Texas News
11:46 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Agreement Temporarily Allows Parking On White Rock Fields

Update: 4 p.m.: 

Dallas officials have announced they will not allow the fields to be mowed this weekend or designate the area for extra Arboretum parking -- even though it's now technically in the city's power to do so. Frank Librio, City of Dallas public information officer, sent the following statement:

The City is pleased that the temporary restraining order is dissolved and that it can proceed forward to provide additional parking at Winfrey Point for the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Society and other users of White Rock Lake. Although the City can now mow the grass and provide additional parking at Winfrey Point, the City will not do so this weekend.  

 The only thing the City agreed to today in court is not to construct a permanent parking structure at Winfrey Point for the time being.  But the City has no plans to build such a structure there for the foreseeable future. Instead, the City and the Arboretum have been considering building a parking structure on Garland Road for several years. And contrary to what has been said by some, the City also has no plans to move or eliminate any baseball fields at the lake.  

White Rock Lake is one of the City’s treasures. So many people love to go to the lake that there has been a parking shortage there for years.  That has resulted in many people parking in the nearby neighborhoods and businesses.  The plan to allow parking on some of the grass near Winfrey Point is a temporary measure until permanent solutions to the parking problem can be developed and implemented.  The City and its Park Board will continue to work with the Arboretum, the people who live and work near the lake, and the many users of the lake to develop and implement solutions to the parking shortage.

Update: 12:25 p.m.:

A court-approved agreement between the city of Dallas, the Dallas Arboretum and citizens opposed to new parking at White Rock lake will allow the Arboretum to temporarily park cars on fields with native grasses.

Under the current order the fields can be mowed but cannot be paved and the courts will hear further arguments before deciding on long term plans for the property.

Earlier today:

Attorneys representing residents near White Rock Lake say they have reached an agreement in substance with the City of Dallas and the Arboretum over Arboretum parking on White Rock fields with native prairie grasses.

At 11:00 am Judge Craig Smith asked lawyers from all sides to nail down details in their agreement.

The city and the Arboretum want to use White Rock fields for overflow parking.  Citizens have filed a lawsuit to prevent short term parking this weekend when the Arboretum opens the Dale Chihuly glass exhibition,  and long term plans they uncovered to build permanent lots and a garage on public property at White Rock.

Residents opposed to the parking say it will ruin the native plants.  A group has gathered at the fields to protest if the court allows  mowing of the fields for parking.

Shelley Kofler