A couple of years ago, we tried to do a story that examined whether allowing beer and wine sales in the dry parts of East Dallas and Lake Highlands — mostly the area north and east of White Rock Lake — would be good for business, bring in better restaurants, and the like. We never wrote the story, mostly because no one at the county could tell us exactly which areas were dry and which were wet. The boundaries, they said, were more than 125 years old, very unclear and there was no authoritative map.

We thought it was pretty funny at the time, and pointed out — once again — that government in Texas works in mysterious ways. But the story got a lot less funny this week when Dallas County commissioners refused to allow a wet-dry election in that area for much the same reason. The actual legal issue is apparently much more complicated, and I’m not sure I completely understand it, but it boils down to about the same thing.

In other words, residents won’t be able vote on whether they can buy a six-pack of beer at the Albertson’s in Casa Linda because there is confusion about a map drawn in 1875 — when Casa Linda didn’t exist and when hardly anyone lived there. Sounds like the kind of technicality only a lawyer could love.

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