Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Yes, West Dallas Too!

While there are those of us who are concentrating efforts on redevelopment concepts for low income areas that don't include incompatible usages - like scrap metal recycling plants and heavy industrial businesses - it's becoming apparent that the message is falling on deaf political ears.

Dallas city councilman Steve Salazaar is evidently trying to make room for a salvage yard in a redeveloping area of West Dallas. Get this: while still trying to get single family homes, decent multi-family units and economic development in South Dallas, West Dallas has been the beneficiary of significant redevelopment. While not complete, significant sections of this area are seeing new housing, businesses, even an extension of a downtown community college - add to this a salvage yard?!

According to Dallas Morning News editorial writer Jim Mitchell, "Lots of groups have put forth lots of time and effort to change the physical look and perception of West Dallas. The Trinity River project is at the top of that effort. So why in the world would the city and West Dallas councilman Steve Salazar even entertain adding a 12.7-acre salvage yard to West Dallas?"

"From the conversations I've had, it seems that this has flown under the radar because many of those who had opposed it were under the impression that this was no longer on the table even though the City Plan Commission recommended approval back in May. It's particularly perplexing that councilman Salazar hasn't been a vocal opponent of the salvage yard, which seems contrary to everything the city, residents and neighbors would want for West Dallas. I mean, you've got to be absolutely naive to think that once in, this would be an easy business to dislodge. We've seen the difficulty of removing entrenched industrial properties along Lamar so why would anyone want to dump another problem onto West Dallas?"

How do you get the message across - just because people are poor it doesn't mean that you should disregard their families or their communities.

Why is that so hard to understand?

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