The recent launch of the long-awaited Dart light rail system appears to have exceeded all expectations of success. In this context, the flurry of protest about DART’s use of the railroad right-of-way north of Mockingbird for future service to Garland appears somewhat quixotic.
This particular route has been on the most recent DART service plan since its adoption a number of years ago. Besides, the City of Garland would be sure to take a very dim view of any move that would delay its eventual rail service.
Also, the service plan came out of an earlier referendum in the member cities, and thus, could probably only be changed by a similar process fraught with political peril.
In an environment where every suburb seems to have some malcontent with a clipboard continually petitioning for yet another pullout referendum, you can bet the DART Board is not going to risk opening up old wounds to try to defuse a controversy in one Dallas neighborhood.
Dr Pepper Building Doomed
Prospects continue to appear dim for saving much more than the façade and the clock tower of the old Dr Pepper building on East Mockingbird.
The latest word is that the City Council will consider an application from owner Dal-Mac Properties for a demolition permit late this month, probably based on plans calling for new office construction retaining the façade and tower. Dal-Mac already has the necessary zoning to build offices on the site.
The only way to prevent demolition ofmost of the building would appear to be applying some sort of stricter landmark status to it under various local, state and federal preservation laws.
Such a move, however, would appear iffy, at best. Not only would it have to meet the legal qualifications for “historic” status (and be legally defensible against certain legal challenge by Dal-Mac), it would have to muster the requisite political support on the Council.
After the recent Tinseltown nightmare, you can bet that as soon as Dal-Mac invoked the magic word – that is, “lawsuit” – most of the Council would be asking them how soon they would like their demolition permit.
Cowboys Turns Tejano
The rumors about the conversion of Cowboys on Gaston at East Grand into a Tejano music club are apparently true. Given the recent history of the retail site, it should be interesting to see how the new club will co-exist with its residential neighbors.
The Specific Use Permit held by Cowboys, and granted by the City with neighborhood support, “runs with the land.” That is, the use is permitted on the site regardless of ownership.
The great irony here is that residents, especially those in Gastonwood-Coronado and other nearby neighborhoods, will remember the nasty battle waged last year over the Gaston Bazaar’s request for an SUP for a “dance hall” use.
Unfortunately, the ethnicity of the majority of the Bazaar’s patrons was dragged into the fray in a very unsubtle manner, and in this opinion, unfairly to the neighborhoods.
One hopes that the new club owners will work to get along with their new neighbors and vice versa so that the problems of the past don’t resurface, such as those with parking on residential streets south of Gaston.

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