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100 Year Old Oaks at Joy of Life Greenway In Danger of Destruction
Tue. Mar 09, 2010 12:55 PM

“The Joy of Life” sculpture and Gateway Park is a joy for passers-by and residents! Even though it’s beautiful and it looks like a park, walks like a park, it’s not a park! It's part of the MacArthur Boulevard Improvement Project that has been in the works since at least 1994, according to Joe Putnam, former mayor of Irving. The Improvement Project was to fix the drainage problems on MacArthur in this area and widen it to provide turn lanes south of Rochelle to SH 183. It is now scheduled to be home to a two story, fifteen thousand five hundred square foot Fire House #4. The neighborhood residents, Citizens of Irving, city council and the fire fighters have been cut out of the loop to decide its location and construction is scheduled in September, 2009.

The City decided in 2002, after buying all the homes and relocating all the residents for the above purposes of drainage and widening, that this site was available to build the new Fire House #4. Since no zoning changes are required to build a governmental use building on City owned property, citizens have not had a voice about the use of this land. Thus, the taking of the park, that isn’t a park, the cutting down of a 100+ year old post oak tree that isn’t covered under the tree ordinance, and the building of the largest fire station in Irving, may happen. All checks and balances are hereby avoided. This was a “done deal” by city staff and management and no citizen, no council person, no fireman could object because nothing ever came to a vote, except the bond money to pay for it, which passed in 2006.

Some Irving Citizens object to this “done deal process”. Citizens object because there are other places on MacArthur Blvd. or in the fire station #4 service area that need improvement and they are in a more commercial area that would not bother such a quiet neighborhood as Glen Cove Drive. The firemen’s advisory committee would also be able to have another shot at designing a fire station that isn’t constrained by such a small lot, in a residential neighborhood. Most citizens object to this location because nobody really wants to cut down a beautiful, healthy, mid life, 100+ year old post oak if they can avoid it.

-Take from You can go there to express your thoughts about the Park and Oak Tree. Also leave us your comments


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