Dallas United Crew reps talk plans for new boathouse on White Rock Lake

Dallas United Crew coach Jonathan Stevens and architect Josh Theodore talked to neighborhood residents about plans to build a new boathouse on White Rock Lake.

Dallas United Crew addressed White Rock area residents Monday night regarding the plan — on which they are working with the Dallas Park Department — to build a new boathouse on the north shore of White Rock Lake.

The proposal looks quite similar to what we posted here.

Designer, Josh Theodore of Page Southerland Page, LLP, the architectural firm designing the project, presented plans for a 9,000-square-foot structure on the water, which will include boat storage, locker rooms and showers for students involved in the program, plus an observation deck and fountains that the public can access. The plan also calls for a public dock for kayaks and boats on the edge of the existing parking lot.

Dallas United Crew team coach Jonathan Stevens says they want the site to serve the whole community, not just select members.

Of course, the facility would foremost serve its members—150 student members of Dallas United Crew hail from 20 different Dallas area schools. It formerly was Highland Park Crew, because it started with a few students from Highlands Park. Stevens says they changed the name to reflect the existing membership. The DUC is a non-profit. That doesn’t mean it’s inexpensive or easy to be on the competitive DUC team. Tryouts are held in the summer and those on the team look at spending about $3,000 in a season. It’s similar in accessibility to a club soccer team, for example. Coach Stevens says one of the goals of the new facility is to garner more visibility and thus more donations to the scholarship programs by which lower-income kids get an opportunity to participate. Aside from the competitive team, DUC offers summer camps, learn-to-row days and recreational programs. Stevens says DUC is in talks with local hospitals, hoping to partner with programs for disabled veterans and children.

Despite their involvement (the city will own this property once it is built; DUC will manage it), no one from the city or Dallas Park and Recreation attended this meeting, an absence pointed out by one attendee who stood and stated loudly that he had “a question for Councilman Sheffie Kadane. Oh, he’s not here? Well, how about someone from the Park Department. Oh! They aren’t here either?” (They obviously were not there). He is appalled that city representatives are not on hand to answer questions, he notes.

White Rock resident Hal Barker stood and warned the presenters about making plans with city officials in secrecy. He pleaded for transparency moving forward with plans for the boathouse project. He says that when things happen “behind the scenes,” it creates an atmosphere of mistrust, which impedes the process.

“Can you make a commitment to be open and transparent?” Another audience member shouts before Barker wraps up. To which a DUC board member responds, “We have always tried to be open and transparent,” citing early meetings with the White Rock Lake Task Force, which includes leaders from dozens of White Rock Area homeowners groups.

A few more tidbits mentioned during Q&A:

The shoreline and wetlands will not be touched by this project.

Dallas United Crew spokespeople say they have never been kicked out of any previous facilities. The rumor, based on a question, is that they were kicked out of the existing boathouse but they say they outgrew it.

There was an early suggestion that the new boathouse might be rented out for special occasions. That proposal is now off the table.

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The Corinthian sailing club is about 24ft tall. The new boathouse would not stand that high. It’s length would less than half a football field. It would practically blend into the landscape when looking at it from across the lake, the designer says.

The proposed site is very near the former Snipe Club site, which was on the lake from 1935-1995 and occupied about the same footprint as the proposed new boathouse.

Lighting at the new facility would be minimal and only on periodically. No new parking lots would be built specifically for the boathouse.

Some neighbors of the lake want the coach to address the noise of the megaphone used during crew practice. Another is concerned about how the noise will impact the birds. The coach says coaches have the ability to adjust the volume on the megaphones and that they can look into that.

By the end of the meeting, there seemed to be a more supportive tone from attendees.

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  • Ted Barker

    Per DUC, membership is 3000.00 pr yr.

