In a statement released by their new publicist, Lyle Burgin and Richard Kopf have suspended their efforts to build a restaurant on White Rock Lake’s Boy Scout Hill.
“We both firmly believe that the concept would be an excellent amenity for all of the citizens of Dallas, but the present time is not the right time. We thank all of the individuals and groups that have voiced their support. And we will see you at the lake!”, they said.
The announcement comes on the heels of an Old Lake Highlands meeting Tuesday night when more than 500 people from around the lake came out, mostly in protest of the project.
At the meeting, Burgin and Kopf indicated they would forge ahead with their presentations, unconvinced that the crowd represented the majority opinion of residents around the lake. But now, they’ve abandoned the plan.
The proposal had not yet made it to City Hall. Willis Winters, director of the parks department, told the developers back in December that they needed community support before the idea could be seriously considered.
The developers were selling the idea of a restaurant on Boy Scout Hill that could help fund projects around White Rock Lake, funneling money through existing nonprofits. Earlier this morning, at least one of those nonprofits made clear where it stands on the issue. In a formal letter to city officials, leaders of For the Love of the Lake announced their opposition to the restaurant proposal. The letter read:
“For the Love of the Lake is opposed to the proposed development of a restaurant on Boy Scout Hill at White Rock Lake Park. According to the State of Texas, Boy Scout Hill is home to part of the mere 2% of remaining Blackland Prairie left in the state, making it an important natural resource for the well-being of native flora and fauna – along with the people of Dallas. It is absolutely irreplaceable. Construction of a commercial establishment would reduce green space and harm the natural environment that we all cherish at White Rock Lake. Furthermore, it would be contrary to the guiding philosophy for management of the Park as set forth in the 1987 White Rock Lake Park Management Plan. Instead, food trucks with family friendly refreshments could easily come and go from White Rock Lake Park nourishing its visitors. White Rock Lake and the surrounding parkland is a treasured green space for everyone to reconnect with nature, live a healthier life, re-center themselves, and take pride in Dallas.”
Back in February, the newly formed White Rock East Coalition of Area Neighborhoods, which includes Old Lake Highlands, Peninsula and Lochwood, announced their opposition to the restaurant as well as any commercial development on the lake.
The Save Boy Scout Hill petition surpassed 3,000 signatures.
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