The Heights Park Neighborhood Association Newsletter January 2009 P Parking Breaks Mayor Mitchell and the city council are working on your street DON’T MISS IT! A frequent complaint that I receive from neighborhood groups is that there are too many cars parked on our residential streets. This limits visibility for drivers, The Next diminishes maneuverability, and lowers the aesthetic value of our neighborhoods. HPNA The most common complaint is when one home has so much on-street parking that General cars park in front of adjacent properties, thus blocking mailboxes or making it dif- Meeting ﬁcult for the city to collect trash or brush left out for pick-up. Over the last few years, the City Council has successfully addressed other THURSDAY, Richardson Mayor parking issues through the adoption of new ordinances on recreational vehicles, Steve Mitchell JANUARY 15 trailers, oversized vehicles, junk vehicles, and yard parking. However, we be- 7:00 P.M. lieved it was time to address this chronic, and often frustrating, issue. Thus, the City Council requested our staff to develop recommendations to deal with issues associated with on-street parking. On Novem- More info ber 17, we reviewed elements of a proposed ordinance that would allow a reasonable level of on-street inside parking, yet address the most common complaint we receive from residents. The proposed ordinance will limit occupants of a home to parking only in front of their home overnight. However, by only limit- on page 3. ing parking between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m., residents will still be able to host special events at their homes, Find out such as Cub Scout meetings, holiday parties, and other functions. The Neighborhood Services Department will enforce this proposed ordinance once it is adopted, what’s going presumably in January. Similar to other types of violations, Neighborhood Services will work closely on in your with residents to achieve compliance. Our goal is to address the on-street parking concerns of our resi- neighborhood. dents. Other cities who have enacted similar ordinances have been able to successfully do so. H E IG H T S PA R K N EIGH BOR HOOD A S SOCI AT ION To Protect and Serve Your Citizens Patrol can reduce the crime rate on your street The inaugural Heights Park Neighborhood Pearce patrol team also attended class, which Association Citizens Patrol program is up was held speciﬁcally for the two new patrols. and running! HPNA residents who signed up During the class, Ofﬁcer John Corbitt, to participate in the patrol met on Monday, crime prevention ofﬁcer for West Richardson, Nov. 10, and Monday, Nov. 17, at the Richard- referred to the Richardson Heights citizens son Senior Center to be trained for patrol unit, formed in 1993 as the the program, which is sponsored by city’s ﬁrst citizens patrol unit. the Richardson Police Department. “After they started patrolling The HPNA residents who com- their neighborhood, their crime rate prise the initial patrol team spent dropped 83 percent in one year,” he six hours over the two evenings said. “So you see it works.” studying, discussing, and review- After the class was completed ing information that RPD presented and HPNA patrollers had earned on topics such as citizens patrol procedures, their certiﬁcates, they received Citizens what situations to observe, how to log infor- Patrol T-shirts and windbreakers. Patrol- mation for submission to RPD, and how to lers must wear either the T-shirt or the wind- recognize gang and drug activity in the area. breaker when patrolling, and they must afﬁx Citizens from the newly formed J.J. magnetic signs to the sides of their vehicles. Your Citizens Patrol could use your help Although the HPNA citizens patrol is off to a ed both sessions. RPD has agreed to allow “It’s critical that we have a good surplus good start, it faces some issues. the HPNA team to start patrolling and give it above the 20-person minimum,” said Kirk RPD requires a minimum of 20 people on extra time to meet the minimum number of Couch, HPNA safety chairman and patrol a unit to patrol a minimum of 9 hours a week; members. coordinator. “That way, if some residents are participants must attend both training ses- “As long as Heights Park shows an inter- unable to participate, we still have enough sions to earn a spot on the patrol. HPNA had est in the program, we’re willing to work with people to meet the police department mini- 27 residents sign up for the two-day training them,” said RPD Crime Prevention Specialist mums. class, originally scheduled for Nov. 3 and Ric Rocha. “And if we get enough HPNA resi- “We hope that sufﬁcient interest is gener- Nov. 10. dents to participate, we may schedule a class ated in the patrol to keep it going,” he contin- However, RPD had to delay the class for before April.” ued. “It’s a great way to keep our neighbor- one week, until Nov. 10 and Nov. 17, which HPNA has enough residents who have hood safe.” caused schedule conﬂicts for