  • Muddy Slop Hole

    Why don’t they build the facility on the water next to the current metal monstrosity, which by the way was erected with no community input, so the “country club” adult rowers can mentor the kids and the handicapped. It makes no sense to put it at the proposed  location which is prime wetland habitat that harbors a plethora of diverse wildlife that will be destroyed. THERE HAS BEEN NO ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OR TRAFFIC STUDY IN THE SNEAKY HASTE TO GET THIS DONE BEHIND DALLAS TAX PAYING CITIZENS BACKS. This location is simply for the convenience (3 miles and 5 minutes fom Central Expy) of the Highland Park crowd and the “for profit” owners who are trying to put in a restaurant and entertainment venue. Why won’t city release requested open records? Because secret dealings of Highland Park crowd with City officials  will be exposed. Stay tuned….Pandoras box is about to be opened! THE CITIZENS OF DALLAS SHOULD BE INSULTED BY THE ONGOING FRAUD PERPETRATED ON THEM BY DALLAS POLITICIANS AND  PRIVATE “FOR PROFIT” INTERESTS ON WINFREY POINT AND HIGHLAND PARK CREW (NAME CHANGED TO UNITED CREW) AND  DEMAND THEIR RESIGNATION!!!!  THERE’S A SUCKER BORN EVERY MINUTE!

  • Kelly

     why does this have to sit in full view?  there is PLENTY of space to shore it beside the power plant, out of sight.  i am guessing you are not a lake resident?

  • Kelly

     the real intrinsic “costs” are those we all can agree upon:  would you not like to have at least ONE view without a structure in this city? i would.  there is also the blatant fact that a very few will make use of the structure.  just because someone wants to spend the money to install something does not equal “need”.  i would like a giant bridge across the lake as i would use it from my own house which sits on the east side.  should be build that?

  • Kelly

    “development” on wild lakes and parks is always disturbing.  there is simply NO reason this should be allowed.  the lake is tiny.  the need for the boat house is tiny (as it is only available to those wealthy enough to make use of).  the lake is beautiful.  leave it alone.   This is clearly NOT Highland Park, and the tragedy they have made of their own neighborhoods by blatantly disrespecting nature should not be allowed to spread throughout dallas.  if they want a boat house, they should build a lake in HP! 

  • Josephse11

    It’s not surprising that this new proposed boating facility has broad local area support. As currently outlined, the new rowing & kayaking building will benefit many kids from different schools and economic backgrounds. The building design is modern and will not require tax payer funding. This facility is clearly a win – win for the local community and for the people that enjoy the beauty and the amenities of White Rock Lake. Get the kids on the water!

  • Bob Loblaw

    Another made-up fact.  Membership in the current boat house is $250 a year.  I sincerely doubt they intend to charge more than 10 times a much.


    It will be closed to the public unless you have $3,000.00 to participate which goes towards paying the owners. Only reason disabilities thrown in was to take distraction away from Highland Park money and make it more acceptable for general public. No money, no row…trhat simple!

  • Shimes2

    I think this is a great idea to have another boathouse for White Rock lake- this is a sport that has grown and could be a great way for the public to enjoy the lake even more.
    Also it will be the 1st boathouse that will truly be for people with disabilities.
    The plans for this boathouse are genius- it will not affect the lake  because it will be a floating boathouse.


    EXACTLY! And “for profit” to boot with no $$$ going to City of Dallas. $$$$ go in board members/employee pockets. Here are conservative numbers:
    Costs $3,000 a year for kid to row.
    $3,000.00 X 150 kids = $450,000.00 per year in revenue 
    Thids does not include revenue from other sources to include the restaurant (nutrition center)they are trying to sneak in.
    Ask yourself if this was not a sneaky land grab by Dallas polticians and Highland Park money, then why are they fighting the release of open records on this?? Many meetings in private without transparency to Dallas citizens because BIG $ involved by “for profits” and politicians. Dallas Crew saying this was transparent as they had a public meeting is a pure lie. The 1 public meeting they had invited only friends and excluded all others.

