a 4-way stop.
Historic Preservation: people on this committee are our advocates. They are knowledgeable so call them if you have questions or concerns. General question: What is our neighborhood doing to make sure that everyone knows they live in a historic neighborhood? It should be in every newsletter issue. Written guidelines are on the website.
7:50 pm Old Business: sidewalk project currently in progress is to add sidewalks to 2 areas in Mistletoe Heights: 2300 block of Mistletoe Drive (between FPB and Edwin) and 2200 block of Mistletoe Blvd (between FPB and Jerome). Brief history: last May 2016, at a neighborhood meeting at a home along the 2300 block of Mistletoe Drive, sidewalks were discussed. That evening, a neighbor’s car was damaged by a hit and run accident while parked on that street. The next day Josh called the City to inquire about placing sidewalks along that stretch of street to make the road safer. The City indicated it had extra bond money for new sidewalks but not for repairing damaged ones. At the neighborhood meeting in August 2016, the issue was discussed again. A vote was taken with the majority in attendance being in favor of having sidewalks installed. Surveys were then sent to property owners living along both blocks. The city received surveys mostly in favor. November 2016, MHA received a letter from a property owner along the 2300 block of Mistletoe Drive, stating that the opinion of the block had changed and that the majority were no longer in favor of sidewalks. Side note: those property owners along the 2200 block of Mistletoe Blvd are still in favor.
The floor was then opened to discussion. There were people opposed and in favor. What follows are salient points as the discussion was lengthy.
Arguments opposing sidewalks for the 2300 block of Mistletoe Drive: they change the characteristic of the property, if there is more concrete and less grass it will not be as desirable thus potentially decreasing property value, it’s more unsafe, i.e., backing out of driveway increases the chance of impacting someone, for instance a person using the sidewalk to ride his bike. Sidewalks potentially increase theft as it brings people closer to the front door, it’s more of a financial burden as maintaining it is a responsibility of the owners not the city. It was pointed out that the 2300 block of Mistletoe Drive was added in the 1950s (Ben E. Keith addition) and the lack of sidewalks was attractive creating the appearance of an expansive yard. One resident is concerned that a sidewalk prevents parking all of their cars on their driveway unless one was parked blocking the sidewalk. The decision should be left up to the property owners affected and if they are opposed this should be respected.
Question for NPO: does having sidewalks increase the chance of stolen property? No. Package theft from porches is a billion-dollar industry regardless of sidewalks.
Arguments in favor: The walking school bus for Lily B only has 2 places to safely cross FPB: the light at Mistletoe Blvd and the light at Park Place. Sidewalks would mean fewer streets for them to cross. Many children are not walking or riding their bikes to school because of the lack of sidewalks. Jerome is much safer now that we have a sidewalk. Sidewalks bring a community together. A national study by AARP was sited that concluded sidewalks reduce crime and increase property value. The city has right of way up to 9 feet but this does not mean they will take the entire 9’ for the sidewalk installation. Example: new sidewalks on Jerome are up against the street and no trees were removed during installation. This neighborhood is desirable for its walkability, proximity to a great school, heavily weighted with families. Prior to the 1950s, neighborhoods had sidewalks, during the 1950s, no sidewalks were added to developments because the premise was that people were spending time in their backyards. Now in new communities, sidewalks are being put in as it brings people together, they make areas more safe and more unified. This is a neighborhood wide issue and not just about the property owners affected.
Resident who lives on the 2200 block of Mistletoe Blvd would like to go forward with the sidewalk and asked if the project could be split. The contractor with the city of FW answered yes, the projects could be split up.
8:30 pm Motion: split the 2 projects. Substitute motion: support both projects as originally planned. Although we can vote, ultimately the City will decide. Josh took a vote. Those in favor of the Substitute Motion = 37, those opposed = 15.
8:35 pm New Business: Newby Park has a new backstop for the baseball diamond. It will be dedicated to two boys from Mistletoe Heights: Drew Medford and Charlie Bourland. Motion to approve this dedication, seconded and all in favor for approval.
8:41 pm Lily B Clayton spring auction: Motion to donate to LBC $550. Approved.
The Neighborhood Garage sale is April 1, 2017
8:45 pm meeting adjourned.