some residents. committed to taking the April class to push Heights Park residents don’t have to be Additionally, a few more residents had to the patrol above the 20-person minimum. members of HPNA to join the patrol, but they defer their participation until the next class— However, if schedule conﬂicts arise again and must apply with RPD and undergo a back- scheduled for April—because unexpected HPNA doesn’t have the required number of ground check. If you’re interested in joining personal situations arose. participants, HPNA residents may not be able the patrol or need more information, please As a result, only 12 HPNA residents attend- to continue patrolling. contact Kirk at firstname.lastname@example.org ng n Historical Meeting The next HPNA general meeting looks back at the history of our neighborhood and Richardson Are you interested in the historical signiﬁcance of our area and architecture? Dr. Terranova, Would you like to learn about the “character” of our Heights Park area and Rich- Professor of ardson in general? Then you won’t want to miss our January 15 HPNA General Aesthetic Stud- Meeting. Charissa Terranova, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Aesthetic Studies at ies at UT Dallas the University of Texas at Dallas School of Arts & Humanities, will be our fea- and Director of tured speaker. Two HPNA board members have heard Dr. Terranova speak and the Artists Res- think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at her insights! idency, brings You’ll learn some things about the value of mid-century modernism—includ- to the director- ing the architecture of ranch houses like ours. She’ll provide an educated architec- ship a wide tural critique of some of the new development in the area—both the “new good” Dr. Charissa array of train- Terranova and “new bad” in the context of compatibility with our existing neighborhoods. ing and experi- You’ll deﬁnitely learn about the historical and architectural character of our area. ences. She holds four degrees in Whether you’re a long-time resident of the Heights Park area or a newcomer, the arts: a BA in Art History from you’ll enjoy Dr. Terranova’s engaging subject matter. the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, an MA in Art History from the University of Illinois at Find out what’s Chicago, and an MA and Ph.D. in the History and Theory of Archi- going on in your tecture from Harvard University. She has taught art and architec- neighborhood. tural history and theory at Har- vard University, the University of The next HPNA British Columbia in Vancouver, Boston Architecture Center, and General Meeting Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas. She was the art critic at the Dallas Observer, an is 7 p.m. Thursday, alternative news weekly, from February 2004 through February January 15 2007 and has been an art critic for the Dallas Morning News, the city’s daily newspaper, from Fellowship Hall, February 2007 to August 2008. First United She has curated exhibitions at Harvard University and UT Dal- Methodist Church las, is a frequent presenter at international colloquia on art, See you there! architecture, and urbanism, and is widely published as an aca- demic and critic. Heights Park Progress T The new playground design expands on nature On Tuesday, Nov. 11, the City of Rich- The new playground design, which overall Master Plan. The children loved ardson Parks and Recreation Depart- replaces the rocket ship and other play- the playful structures and were excited ment conducted a follow-up focus group ground pieces, is based on a treehouse to see the high elements of towers and meeting whereby the families who gave theme. The consultant has created a climbing pieces return to the play- input to the design of the new Heights masterpiece of play value for the park ground. Park playground returned for a pre- that ﬁts the future Heights Park Mas- The playground design was pre- sentation on the proposed replacement ter Plan. The overall theme for the sented to the Park and Recreation playground. Designers implemented Master Plan is “expanding on nature,” Commission on November 18 for their ideas generated by neighborhood chil- which accentuates the park’s natural comments and input to the City Coun- dren from a previous public focus group features and integrates people with cil. The remaining schedule calls for meeting. Several of the children who nature. The children and parents at- the construction to begin on the play- attended the ﬁrst focus group came tending the follow-up meeting com- ground this winter and be complete by back to provide input on the proposed plimented the design team for match- the spring of 2009. design. ing the theme of the playground to the CLEARLY WINDOWS Sign Us Up! Kudos to our neighbors on Parkview Circle (the 500 block of Parkview) Locally owned for collecting funds to purchase a sign topper for their street! A very Professional Window Cleaning Business big ‘thank you’ to Vicki Branscome, their