SPATS You’ll want to hear about IVAN HARRISON’S dream house, the bureaucrats who tore it down, and all
the money he got. After all, you paid for it.
This tale begins 25 years ago when Harrison built “a country home in the city” on a 1. 5-acre, tree-filled lot off
Spring Valley and Hillcrest roads. In 1983, Dallas County slated Hill-crest for widening and offered about $40, 000
for the 3, 000-square-foot home, a figure which Harrison found insultingly low. The county upped the offer to $50, 000
and started tearing up the area surrounding Harrison’s house. So he appealed the county’s offer and filed suit, asking
for compensation for the damage. Four years later, a jury found for Harrison. The county appealed. Again, Harrison
won. In 1988 the county paid Harrison $296, 288. 63 for damages to his property, yet still didn’t receive the
authority from the court to condemn Harrison’s home.
So Harrison bought another home and tried to sell his Hillcrest house. But his lawyer, EDDIE VASSALLO, says two
potential buyers were told by city officials that Dallas was going to build a bike trail through the property,
which naturally scared off the buyers.
So in August of 1989, Harrison slapped the city with a suit, saying it was condemning the land de facto. The
city, realizing it would probably lose, recently settled and bought the house for $115, 000.
The city then wasted little time razing Harrison’s dream house. And so the tale ends eight years and more than $411,
000 later. We hope you en-joyed this story of a taxpayer-funded debacle.