Thursday, July 18, 2019

Another Tree Massacre by Developer (Benchmark Development, Inc.) in East Fort Worth

Tuesday morning, as I drove to work on what really used to be scenic Randol Mill Road on the east side of Fort Worth, a chill went down my spine when I saw the heavy equipment at 7429 Randol Mill Road.  The developer, Benchmark Development, Inc., out of Frisco, Texas, purchased 20+ acres of beautiful, huge pecan tree-lined green space for the purpose of building even more houses along Randol Mill Road.  I tried to talk myself into having some faith that the developer would keep their word as they had promised the neighbors they would keep the pecan trees.  I tried to believe the City of Fort Worth wouldn't let this happen again, especially after the DR Horton tree massacre.  



I was disappointed, yet again, as I drove home from work and saw the destruction of the hundreds of years old pecan trees sacrificed by for the developer to squeeze a few more lots onto their property.  I'm waiting for a return call from Fort Worth's Urban Forestry to see if this was a permitted act of destruction or another wanton act by developers who know they will have no consequence by the City of Fort Worth.   


Please think twice before considering buying a home from this developer (Benchmark Development, Inc.) as they have proven to not be men of their words.  Think twice before living in the City of Fort Worth too, especially the east side of Fort Worth, as for the love of tax money, the City allows developers' to build in areas that can't support the current infrastructure.  

Shame on Benchmark Development, Inc. and the City of  Fort Worth. 

Benchmark's lack of respect for hundreds of years old pecan trees.

The beautiful area before Benchmark.












Sunday, May 12, 2019

Fort Worth Flooding Can Be Prevented!


The swings in my backyard,
Areas of the east side of FW went underwater again this week and the City of Fort Worth, developers DR Horton and LGI Homes, and the engineering firm Pape Dawson knew it was going to happen.  FW had City trucks with flashing lights in the flooded areas, DR Horton had staff out in the area taking pictures of the LGI stormwater run-off to make their run-off not look so bad, and LGI/Pape Dawson had equipment on site to clean up the torrential flood of red silty mud which 
came barreling down their hill.  



Some of the silt from LGI's hill.
It’s a shame these “professionals” are having to go to such lengths now when all of this could have been prevented during the permitting process.  Believe it or not, the City of Fort Worth permitted both developments knowing they were located on hills above existing property owners and knowing the current infrastructure, or lack thereof, could not handle existing loads. Our neighborhood learned Fort Worth only considers velocity of run-off, not volume of run-off, when permitting new development.  DR Horton's development is 50 acres, clear-cut of trees and LGI Homes is 100 acres cleared of trees on one of the highest points in Tarrant County.  

DR Horton's 50 acres....BEFORE.
DR Horton's 50 acres....AFTER.
LGI's pillaging of 100 acres....the run-off water in my backyard as a result.  It's been like this for more than a year now!
DR Horton has been flooding us with their run-off since February 2016.  LGI has been flooding us with their run-off since March 2018. Three years later and our situation worsens with every rooftop and inch of concrete poured.  What changes have been made to the permitting process to prevent this from happening to other neighborhoods?  NONE!  Are we any safer now then we were three years ago?  Fort Worth installed 2 flood warning signals along Randol Mill Road but neither were functioning during the road flooding.  Fort Worth has a website that allows citizens to check the real-time flood status of monitored locations but unfortunately these warnings are linked to the signals lights which weren't working at the time.  Randol Mill was over-topped with run-off in at least 6 locations and motorists had no warning.  http://fortworthtexas.gov/floodwarning/


Not functioning during the street flooding.
FW website which indicated no flooding at intersection of Cooks and Randol Mill.
Randol Mill near Cooks Lane.  
The east side has had three deaths in the last year due to flooding caused by run-off.  It's a miracle there haven't been more deaths.  What’s the magic number of deaths before Fort Worth provides us with flood protection caused by run-off?!

This situation isn’t exclusive to the east side of Fort Worth, it’s happening all over Fort Worth.  Areas that historically didn’t flood are now flooding due to over-development and grossly inadequate infrastructure.  The City knows they are flooding us out of our homes and we are letting them do it.  The City's solution thus far is to buy your home or buy flood insurance.  Either option is unacceptable!  Our homes are our biggest investments and it's time we come together to put a stop to this madness!