block rep, for getting this started. Vicki e-mailed her neighbors suggesting that they purchase a offering ﬂat rates with no add-on charges sign topper for Parkview Circle. She made copies of the form that was or square foot limits. included in the last newsletter and included a stamped, self-addressed envelope back to herself. She asked each household to contribute their * RESIDENTIAL SPECIALISTS portion ($200 divided by # of houses) and followed up with her neigh- bors a few days later. They were able to get the needed funds in a very * COMMERCIAL STOREFRONTS short time. Parkview Circle has only 16 homes in their cul-de-sac, but a * LIGHTING FIXTURES block with 30-40 homes would require that each household contribute * MIRRORS a very small amount. * GUTTER CLEAN-OUT If you would like to organize your block to do the same, you can ob- tain the Sign Topper Contribution Form on the Heights Park web site. * POWERWASHING www.heightspark.com www.clearlywindowsdfw.com or call @ 214.552.9135 * This offer applies to Richardson Heights residents only. *French/storm window prices are different from offer above. * Mention this ad for additional discount* V V Virtual Visit The City of Richardson web site Concern or Make Comment” link. If you have code violations you need to report (barking dogs, overgrown vegetation, broken sidewalks, etc.) you can click on the link and ﬁll out the information and it will be sent to the appropriate department(s). Review this site to see what’s has a lot to offer available. The City of Richardson web site is very user-friendly and full of use- • You can request Brush and Bulky Item pick up from the site. ful information. You can pay your utility bills; renew your drivers license, etc. You can post photos and descriptions of lost or found pets on the You can also get the latest on city entertainment and city news. Animal Shelter site; click on the Animal Shelter quick link below; then You can learn about City Council meetings and actions and see what click on Animals. Please use this feature if you’ve lost a pet or have the City Commissions are reviewing. found someone else’s pet. The information will reach so many more We’ll also have a link from our HPNA web site (a new version coming households than our e-mail distribution list can cover. soon) to the city’s web site. You also can report concerns or issues you have via the “Express City of Richardson Warrant Search www.cor.net https://discovery.cor.gov/Public/PayTickets.nsf/ WarrantQuery?OpenForm Animal Shelter www.cor.net/AnimalShelter.aspx?id=2506 Pay for Electrical, Plumbing, & Mechanical Permits http://discovery.cor.gov/permitInquiry/PermitsHome.jsp Adoptable http://discovery.cor.gov/public/AS/AnimalShelter.nsf/Adopt- Police Alarm Permit ableAnimals http://www.pmam.com/atb/citizen/ Wish List Renew Driver’s License http://discovery.cor.gov/public/AS/AnimalShelter.nsf/Sub- http://texasonline.state.tx.us/NASApp/rap/apps/dpsdl/jsp/ scribe eng/welcome.jsp Citizens can Post Lost / Found Animals Request Brush & Bulky Item Pick Up http://www.cor.net/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentiﬁer=id& http://www.cor.net/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentiﬁer=id& ItemID=2586 ItemID=2422 City’s Interactive Maps Restaurant Listing http://maps.cor.net/ http://discovery.cor.gov/public/health/healthtrak.nsf/cvsres- taurantsbycateg Download Maps ory http://www.cor.net/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentiﬁer=id& ItemID=5342 Restaurant Scores http://www.cor.net/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentiﬁer=id& Express Concern or Make Comment ItemID=1230 http://www.cor.net/NeighborhoodServices.aspx?id=3312 Texas Electric Choice Job Openings http://www.powertochoose.org/ http://www.cor.net/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentiﬁer=id& ItemID=2298 View Property Tax http://discovery.cor.gov/Public/Tax/PropertyTax.nsf/ Municipal Code of Ordinances http://www.municode.com/resources/gateway. Boards & Commissions, Notices, and Agendas asp?pid=10221&sid=43 http://www.cor.net/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentiﬁer=id& ItemID=2468 Pay Water Bill https://discovery.cor.gov/public/H2OBill/UtilityBills.nsf/ Council Agenda Home?OpenPage http://www.cor.net/CityCouncilAgendas.aspx Quick log-on Council Actions https://discovery.cor.gov/public/H2OBill/UtilityBills.nsf http://www.cor.net/CityCouncilActions.aspx Pay Traffic Tickets http://www.cor.net/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentiﬁer=id& ItemID=2320 Tried any new restaurants lately? Afrah opened years ago as a bakery. Today, they offer deli- cious pastries as well as savory Lebanese favorites. The Afrah Sampler’s assortment of homemade dips, grape leaves, falafel, kibbeh, and warm miniature pies provides a newcomer to the cuisine with a great introduction. The pita bread is chewy and served fresh from the oven; des- serts include baklava ﬁlled with Afrah crushed cashews and Middle 314 E. Main Street Eastern-style gelatos—all are Richardson, TX 75080 wonderful! 