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Letter: Proposed rezoning will hurt neighborhood

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We are residents of Lake Forest II North (LF2N) in the Town of Flower Mound, a smaller neighborhood of 104 homes nestled in the northeast corner of FM 3040 and Old Settlers Road. We are also a younger neighborhood built very close to all three public schools lying along the Old Settlers Road.

Over the years many families have chosen to move into LF2N as it is so close to all three schools that our children can walk or bike to attend classes within minutes. Having our children walk or bike to neighborhood schools also help bring together neighbors that would otherwise not have a chance to mingle and interact, thereby helping to promote cohesion and caring among neighbors in the community.

However, the recent rezoning proposals on Flower Mound High School’s Feeders have threatened to impact the very fabric of LF2N in many negative ways. The rezoning process did not have fair and equitable representations from neighborhoods that are impacted the most by the rezoning outcomes. While the rezoning process started back in fall of 2012, many town residents, LF2N included, were not told about this until early January 2013, after rezoning proposals were already being crafted and down-selected. So it’s no surprise that the rezoning process has managed to pitch neighborhoods against one another, and placed committee members in the most difficult position in spite of their best efforts.

Smaller neighborhoods like LF2N bear the brunt of the burden of being rezoned. The latest proposal displaces LF2N children from attending McKamy Middle School (MMS) which our children has attended since day one. While MMS is only located 0.1 mile caddy-corner to our neighborhood, the proposal has our children bussed 2.6 miles away to attend Shadow Ridge Middle School (SRMS). It is an understatement that we were shocked and disturbed to learn about this development, because not only that the proposal lacked common sense, it also managed to quiet larger neighborhoods at the expense of smaller neighborhoods like LF2N. Our concern is not about any school as they are all outstanding, it is about the lack of fairness and logic in rezoning neighborhoods away from attending school that is a stone’s throw away.

These are the top reasons why LF2N residents are against the proposal which displaces our children from attending MMS but zoned to attend SRMS miles away:

1. LF2N is only 0.1 mile away from MMS. If children living miles away can be zoned to attend MMS, then why are LF2N children living just 0.1 mile away not zoned to attend MMS?

2. All children are precious. Though LF2N is a smaller neighborhood, our children must not be reduced to just a set of accounting numbers for someone’s convenience to move around to different faraway schools to fill their capacities. Just to think that our children being treated as “fillers” to fill void in other schools – first proposed to be bussed to Forestwood MS 2.5 miles away, now proposed to be bussed to Shadow Ridge MS 2.6 miles away – sent chills down our collective spines and violated our children in a horrible way. The idea of using children as numbers for fillers is abhorrent and inconsiderate, and subjects our children to take on unnecessary burden of being bussed around town to faraway school, when they could have walked or bike to MMS in minutes.

3. Lest we forget, we are talking about a school bus maneuvering through major thoroughfares during rush hours, where our children could easily spend hours every single school day waiting for the bus to arrive and ride in it. Why make our children go through this when they can walk or bike to MMS in minutes?

4. Our middle schoolers are already deeply involved in MMS activities They worked very hard in school, developed strong ties with teachers and peers, and are active participants in school programs such as band, orchestra, sports and many more. It makes very little sense and bordering cruelty to uproot them from what they have put their minds and souls into – and for no good reason at all!

5. LISD is setting an unwise precedence to current and all future homeowners in Flower Mound as well as all homeowners within the district’s boundaries – your choice of where to settle down is irrelevant to where you want your kids to attend school, because LISD could uproot your children from attending schools nearest to you and adds the burden of commuting to you and your children, even after you have paid premiums for the convenience of living so close to the schools.

6. LF2N is the only neighborhood that has to endure lots of vehicles cutting through neighborhood streets during rush hour to get to and from Flower Mound High School. We do not need additional traffic in our neighborhood to transport our children to and from SRMS. More traffic is not safe to residents and children alike.

We appreciate the Board in zoning our elementary school children back to attend Old Settlers Elementary (OSE). We are appealing to the sense of justice and fairness of the Board Members, in making the right decisions and zone our children – 11 current middle schoolers, and 33 future middle schoolers – back to attend MMS. Please do not bus our children to attend a faraway school when the neighborhood school is only a stone’s throw away.

Ken and Celia Soo
Flower Mound, TX

 

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