FORT WORTH....you are failing your City!  STOP permitting new developments until you fix what you are doing to us!!!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Update on Stuck Cow

                  Thanks again to the Fort Worth Fire Department for saving one of our girls! 





Amazingly, she does not appear to be injured in any way and is happily grazing with her herd.  

I think the FWFD should give her a name....




Saturday, February 2, 2019

Fort Worth Firefighters Respond to Unusual Call


You never know what you're going to see on the east side of Fort Worth....but what I saw and experienced today was compassion above and beyond the call of duty by our Fort Worth Firefighters!
 
My husband and I run about 100 head of cattle on the east side of Fort Worth in the Trinity River bottoms off Randol Mill and Precinct Line Roads.  This area used to be all farmland.  Randol Mill is actually named after a mill once owned by a man named Randol.  The mill was a hub for farmers who brought their crops to the mill to be ground up into feed.  The mill even played a part in Fort Worth being named as the county seat.  It was wild and western back in the day!

Over time, this area has changed.  Development keeps coming and has pushed most of the farmers out of the area.  We love farming and we love our livestock.   It's become a challenge to maintain fence lines when fishermen and people on four-wheelers and dirt bikes cut our fences.  

We're blessed by the Lakes of River Trails neighborhoods as they are wonderful neighbors who help keep watch of our animals. 

Today, as the cows crossed the river, a young heifer and a baby calf found themselves stuck in the mud.  I slid down the bank and waded into the waist-high mud losing both my shoes.  I was able to free the calf who crossed with his mother who patiently waited for her baby, but I couldn't free the young heifer.  

I called the FWFD non-emergency number and explained our dilemma to the very kind officer.  Within minutes Engine 27 was on the scene.  I watched as the firemen carried equipment through the briars and brush down to the river where they tried with all of their might to free our heifer.  It didn't look good and I believed we would have to put the heifer down.

My husband and I went home to get what we needed to put our heifer down when I received a call from the fire department that Engine 14, Rescue 14, and Battalion 4 were at the scene and were going back in to try again.  Together as a team, the men worked together and freed our heifer from the mud and hoisted her up the steep bank.  The video is shortened but what I witnessed warmed my heart and made me proud to live in Fort Worth.

The heifer got to her feet and crossed the river and reunited with the herd.

There is no way to thank the FWFD for their compassion, bravery, athleticism, and professionalism!  You do Fort Worth proud everyday but today was something many of us will never forget!

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Fort Worth, DR Horton, and LGI....come get your runoff stormwater....we don't want it!




This is a current view of our backyard and every rain just adds to this body of water.  This water isn't going anywhere either until it's pumped out or evaporates.   

This is a view of our backyard under normal conditions.

Part of our property is in flood plain and we expect it to flood when the Trinity River gets out of its banks.  The river didn't get out though....this is just from runoff from the construction of the 50-acre DR Horton and 100-acre LGI housing developments uphill from us.  And yes, the City of Fort Worth permitted this.  

Where did the City of Fort Worth's engineers think the runoff from these 150 acres, stripped of hundreds of hundreds of years old oak and pecan trees, located on a hill above us would go?  

Well, we asked the City of Fort Worth's engineers this, and believe it or not, they told us what we all already know.....the water is going to run downhill. 

When we asked the City of Fort Worth's engineers why they would permit a project knowing all of that water would be diverted onto the properties downhill, they told us that current code only requires them to consider the velocity of the water coming from a project and that they are not required to look at the volume of the water to be diverted to the property owners downhill.  


So, now we know one of the main reasons areas of Fort Worth which historically did not flood are now flooding.  We also know our infrastructure is inadequate and the City of Fort Worth has no money to fix it, but the City of Fort Worth sure can prevent more flooding by simply requiring engineers to consider volume of runoff when permitting new development.  It's an easy fix City of Fort Worth, and would be much less expensive than a class-action lawsuit from the growing number of Fort Worth property owners devastated by flooding simply because a code needs updating.   

And please, City of Fort Worth, stop patronizing us by continuing to pay Freese & Nichols big money to write reports about why Fort Worth floods and how to fix it!  The City of Fort Worth has been doing this since at least 2006 yet flooding is worse than ever.  Stop the endless talk and meetings about flooding and do something about it already!  And another thing, stop encouraging us to buy flood insurance for properties that didn't flood until the City of Fort Worth permitted construction which now causes our properties to flood! Maybe the City of Fort Worth should pay for our flood insurance if it's going to place our properties in jeopardy of flooding!  Maybe FEMA needs to check out Fort Worth's flood management practices!


