A year from now, Lower Greenville will be transformed, and it’s clear that residents and property owners are excited about the changes.
Tonight I spoke at three different meetings to discuss the New Lower Greenville. The first meeting was hosted by long-time property owners Marc and Roger Andres who brought together fifty or so retail brokers who are like location scouts for the retailers/restaurants they represent. Other property owners in attendance included Madison Partners and Greenway Investments.
Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Pauline Medrano and I shared with the group the plans and timeline for Lower Greenville: streetscape construction will start this summer and be finished about eight months later and the new late-night permit requirement begins in September.
Jon Hetzel of Madison Partners announced that the city had just given them the green light to move forward on their plans for an outdoor eatery trailer park at the old Arcadia site. Construction on that should begin in a couple of months.
The group was treated to some sweets from TrailerCakes (which makes an amazing peanut butter and jelly cupcake — trust me on this). TrailerCakes and Good Luck Food Truck will be among the eateries coming to Arcadia Trailer Park, and that alone is worth getting excited about.
The retail brokers liked what they heard — they were relieved to know that we have a plan in place to make the street safer and attract better businesses. They were also impressed with the significant city investment in a beautiful, retail-friendly streetscape.
The next two meetings were to talk with neighborhood groups about the Lower Greenville changes. Both the Richmond Place Condo Association and the Cochran Heights Neighborhood Association were pleased to learn that the changes we’re implementing aren’t years away, but will happen in the next few months. They loved that we’re getting the problems under control, fixing the street, and making this a walkable, family-friendly area.
Lower Greenville’s transformation is a win for everyone — neighborhoods, property owners, and businesses — and change is just around the corner.
In this week’s Dallas Observer, Jim Schutze has an excellent article about gas drilling in Dallas and the need for a citizen taskforce: “Maybe City Council Should Have Asked Some Questions Before Taking Drillers’ Money.”
In 2008 the city council voted to award gas drilling leases on city-owned land to two energy companies.
Wait. Let me go over this again.
This is before the city knows squat about hydraulic fracturing or fracking, as the drilling technique in this area is called. This is before they even devise a safety plan of any kind to deal with fires, explosions or toxic releases. This is before they even raise the question of whether fracking should be allowed inside the city on private land. They sell leases to two big energy companies to allow fracking on city-owned land.
A single council member—Hunt—voted against the leases. She told the rest of the council at the time she thought it was crazy to bind the city to this kind of obligation without doing an ounce of research.
Hunt, a lawyer, warned them it was going to come back to bite them. Why would they sign a contract obligating the city to allow gas drilling in and near neighborhoods when the council had never explored or even considered the issue of safety?
So guess where we are now. The city has accepted $30 million for the leases from those two energy companies. Now the companies want to drill. They are seeking permits for wells near neighborhoods in far west and far southwest Dallas.
What Hunt has proposed and the city council will vote on next month is a task force to look at the issues and recommend changes to the city’s drilling ordinance. Those changes might include any number of things that would reinforce public safety without denying the energy companies the right to exercise their leases.
I asked Hunt what her goals would be for the task force she has proposed. “First and foremost,” she said, “it’s to protect our neighborhoods. We need to take a step back, and we need to look at the environmental issues associated with fracking. What is the current science on the safety of fracking? And go from there.”
She does make sense. But that is also why she is often in the minority on our current city council.
The Rock & Roll Half Marathon is coming to Dallas this Sunday. It starts at 8 a.m. at City Hall in Downtown and winds through Uptown, Oak Lawn, Highland Park, East Dallas, and ends at Fair Park. There is a 4-hour course limit.
Here is a course map and an interactive map of street closures.
100k parade crowd, 20k party crowd, 200 parking citations, 41 tows, 2 DWI, 8 public intox, 21 consumption citations, 30 service calls (nothing serious)