A restaurant at White Rock Lake — could it happen?

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In a decades-long series of proposals for commercial development at White Rock Lake, the latest idea involves building a restaurant on a 12-acre lot at Boy Scout Hill near Mockingbird and Buckner.

Details are scant right now — it’s not even a proposal, only the beginning of a lengthy conversation that could lead nowhere. But the DMN reports that architect Lyle Burgin and attorney Richard Kopf want to create a place where people can dine with a lakeside view. But they’ll want the White Rock Lake Task Force’s blessing, which is no easy feat.

“The idea of a destination restaurant at White Rock Lake is going to be a hard sell,” says task force chair Michael Jung.“What kind of precedent would this create? Everyone and their brother wants a view of the lake.”

As Jung has said in the past, the general attitude of the task force leans toward conservation and away from development that may upset the natural setting of the lake. This idea was met with “open-minded skepticism,” he says.

In March 2012 some casual conversations began, with much discussion here on our website, about whether commercial development could ever happen at White Rock Lake. History would show the answer is a resounding “no.”

In 1987, the Dallas Arboretum wanted to build a destination restaurant, Jung says. That was shot down. In 2006, plans floated to turn the Big Thicket building into a similar establishment. That was shot down. And who can forget the 24-story high-rise proposed on Emerald Isle?

So, what’s different about this latest idea for a restaurant at Boy Scout Hill? The location, for one.

Gerry Worrall, the city’s park board representative for the White Rock Lake area, says it’s still too early for the city to get involved, but the perception is that increased traffic may not be a huge concern as it often is with these issues. The area has easy access points straight from the already busy thoroughfares of Mockingbird and Buckner, so neighborhood streets wouldn’t see much impact.

“This is probably the one location at the lake where [the issue of traffic] would not be as relevant,” Worrall says.

Will that be enough to sway the public attitude against development at White Rock Lake? Tell us what you think by voting in our poll or leave a comment below:


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