So, while we wait for the City of Fort Worth, DR Horton, and LGI to come get their runoff from our property, here are pictures of just some of the damages being caused to our property due to the City of Fort Worth's permit to allow and DR Horton's and LGI's diversion of the natural flow of surface waters.    


Backyard swing.
Back gate.
The barn is now on a peninsula. 
Livestock pens.  
Cows on high ground.
Calf has to swim to get to its mother. 



  



 









Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Who's Drinking Panther Island Kool-Aid?


Campaign finance reports are very informative.  The report identifies people/groups who support, and usually have something to benefit from, certain political moves. 
 
In this case, click on the link below to see who has something to gain from the Panther Island project. Not surprising really...mostly elected officials, engineers, and real estate developers.
 

Friday, April 27, 2018

Fort Worth Bonds....We Are Being Played the Fort Worth Way!



I'm voting NO to all of the propositions and here's why.

Look at the sample ballot.  Who in their right mind is NOT going to vote for streets improvements, park improvements, public library improvements, fire station improvements, animal shelter improvements, police facility improvements, and flood control and drainage?!

But how do we know that's what we're actually getting?  Does anyone ever read the proposition in its entirety?

And that, my friends, is just what our politicians are banking on....literally....the un-informed voter. And I have to admit I resemble that remark....but not this time!  I have done my homework!

It was the Tarrant Regional Water District proposition that made me ask questions.

As a victim of frequent flooding in Fort Worth, I was thrilled to see flood control and drainage on the ballot. I asked which areas would be receiving flood control and drainage improvements and learned none of the areas that currently flood will be receiving any type of flood control.  I was informed the $250 million was for the area known as Panther Island which hasn't flooded since 1949.  So, why are we being asked to support a $250 million bond for a flood control project for an area that doesn't even flood?   

Because our elected officials know we wouldn't knowingly vote to spend $250 million for an economic development project that benefits a select group of local citizens.

And just who is this select group of local citizens?

The answer lies in the fancy political propoganda most of in Fort Worth recently received from the Our Community Our Future group promoting the upcoming Fort Worth and Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) bonds.  

The Our Community Our Future group is none other than the usual Fort Worth Way Good Old Boys and Girls.....Mayor Betsy Price, the Fort Worth Chamber, TRWD Board Member Marty Leonard, and last but not least, Hon. Mike Moncrief.  They've been able to raise close to $400,000  to con us into voting for hundreds of millions of dollars in bonds for "improvements" which may not actually be what they claim to be.  I'm going to bet US Rep. Kay Granger donated too but I won't be able to confirm this until Texas Ethics Commission publishes their report on Monday.   

So....what's in it for them?  Let's make the connections.

Mayor Betsy Price actually wasn't a Panther Island supporter or at least that's what she told voters when she ran for election in 2011.  It's doubtful she has anything financial to gain from Panther Island.....she just does what US Rep. Kay Granger tells her to do.

Fort Worth Chamber....MONEY! 

TRWD Board Member Marty Leonard's family owns property from the northwest bank of the Trinity River to downtown.  I still love Marty Leonard though, she's a class act and I don't think she has a mean bone in her body...I think she's just been brainwashed by her lifelong friends.   

Hon. Mike Moncrief was Mayor of Fort Worth from 2003 to 2011.  He is suspected to be one of the dons of Panther Island. It's believed Mike's motivation is as simple as Bruce Springsteen's Glory Days. 

US Rep. Kay Granger has been using her position for personal gain for decades.  She secured millions in federal funds in the late 1990s to build a commuter rail from Fort Worth to Dallas after purchasing an old building across from the now Intermodal Transportation Center.  There was no consequence for that so why not do it again?!  This time she secured more than $50 million for the Panther Island project, then bought a condominium about 1/2 mile from the project with her son JD Granger who just coincidentally is the executive director of the Panther Island project and earns a yearly salary of almost $200,000 despite having no experience in this field (which is probably the reason the project is way over budget and way behind in progress).

Our Community Our Future......evidently it's about theirs not ours!

Vote NO on all of these propositions!