  • Scott

    Maybe they caught the snipe…


    This is nothing but Highland Park money influencing Dallas politicians in a sneaky land grab, which is why they changed their name to United Crew, and an attempt by “for profits” to turn this into a commercial entertainment venue under the guise of helping children and the handicapped. Original proposal had a 5,000 square foot upstairs pavillion attached to a kitchen for restaurant/weddings etc., which when discovered by outside citizens, was modified down to 2,000 square feet (still quite large—why have it at all) which will be expanded along with parking as soon as they get the approval just like the Arboretum has tried to pull off. A $1,000,000.00 dollar parking lot and  $100,000.00 kitchen (labeled as a nutrition center…ha,ha). Plenty of room to put a floating boathouse below existing rowing boat house for expansion to mentor young people however owner doesn’t want kids around his private boat club. In fact, selected site is horrible for launching boat in face of prevailing southerly winds but it is more convenient to Highland Park and keeps traffic out of the Lakewood neighborhoods  kids use to get to current location. Want to have some fun, just try walking into the existing metal facility on public land and see if they don’t try to run you off. My friends and I have had that wonderful experience!

  • Sammy

    So we are going to allow Highland Park to build an exclusive facility in our park, when citizens of Dallas cannot use their parks?

  • Fulzgold

    What happened to the Snipe Club?  (I’m assuming a decline in membership that eventually led to the decline and removal of its facilities from the Lake.) It would be useful to have a clear picture of how the various existing boat houses and the proposed new one all fit into the City’s plans for stewardship of the Lake…. 

  • Rational Man

    “Some neighbors of the lake want the coach to address the noise of the megaphone used during crew practice. Another is concerned about how the noise will impact the birds.” 

    Seriously?  What a bunch of  idiots. 

  • East Dallas Runner

    You feel the need to post the same false information twice?  What is the need.  Is it so unbelievable to understand that the current facility is full of boats.  Unless you have real facts stop making up lies.

  • Bob Loblaw

    Rather than imagining reasons why they can’t use the current boathouses and calling for  Open Records Requests, how about walking over to the (usually) wide-open boathouses and looking inside?  If you do that, you will see that the New Boathouse and the Old Boathouse, are quite full.  The rowing classes, especially oriented to young people, have brought many new rowers into the sport and the management of the current boathouses believes they will run out of space soon.  If you’re going to oppose it, at least use real facts instead of just making stuff up.

  • Bob Loblaw

    People have to stop  making-up stuff like “I can only assume they were not good tenants.” The announced position of the current boathouse is that they support the new boathouse as they believe that DUC will grow too large to fit within the current boathouse, which has grown crowded. 

  • Guest

    “The shoreline and wetlands will not be touched by this project.” But what about when the construction equipment rolls in? That’s a huge disturbance to residents and wildlife, in the form of noise and tearing up the ground. What is the project timeline? How long for construction?

  • stuart

    Is there some particular reason not to believe them when they say they simply outgrew it?

  • mom23nlakewood

    The building of this facility must be moving forward because their website has a fundraising icon that details what you can donate to so they can build this rowing facility.  I am so confused at why they don’t use the current facility at White Rock Lake.  I can only assume they were not good tenants.

  • Tedbarker

    How about the overused Bath House. That will make interesting parking during the weekend running events.  Always more drama. 

  • Tedbarker

    Inquiring minds really want to know what has been going on for the past three years. Open Records request on the legal issues have been denied by City Staff. They requested a Texas  Attorney General Opinion, our 5th to date.  Go figure!

  • mom23nlakewood

    I just don’t understand why they cannot continue to use the fabulous facility we currently have at White Rock Lake?  Did they get kicked out or do they feel like they are privledged and can’t share the current facilities with other groups?

  • Amesbury

    This facility is for a select group of high school students only, NOT the community as we know it.  The promise mentioned in the article to serve the community was vague.  The facility will be off limits to the public for the most part.  Perhaps an open house, here and there, where members of the public can walk on the deck, but not use the boats. 

    There will be a observation deck onshore where the public can watch rowers, and there is a place to launch one’s own boat off to the side separate from the boathouse.  The city should provide that, but obviously does not.

    There really is no need for parking.  It can serve only a few students at a time (150 at most)  This is a facility that serves a very, very limited group of people, after all.  They say that they’ll use the parking at the bathhouse cultural center, but I dunno…

  • Fulzgold

    No new parking SPECIFICALLY for the boathouse ….  So, there will be new parking.  Where?

  • RJ

    These are the people who wore Highland Park shirts in the Lakewood Parade. Do not be fooled by their misleading moniker.