The biggest stories in Dallas this week involved downtown Dallas, the Trinity River and bees, in equal doses. Oh, and Anthony Bourdain was in town. No big thing.
Here's what happened in the city this week:
The owners of the Wilson Building in downtown Dallas decided to sue developer Tim Headington over the height of the new location he's building for clothing boutique Forty Five Ten. This is the space next to The Eye sculpture, one that generated controversy (and a preservation task force) when some very old buildings previously there were razed. The suit by Forest City Enterprises says that the height of the building will block views for a row of eight units whose windows were above the previous building.
Forest City made a video with former reporter Sarah Dodd to plead their case. Headington's attorney William A. Brewer III says that his client tried to find a solution. Commenters on Facebook say that nobody is owed a view.
Here comes the flood
With the rising Trinity River nearly flooding Dallas this spring, city council member Philip Kingston is suggesting the city put the Trinity River development on hold and first do a study to examine the flood control plan. is As Jim Schutze notes, the Trinity River activity will increase the threat of flooding, with waters rising by at least 2 1/2 feet. We've been paving over areas that were once dirt with non-porous cement like crazy, leaving water with nowhere to drain, and no one has kept track of how much the landscape has changed.
"The region's current flood control strategy is a good quarter century out of date," Schutze says, "during which phenomenal growth and phenomenal amounts of real estate development have taken place in the watershed, often in ways that have defied projections of planners 25 years ago."
Planning for the future like this is very advanced, adult thinking, so it should have no trouble rolling right through the city council.
Give bees a chance
Bee advocates want Dallas to stop spraying for mosquitos. This is not the first time local environmentalists have petitioned Dallas to reconsider its approach; a Facebook group called Stop the Aerial Spray on Dallas County has been active for more than a year. Their concerns were health-related, for both humans and animals.
But the Texas Honeybee Guild points out the danger that spraying represents to bees, which pollinate our food. Guild co-founder Brandon Pollard says that he's seen a 60 percent loss in the population. The group is requesting Dallas County use larvicides, which kill mosquitoes before they hatch, but keep bees and other valuable insects alive.
A neighborhood off US 75 and south of Mockingbird Lane is about to be dramatically changed. The area just north of Glencoe Park, between Ellsworth and Winton, is currently filled with charming duplexes built in 1951. Those will be replaced by a high-density development from PSW Real Estate, called 5300 Glencoe Park.
Starting immediately, PSW will mow down 34 duplexes and replace them with 68 single-family homes. This is considered better than the alternative, which was an apartment complex proposed by Trammell Crow Residential. Instead, these will be 3-4 bedroom homes running from 2,000 to 3,000 square feet with prices starting in the $500,000s.
Colorful food adventurer Anthony Bourdain was in Dallas on July 10 at the Majestic Theater as part of his Close to the Bone tour. Following the show at the Majestic, VIP ticketholders could attend a reception at the Dallas Museum of Art (Bourdain's stop was part of the DMA's Arts & Letters Live series), featuring food from Cafe Momentum, a restaurant Bourdain himself selected. The Cafe Momentum crew made sure to get a selfie.