972-234-9898 The decor is functional with Cost: $$ (out of $$$$$) Cuisine: Middle Eastern lots of tables that accommo- Sunday—Thursday date small parties of 2-4 as well 10 AM—11 PM as larger family gatherings. We’re #thing 2! Friday & Saturday Black-and-white photographs 10 AM—Midnight on the walls depict Lebanese countryside and cityscapes. The staff is friendly and helpful And that’s a good with those of us who are new to the cuisine. The owner and staff are welcoming to both newcomers and regulars. Having this Middle Eastern treasure in the heart of Richardson places at the top of the country Richardson is a treat in itself. in National Night Out participation. Richardson’s National Night Out (NNO) program on Oct. 7 was a huge success on several fronts, according to ofﬁcials with the Richardson Police Department. The city of Richardson, with 273 block parties, ﬁnished in second place behind Suffolk, Virginia, in our population cate- gory (Category 3, cities that have between 50,000 and 99,999 residents); Heights Park had 14 block parties that evening; Home Repair two Heights Park residents captured runner-up spots in Home Maintenance the Neighborhood Award Contest for West Richardson; and Texas ﬁnished ﬁrst in the state rankings. Janis Riley, who lives in the 600 block of Lockwood, was ﬁrst runner-up in the contest, while Greta Nusser, in the 600 PROFESSIONAL block of Stardust, was second runner-up. The contest is con- ducted annually in the spirit of fun and friendly competition Handyman Services through the city’s NNO event. The “NNO Award Winner” signs, which are shared each year, have been distributed and will remain in place for the next year. Brian Buchan NNO is normally held in early August. However, because of the Texas heat, the national committee allowed Texas to 972.985.4415 hold its NNO parties in October on a trial basis. email@example.com “All in all, the comments and feedback from most folks seem to lean toward keeping NNO in October,” said Ofﬁcer More than 20 years experience John Corbitt, crime prevention ofﬁcer for West Richardson. References, Fully Insured “Hopefully, the NATW will see positive results from Texas that may allow us to keep October as an option.” Heights Holiday Lights Congratulations to Matt and Lindsey Flesher for winning the HPNA Yard of the Month “Holiday Lights” award for their lovely design at 600 Greenleaf! 972-744-4800 The Fleshers moved here in July and are enjoying how friendly the neighborhood has been. Lindsey says Heights Park is like neighborhoods from years ago when you could borrow an egg or cup of sugar from next door and folks really did bring food whenever there was an excuse. Matt also en- joys Heights Park and rambles with their yellow lab, Ruger. Lindsey enjoys decorating and paper crafts, and Matt hunts, plays golf, and collects sports memorabilia. Alums Heights Park residents who witness what they of Berkner High School and East Dallas’ Woodrow Wilson consider to be non-emergency suspicious activ- High School, both Fleshers are from the local area. Rumor ity may report the situation to the Richardson has it that Lindsey Police Department at 972-744-4800, the depart- makes a mean brownie! ment’s non-emergency telephone number. Please join us in Residents should be prepared to provide RPD congratulating them communications personnel with as much infor- on their award and mation as possible, including their name and welcoming them to telephone number, description of the activity, the neighborhood. and time and location. Our Exemplary School Principal Labue gives us the good news from campus Happy Holidays to you and your family! I hope all of your New Year’s wishes and resolutions come true. I wanted to take this opportunity to let the Heights community know a little more about Richardson Heights Elementary. This year, Heights Elementary was named an Exem- plary campus according to the State Accountability System. This is the highest rating offered by the State of Texas. We also were awarded three Gold Performance Acknowledge- ments from the State of Texas. These are awarded to cam- puses for high achievement in different subject areas. We strongly believe in providing an education that is challenging and pushes all students to maximize their potential. student’s education. We want every child to have a variety of Let me also take a moment to explain what Exemplary opportunities to help them grow as people and citizens. We status means to us here at Heights. We know what Exempla- also believe in creating a team with our community. Com- ry means in regards to the state accountability rating; how- munity members entrust us each day with their most prized ever, I feel there is much more to it than just the rating. Here possessions; by working together, we can ensure that all at Heights we strive for a school that is Exemplary in many students here at Heights receive a well-rounded educational ways. We provide