Frequently Asked QuestionsCRIME
Q: I live in multi-family and I’m pretty sure that my neighbors are dealing drugs, but I’m not sure what to do. A: If you have a property manager on-site and you feel comfortable talking with them, you should let them know your concerns. They are often in contact with your Neighborhood Police Officers or otherwise know how to handle the situation. They also maintain narcotics forms that can be submitted to DPD. You can also submit your observations anonymously via IWATCHDALLAS.NET, or by calling 214-671-4TIP, or texting “DPD” plus your tip to 274637.
Q: I’ve heard about the new IWATCHDALLAS.net crime tip program. When should I call 911 and when should I use IWATCHDALLAS? A: IWATCHDALLAS is a virtual crime watch that you and your neighbors can use to report behaviors and activities that make you feel uncomfortable or do not look right. This could include unusual pedestrian traffic in a particular area or information you have on crime suspects. IWATCHDALLAS also allows you to remain completely anonymous. However, for emergencies, immediate danger, or even prowlers, you should call 911.
Q: I see a lot of retail “stores” that sell strange things and I’m just not sure what is going on. Who can I contact to make sure they have the right licenses or permits to sell things? A: If the location is in the PID, it is likely we have already addressed the issue with DPD and/or the City of Dallas, so feel free to contact us first, call or email Kathy Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org, 972-467-3095. You can also contact your Neighborhood Patrol Office at (214) 670-7770 or the City of Dallas Building Inspection at (214) 948-4480.
Q: What is the difference between a TIF (Tax Increment Financing District) and a PID (Public Improvement District)? A: On a very basic level, a TIF is an economic development tool that utilizes public funding incentives to promote private sector investment and re-development projects along integral City corridors – boosting real estate values. A PID is a special tax assessment agreement between the City and property owners within a specified district to fund public improvements beyond existing municipal services. Much like an HOA for homeowners, a PID helps commercial property owners and involved residential owners maintain and revitalize public/common areas within the District.
Q: What public improvements will the LH PID provide? A: The primary goal of the LH PID is to enhance public safety services and provide aesthetically pleasing streetscapes within the District and along the Skillman corridor. While the non-profit board will decide how PID funds are allocated, specific examples of service may include: security patrols, litter and graffiti management, pedestrian lighting, signage, landscape enhancements in public right of way areas and street medians, promotional communications and grant funds.
Q: What are the boundaries of the Lake Highlands PID? A: The physical boundaries of the LH PID encompass a geographic area of more than 500 acres along the Skillman corridor from LBJ on the north end down to Skillman and Abrams on the south. Click here for a map outlining the actual PID boundaries.
Q: Will LH PID money be used to maintain parks within the boundary, including the new Watercrest Park located in the Lake Highlands Town Center? A: PID funds may be used to maintain public parks to be enjoyed by the entire community, including park land adjoining the Lake Highlands North Recreation Center, approximately 3.5 miles of hike and bike trail extension along White Rock Trail, as well as Watercrest Park that has recently been deeded to the City of Dallas.
Q: Are residential property owners included in LH PID boundaries? A: The majority of property owners within the PID boundary are classified as business / commercial entities, however, a number of condo / townhome owners are included in the PID. Currently, we have no single-family detached residential properties within the PID.
Q: Are any exemptions allowed for property owners in the District? A: Yes. Homestead, Over-65 and Disability Exemptions are applicable to the District.
Q: What is the assessment rate? A: The initial assessment rate for the District is $.13 (per $100) of taxable real property value. The PID budget is allocated between public safety, promotions, improvements/maintenance, and administration. As enhanced security is one of the primary goals for the District, it will usually represent over 50% of the initial budget. The PID budget will be enhanced as new developments are completed in the District, and those assessments are contributed into the PID.
Q: Is the PID funded solely through tax assessments? A: No, the LH PID may receive funding through donations. In fact, other Dallas area PIDs include this source of funding in their annual operating budgets. We believe as our organization grows, our solicitation for donations will as well.
Q: Who will operate/oversee the LH PID? A: The Lake Highlands Improvement District Corporation (LHIDC), a 501(c)(3) non-profit, manages the PID for the City of Dallas via a management contract. A full time Director and Advisory Board, comprised of PID property owners, property agents, community leaders or residents, is responsible for the PID’s management and direction. The annual LH PID budget is reviewed and approved by the Dallas City Council.
Q: How long will the PID be in existence? A: The LHID’s current management contract is effective until 2015, the end of the original 7-year term. The District may be renewed prior to its expiration by obtaining petitions under the same requirements of District creation.
Q: Will PID dollars be used to fund private developments? A: No. A public improvement district by law can only fund/maintain public improvements. Its purpose is to provide a level of services and improvements to public areas in the District above what the City of Dallas provides.
Q: Sometimes I see high weeds, litter or debris and I’m never sure who to call. What should I do? A: If you need City of Dallas NON-EMERGENCY assistance, the best place to start is checking this website: http://www.dallascityhall.com/services/services.html or calling 311 from inside the city limits.
Q: Can I run a business out of my home? A: According to the City of Dallas Building Inspections, A HOME OCCUPATION is "an occupation that is incidental to the primary use of a premises as a residence and conducted on the residential premises by a resident of the premises". This is considered to be an accessory use and no certificate of occupancy is required. The following rules must be observed:
A person who engages in a home occupation shall not:
• use an advertisement, sign, or display on the premises;
• use a street address on an advertisement, sign, or display off the premises;
• employ more than two persons on the premises, other than the residents of the premises;
• have employees, other than the residents of the premises, who individually or collectively work on the premises more than four hours in any given week;
• conduct outdoor activities between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.;
• involve more than 10 patrons on the premises at one time;
• conduct outdoor activities unless the activities are screened from the neighboring property by a solid fence of at least six feet in height;
• generate loud and raucous noise that renders the enjoyment of life or property uncomfortable or interferes with public peace and comfort; or
• sell, offer, or advertise products of the home occupation at or on the premises