- Type of Place
- Metro Area
- East Texas
- Politics c. 1860?
- Unions, Organized Labor?
Sundown Town Status
- Confirmed Sundown Town?
- Was there an ordinance?
- Don't Know
- Don’t Know
- Year of Greatest Interest
- Still Sundown?
- Probably Not, Although Still Very Few Black People
Method of Exclusion
Main Ethnic Group(s)
“Developed just after World War II, Sunnyvale
incorporated in 1953, in part to resist efforts to locate
low income housing outside the city of Dallas. While
local elected officials say that the one acre minimum
lot requirement was enacted to maintain Sunnyvale%u2019s
‘rural character,’ the zoning ordinance and a 1971
town council resolution banning apartments have
effectively kept the town 94% white.
“The court challenge began in 1987 when Mary
Dews, an African American woman living in Dallas
tried to use her Section 8 certificate in Sunnyvale, and
was unable to find a unit. She joined with developers
who had been denied permits to build low income
housing. The court found that the town was guilty of
perpetuating segregation and had violated the Fair
Housing Act in two ways. First, it held that the one
acre minimum and 1971 resolution had the effect of
limiting housing choice for African Americans, a
disproportionate number of whom could not afford
single family homes in Sunnyvale. Second, the court
found evidence of intentional discrimination in the
statements of town officials, one of whom told a
developer that he preferred one acre lots because ‘it
keeps the [blacks] out.’ The court found that
“preservation of rural character” was not a legitimate
government interest that could justify the