many extracurricular activities for kid- experience. We have frequent family events where families, dos. We currently have 10 after-school clubs that enrich our staff, and the community get to interact and have some fun. We also have a variety of volunteering opportunities for all interested parties. We believe in creating an atmosphere with high expectations but that is fun, friendly, and family- oriented. We strive to be an all-around, well-rounded Ex- emplary school. By working together as a team, we can take this already outstanding school to new Heights! Thank you very much to our community for your sup- port, volunteer hours, and contributions. You are all greatly appreciated! If you would ever like a tour or have a question, please feel free to call the front ofﬁce at 469-593-4400. Larry Labue, Proud RHE Principal Alert Pest Control Bill Young 972-231-5954 50-year Heights resident 20 years of pest control experience me m Some Things Nv Never Change Are you wondering where your money will be safest right now? Investing in your home still pays off. Remodeling magazine’s annual report shows that maintenance-relat- ed projects and moderately priced upgrades provide stable paybacks, even in a slower real estate market. Despite home price drops in many areas, remodeling projects are holding their own as a way for hom- eowners to add value to their property. Minor Kitchen Remodel Leave cabinet boxes in place but replace fronts with new raised-panel wood doors and drawers, includ- ing new hardware. Replace wall oven and cooktop with new energy- efﬁcient models. Replace laminate countertops; install mid-priced sink and faucet. Repaint walls in neutral colors, and remove old ﬂoor- ing and replace it with newer alternatives. Bathroom Remodel This is a difﬁcult market to try to judge how much a renovation is worth, but having a refurbished kitchen and When home sales slow down, people stay put and renovate their bathrooms makes almost any house more valuable. Adding new bath- homes to make them more comfortable and livable. By renovating room ﬁnishes such as a new vanity cabinet, updated lighting, a new your home, you are also providing a service to future buyers. Plus tile shower with recessed shower caddy, updated matching ﬁxtures those tasteful improvements—done the right way—will help sell your – perhaps oil-rubbed bronze ﬁxtures, new tile ﬂooring, and a soothing, home more quickly and for more money. Just be sure your renova- sophisticated color scheme, will all add up to a great look. tions are compatible with your home’s style and neighborhood! Get a Exterior Upgrades Home rehabbers should also focus on ex- professional’s opinion if necessary before you begin. terior upgrades: new energy efﬁcient windows, exterior paint, wood Excerpted from Remodeling Magazine’s 20th Annual decks, updated landscaping. Cost vs. Value Report —Janet DePuy Boxtops Still Help You can still collect cereal boxtops from select General Mills products to benefit schools. All proceeds go into the school general fund to help the kids. Take them to the school or bring them by David Hodde’s house at 528 Parkview. H E IG H T S PA R K N EIGH BOR HOOD A S SOCI AT ION 2009 Membership Fees are due in January HPNA can’t continue its programs without your support! Membership is open to all residents of Heights Park for $15 per year per household Name(s) New Member or Renewal? (Check one) Address 2009 Membership is from January 1st – December 31st . (Renewing mem- bers, please note that we have changed membership to reﬂect the calendar year) Telephone May we list your phone number in the Neighborhood Directory? YES NO Email Return form with membership dues to: HPNA, P.O. Box 833537, Richardson, TX 75080 Membership questions? Contact: Regina Harrison, Membership Chair firstname.lastname@example.org or 972-234-6610 Other questions/comments, visit our website at www.heightspark.com Let us know if you’d like to get more involved. Check below if there’s an area where you’d like to serve your neighborhood Block Representative Safety Committee Pro- Social Committee Recom- Assists with distribution of infor- motes neighborhood safety mends and plans social func- mation to assigned block, greets new awareness by communicating the mis- tions. residents, promotes membership. sion of the police, ﬁre and emergency Membership Committee preparedness departments. Civic Committee Attends Works to expand our current meetings of governmental bod- Publications Committee membership and serves as a ies and alerts the HPNA Board to items Publishes a newsletter (with communications link between the that merit attention of the Association. input from other committees/ Board and the membership. block representatives and ofﬁcers), Environmental Committee Board Member Meet plans publicity materials. Sponsors projects for the im- once/month. Represent neigh- provement and beautiﬁcation of borhood interests in matters affecting our neighborhood. Yard of the Month the neighborhood. judging.