While not necessarily a neighborhood land issue, the future of the Trinity River is something that will affect people throughout the region.

If even a portion of the plans for the Trinity being discussed came to fruition in the next couple of decades, the river can go from being thought of as little more than an oversized drainage ditch to a great recreational and science asset for the entire City, just as White Rock Lake is now.

Mayor Ron Kirk and the Dallas Plan (the City’s long-term capital improvement strategy) have made improving the Trinity a top priority, and the Council was to have discussed moving forward with the proposed Trinity River State Park last month.

Remember, however, that “improving” the Trinity has been talked about since not long after John Neely Bryan built his cabin next to its banks. Every time since then Dallas has worked up a “plan,” such as the 1910 Kessler Plan, concern about what to do with the Trinity has emerged. If we can get serious about it, the quality of life and attractiveness of our entire City, including our neighborhoods, will improve.

East Dallas residents Annie and Bud Melton, along with a number of others, are helping spearhead a Friends of the Trinity River support and advocacy group growing out of the 400-member Trinity River Corridor Citizens Committee to help the vision become a reality.
If you want to help, write Friends of the Trinity River, P.O. Box 540153, Dallas 75354-0153.

‘Adult Cabaret’ Ordinance Progress

Watch this space for future news about the City’s newly proposed “adult cabaret” ordinance. The new law is designed to close some fairly big loopholes in the City’s existing “sexually oriented business” law.

The new ordinance being considered by the Plan Commission and the Council is patterned after ordinances in Houston and other cities that have passed legal muster. In theory, the new ordinance would encourage “adult cabarets” to move farther from homes, schools and churches.

However, bear in mind that the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized these businesses’ right to exist as a matter of First Amendment free expression, and cities must make available at least a small percentage of their land area where zoning would permit them to locate.

One potentially controversial issue is – if and when the new law passes and some “adult cabarets” must relocate to another part of the City – will they be coming soon to a neighborhood near you? While you’re discussing the law, remember the “law of unintended consequences.”

City Work Program Update

The City’s Planning Department is getting its “work program” ready for Council approval for fiscal year 1997-98. Included in the work program are long-range planning projects such as land-use studies (to determine the best uses for a particular area) and urban design studies (to study possible street improvements and design guidelines for an area).

If you have ideas or questions about possible land-use studies or urban development studies for your area, contact your Council member’s office immediately.

Phoenix Update

The Phoenix Properties multi-family project at Willis, Richard and Henderson is proceeding, with most of the old structure already “scraped.”

Site work should begin soon, but the earlier-discussed street closures appear to have been dropped from the plan.

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