Buyouts/Teardowns For Flood Control In Central Arlington Heights

August 12, 2019 · Filed Under Events and News 

There are a number of recent updates:

•FEMA announced it is moving forward in its process to buy and demolish the homes at 2209 Western Ave. and 2217 Western Ave. (See announcement in the previous post on this website.)

• Fort Worth City Council approved using Fort Worth Stormwater Department funds for the purchase of homes at 2203 Western Ave., 2205 Western Ave., 2224 Carleton Ave. and 2300 Carleton Ave. Total amount City spent on June 18, 2019 to purchase these four homes: $1,842,000.

• The City announced they’ve come to an agreement to purchase two additional homes on Western Ave. and Carleton Ave., but didn’t say which ones. (See announcement in the previous post on this website.) The agreements for the two new home purchases will be voted on by the City Council toward the end of August. That leaves just two homes on the City’s wish list of ten they would like to purchase.

• The City is considering alternatives to tearing down some of the homes. At the June 18, 2019 City Council meeting, City Councilman Dennis Shingleton, who represents this area, stated on the record “we’re going to go ahead and buy these homes. What we actually do with them and how we handle them from that point on, we have yet to make a decision…we are not absolutely convinced or mandated to destroy these homes. We may raise them. We may do something else.”


• FEMA is requesting public comments by Saturday August 17 about the adverse effects of the FEMA purchase of 2209 and 2217 Western Ave.

• According to FEMA, Benefit Cost Analysis (BCA) for acquiring the two properties was completed in the Flood module of the FEMA BCA Tool. Total benefits associated with this project are $641,059 which is more than the total project cost of $550,000, producing a Benefit Cost Ratio of 1.17, which exceeds the FEMA grant requirements of a BCR of 1.0.

• Arlington Heights Neighborhood Association (AHNA) has requested, but has not yet received from FEMA a list of the flood event dates and claim loss amounts filed for these two homes.

• The homes at 2209 and 2217 Western are the only homes that qualified for FEMA funding under their Severe Repetitive Loss Program. FEMA denied the City’s grant application for the purchase of the other eight homes for the City’s self-described “stormwater detention project.”

• If FEMA funds are used to demolish properties under its Severe Repetitive Loss Program, no “insurable structures” can ever be placed on those properties. Following the FEMA purchase, these two homes will be demolished and the lots will be owned by the City. It will be the City’s responsibility to make sure that no homes will be built there, now or in the future. However, FEMA will allow the City to lease the empty lots to adjacent property owners to incorporate into their own backyards.

• Whenever federal funds are used for projects that could adversely impact historic resources, such as the homes in our neighborhood, FEMA is required to go through a Section 106 review. That has been ongoing and continues. The 106 review has so far confirmed that the homes at 2209 and 2217 Western Ave. are of historic value and qualify to be listed in a National Register Historic District, as do most of the homes in the Hillcrest Addition of Arlington Heights, between Camp Bowie Blvd. and El Campo Ave. and Western Ave. and Clover Lane.

• Section 106 requires defining what the adverse effects of the FEMA teardowns will be and the boundaries of those impacts. FEMA contends that losing the two FEMA homes will be of minor consequence and will have no negative impact on the adjoining residential properties, or on the rest of the homes on the block, or the overall neighborhood. Arlington Heights Neighborhood Association (AHNA) and other local, state and national organizations disagree with this assessment. FEMA makes no mention about the impact on the home that’s in between the two FEMA houses.

• The national Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), the Texas Historical Commission (THC), Historic Fort Worth (HFW) and the Administrative Report from the City’s Historic Preservation Officer all agree with AHNA that FEMA’s contention is incorrect and believe that the demolition of these two non-continguous FEMA homes in our neighborhood will have a major, not minor, impact on the other homes and neighborhood. Further, ACHP, THC, HFW and AHNA disagree with FEMA’s contention that the demolition of the two homes is not connected to the City-funded acquisition of up to eight more adjacent homes. The two FEMA homes are located directly in the middle of the City’s plan for a stormwater detention project. Additionally, AHNA and the other groups believe the impact of the loss of up to ten homes on two separate block faces will be significant and include physical, environmental and cultural effects, not just visual.


•  The City says it cannot afford the 100% fix of putting in larger storm drain pipes in Arlington Heights.  Almost 100 years old, these pipes are considerably undersized for the Fort Worth of today.

• The City has no clear idea of what their proposed project for Western and Carleton Aves. will ultimately look like. City staff described it to City Council as a “stormwater detention basin” and “well-maintained green space” that is open to the public. It’s likely to be similar to the below-grade detention pond by Walgreen’s. At this time, there is no plan for it to be a city park, but City staff says it could have “park-like amenities.”

• The proposed new stormwater detention basin could be three times as large as the detention pond by Walgreen’s that is made up of just three residential lots. The City is on track to own eight residential lots (with the potential for a total of ten) in the middle of Western and Carleton Aves.

• If City funds are used to buy these homes, the City is not obligated to demolish and tear them down. According to FEMA, FEMA doesn’t care what the City does with the homes the City buys. FEMA’s only motivation in purchasing the two homes they are buying on Western Ave. is to get them off of FEMA’s insurance roles, eliminating the need to pay any further flood insurance claims on them.

• A significant number of property owners on Western and Carleton Avenues have signed petitions opposing the buyout/teardown plan as a flood solution for those streets.

• Some of the homes the City is purchasing have never taken in water. Some of the homes have no roof gutters, no French drains, no flood abatement whatsoever, even though the owners were apprised of their flood histories before they purchased the properties.

• According to the City’s Stormwater Department, the total flood claims for this entire area over the last 30+ years is less than $350,000. The City has already spent $10 million on flood mitigation projects in this small three-block area. Now, the City will be spending another $8 million for what they admit will not solve the flooding problem, but are hoping will incrementally improve the drainage. Some neighbors wonder why the City isn’t spending money for an upstream solution that would stop flood water before it even comes down to Western and Carleton Aves.

• The City paid $610,000 to buy 2300 Carleton. Only three other homes in Arlington Heights have sold for more than $600,000. The City purchased 2224 Carleton for $370,500 total even though there is no history of water ever entering the home.

• AHNA has asked the City to provide flood claim information for the properties they have purchased. When previously requested, the City denied access to that information because of privacy issues. Now that the City owns these properties, taxpayers should be entitled to that information.


By Saturday August 17, 2019, email your comments about FEMA buying and tearing down the homes at 2209 and 2217 Western Avenue: Please cc:

Comments can be as simple as saying you oppose/support FEMA buying these homes. You can explain how the demolition of these homes will impact the other homes near them. Your comments could include what you would prefer to see happen to these two homes. Some neighbors think buying and tearing down the homes is a good idea, while some neighbors find these FEMA purchases to be not a good use of FEMA funds. Some neighbors would rather see these homes be floodproofed or elevated, rather than destroyed.

Please share your opinion with City Councilman Dennis Shingleton: 817-392-8807,






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