City News Roundup

Council member Scott Griggs runs for mayor and more Dallas city news

Council member Scott Griggs runs for mayor and more Dallas city news

Dallas City Council member Scott Griggs
A younger Scott Griggs at Dallas City Hall. Scott Griggs/Facebook

A crowded slate of candidates for mayor keeps growing, and some are declaring a run for a city council seat. Plus, two hot zoning changes were considered in Dallas’ most popular neighborhoods.

This is what happened in Dallas this week:

Mayor’s race
Two more candidates announced their bids to run for Dallas mayor, and they're both heavy hitters.

District 1 Council member Scott Griggs announced his candidacy January 10, saying Dallas “needs a new kind of mayor.” He was introduced by Omar Narvaez, Adam Medrano, Phillip Kingston, and Angela Hunt. Griggs wants to focus on basic city services and infrastructure, and less on “vanity projects,” he says. He prioritizes police and fire pay, affordable housing, and an updated transportation plan.

Dallas ISD school board member Miguel Solis recently announced he will leave DISD to pursue the mayor’s seat. Solis is the youngest person ever to be elected to the school board and has been noted as an education reformer. He says he will bring a fresh approach to solving problems around the city, including housing, transportation, inequality, and food deserts.

Other candidates who have announced a run for mayor are:

  • Albert Black Jr., the first black chairman of the Dallas Regional Chamber
  • Larry Casto, former Dallas city attorney 
  • Regina Montoya, lawyer and former Clinton aide
  • Mike Ablon, developer known for reinventing the Design District
  • Lynn McBee, philanthropist and CEO of Young Women’s Preparatory Network

Political yard signs have begun popping up, indicating city council candidates expected to file. Those include Phillip Kingston, District 14, and Corwyn Davis, District 4.

Candidate filing begins on January 16 and ends February 15. Elections are scheduled for May and a runoff in June.

Oak Lawn complex
Lincoln Properties is going back to the City Plan Commission for the umpteenth time after the city council rejected a development zoning request this week.

Lincoln Properties ultimately failed in their bid to rezone parts of Oak Lawn along the Katy Trail to build a mid-rise apartment project. Motion after motion failed to get the two-thirds majority needed to overturn a City Plan Commission recommendations. CPC and plenty of affected neighbors rejected Lincoln’s plan.

Debate turned fiery at moments. During the proceedings, Phillip Kingston was in snarky form, at one point answering fellow council member Lee Kleinman from District 11 with, “You’re a liar, dude.”

Lincoln’s last-ditch effort to sweeten the deal included increasing affordable units from 5 to 15 percent, or from 15 to 45 units, burying power lines, and widening sidewalks further.

The council eventually reconsidered and approved Kingston’s original motion to deny without prejudice, which allows Lincoln to return. (Hint: they’ll probably be back.)

Garage apartments
Garage apartments are coming to Lower Greenville after the Dallas City Council approved for the first time a zoning overlay established last year. Residents say the approval allows them to add a mix of affordable housing units and a new income source to a neighborhood with increasing rents and home values.

Accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, may now be constructed along portions of Belmont Avenue, and neighbors already are planning to add home offices, garage apartments, and pool houses.

The overlay is in the Belmont Addition Conservation District and runs along Belmont Avenue from Greenville to Skillman avenues. The area includes both sides of Belmont, except the south side from Greenville to Matilda Street. That stretch already has three or four homes or townhomes on each parcel.