Oak Cliff neighbors meet to discuss controversial golf course development plan

Proposal to redevelop Golf Club of Dallas stirs debate

DALLAS – There is more controversy brewing around a historic golf course in Oak Cliff. 

A proposed plan to re-develop the Golf Club of Dallas and its property has some neighbors up in arms. Hundreds of people packed a community meeting at the golf course’s club house on Wednesday night. The crowd exceeded capacity. Residents were spilling from every door.

A developer could be eying the site for hundreds of new homes. However, many neighbors living near the Golf Club of Dallas say they do not want to see that project happen.

Neighbors living in Wynnewood Hills call the area a hidden jewel.

"It’s more like a down-home type of neighborhood,” said Melvin Simpson. He and his family have lived in the area nearly 40 years.

Residents boast the community is a place where large and modest homes surround a gem called the Golf Club of Dallas.

"The wildlife is there. The streams, the creeks. There’s a lake, there’s a dam," Henri Simpson said. 

The group wanted to hear from Phillip Huffines. His company, Huffines Communities, is under contract to buy the private property.

"If there’s housing here, what kind of housing do you want,” Huffines asked.

A majority of those in attendance shouted, “We don’t want it!”

Last week, Huffines’ business partner and brother, Donald Huffines, who is also a Texas State Senator, said the company is looking into possibly building a “signature community.” Donald Huffines explained there could be more than 500 homes in the community, pending zoning. He added the homes would range in price between $250,000 to $450,000.

“I’m going to tell you something. I don’t care if they build million dollar houses back there. We do not want it! Period!” Melvin Simpson said. 

During the meeting, Phillip Huffines seemingly backtracked from statements his team’s previously confirmed. He told the crowd there is no solid development plan.

There were some tensions after a majority of the neighbors made it known they would not be supportive of a massive home development at the location.

Huffines told the group, “You haven’t relayed to me that you would like any kind of a nice community.”

Neighbors took Huffines’ “nice community” comment as a disrespectful jab. He quickly apologized.

Neighbors asked lots of questions and offered a variety of options, including asking whether the City of Dallas could consider using bond funds to purchase the Golf Club of Dallas and renovating its club house to make it more attractive.

Moving forward, District Three Councilman Casey Thomas suggested a small task force made up of neighborhood association members meet with the golf course’s current owner. He told the neighbors another community meeting would be scheduled after the task force meets to discuss issues and concerns.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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