Advocate Radio: Who’s in charge of Winfrey Point parking?

Even after lots of coverage of of Winfrey Point, White Rock Lake, the Dallas Arboretum and all of the parking mayhem, we still have questions. What exactly are the plans, and who will ultimately make the call?

We record a monthly podcast in Lake Highlands with a couple of neighbors there, and this month, we wanted to invite a guest who could give us a better picture of these issues. Our first request was Joan Walne, Dallas Park Board chairwoman. She declined our invitation. So we turned to Gerry Worrall, the Park Board representative for District 9, in which White Rock Lake Park and the arboretum (and much of our neighborhood) are located. He, too, declined.

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Because both Walne and Worrall are appointees — citizens who have been asked to serve on the Park Board by members of City Council — we decided to invite one of their elected superiors. Councilman Sheffie Kadane represents District 9, which includes the lake and most of its surrounding neighborhoods, and he agreed to talk with us.

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Our 30-minute conversation with him revealed this: Kadane is very aware of the arboretum’s parking issues, and feels strongly that parking needs to be increased — outside White Rock Lake Park. He doesn’t want to see any parking or pavement inside the park, neither does he want to see the Little League baseball fields move (though he is advocating for improvements to them).

What was less clear is who will make the call going forward. When we asked if city council had any input or authority to overturn the Park Board’s decision to let the arboretum use Winfrey Point as temporary overflow parking, Kadane said no — that decision was entirely the Park Board’s. As to whether the Park Board has authority to pave portions of the park or take other action on parking plans without approval from the City Council, Kadane believed it would require council to make zoning changes, but wasn’t sure.

As we noted, Kadane opposes any more parking at the park itself. But the question remains whether that’s completely up to City Council, and if it is, whether Kadane’s fellow councilmembers share his views.

Below, you can listen to the podcast, which also touches on the Garland Road parking garage and other parking possibilities along Garland.

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  • Dalipaws

    So kick the people out of their homes on angora instead of using some grass near Winfrey point!!!

  • Happycat

    Stay out of Norbuck Park too.

  • FAmesbury

    It’s right there on Sheffie Kadane’s bio on his own website,,

    “Community Service: … White Rock Lake Task Force … and, served on several committees   for The Dallas Arboretum.
    Dallas Park and Recreation Board, 2003-2006
    Vice Chairman of Planning and Design, Dallas Park and Recreation Board
    Dallas Arboretum Liaison for Dallas Park Board
    White Rock Lake Liaison for Dallas Park Board

    Certainly, board members and liasons have more input than we are led to believe by Councilman Kadane’s comments in this interview.

    Plus, to follow through on the long term parking plans, the Arboretum would need funding from city backed bonds, changes in streets (pavement, traffic lights, stop signs, etc.).  One option called for a road realignment through what is now private property (a bank, defunct medical offices, and an apartment complex.)  The city certainly would be needed to approve purchase or possible eminent domain to follow through.  All in Kadane’s district.

  • AC

    Every now and then there are instances where one side is simply wrong. The Arboretum and their stooges on the Park Board and City Hall are wrong in principal and in their reprehensible actions.  Shameless behavior should require removal of Walne, Worrall and Brinegar. There are possible alternatives that might cause the Arboretum to spend some money but so be it. They can up their efforts to shake down their monied supporters to add financial backing and choose a solution that is reasonable non-invasive and legitimate. Their behavior throughout this whole episode illustrates their complete lack of principal and character. Wish the Arboretum could decide to be a good neighbor.

  • Tedbarker

    Docu-Man also found reference from April 2011 City Hall vote on Arboretum parking. The agenda line item is very vague, and probably intentional.  The records obtained in May 1st and 2nd show DABS, Park Board and Park Dpt in discussion about a vote discussed in a late night meeting, disturbing to see in print.

  • Great work Advocate. 

    Gerry Worrall knew about Mary Brinegar’s plans to privatize and commercialize Winfrey Point – but said nothing to the stake holders around the lake  – because he was told to keep it a secret – which he did for over a year. 
    Joan Walne is simply an apologist for Ms Brinegar’s plans to pave the park.  Ms Walne had the audacity to disparage the grass lands on Winfrey Point and the Little League – in favor of more asphalt for the Arboretum. 

    Neither of them have any credibility on this issue, both should be replaced – so no loss.

    Councilman Kadane usually does the right thing on park matters. So here’s to that. 

    All these appointees and departments report to the elected officials.  And if the elected officials   don’t do the right thing, we the voters will replace them. That’s how this issue is going to play out. 

  • Texaspainter

    Having Joan Walne on the Park Board is the worst possible appointed person to have. She needs to be removed and only does the bidding of those at City Hall.

  • Sheffie should make public the agenda, attendees and minutes of his many meetings with Mary Brinegar, Steve Coke, Gerald Worrall and Merrie Spaeth to discuss Arboretum parking at Winfrey Point. City attorneys are attempting to use attorney-client privilege to block access to open records related to Sheffie’s involvement with the Arboretum.

  • Tedbarker

    Thanks for the podcast and questions, Advocate!   It is troubling that the people who have been vested as final decision-makers did not have the fortitude to be on record.  We all know what they  have planned, just get it over and tell us. 

    Public transportation has to be a key element, moving forward. Why?  Their own plans show huge upticks in vehicles on community streets to the point of gridlock.  Off-load parking to areas idendtified in our Green Solution, all within 10 minutes of the DABS front gate.

  • Gay Hopkins

    Thank you for these questions asked and some not answered.  It’s a bit scary to think that the council can POSSIBLY have ceded to an appointed board (political appointees?) a decision so important as paving part of a public park.  I shall be watching for your follow up as to whether Mr. Kadane’s office has researched the issue of final authority on paving.

  • Wilson!

    Granted, I don’t live on Angora street. But these properties are already zoned for commercial use, so it might be a little late to be “horrified” by using them for parking.  It would be nice if the Arboretum would use some type of semi-pervious paving rather than just concrete or asphalt, to mitigate runoff. But I’d rather have parking there than for the Park Board hand park land over to the Arboretum to be paved for parking.

  • DMarshall

    My concern now is the plan to turn Garland road properties into a series of parking lots. Is no one else horrified by that idea?