City News Roundup
This roundup of Dallas news includes a controversial apartment complex near White Rock Lake, a meddling mayor, and a start date on early voting for the upcoming election on May 1.
Here's what's happening in Dallas:
There's a general election on May 1, with cities across North Texas voting for various mayoral and city council seats, including all 14 seats on Dallas City Council. A sample ballot shows all the seats and candidates.
Early voting starts on April 19 and extends through April 27, as you can see on this calendar. Go vote!
An apartment complex in the works near Dallas' White Rock Lake is generating neighborhood controversy.
The complex is called The Trailhead, and it would be built on a 3.88-acre site that was previously home to two former restaurants, The Lot and Local Traveler, both now closed. The property is near the White Rock Creek Greenbelt and right by the Santa Fe Trail.
It would be a seven-story building with 305 two-bedroom apartments plus space on street level for restaurants and retail.
That on its own is controversial because the space is currently zoned for four stories. But it's also at the contentious intersection of Gaston Avenue, Garland Road, and Grand Avenue, which sees lots of traffic and has an odd design that results in congestion — sufficient to capture the attention of the Texas Department of Transportation, which is involved in a redesign.
Friends of the Santa Fe Trail have endorsed the project, but a group of neighbors oppose it. To try and quell their fears, Mill Creek Residential, the developer, raised a boom on April 18 to show how high seven stories would look.
The proposal will be considered by the city planning commission on April 22. If they approve, it gets sent to the city council.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson is inserting himself into the City Council election process, campaigning against council members that don't agree with him.
He's tweeted against incumbents Jaime Resendez, Adam Bazaldua, and Paula Blackmon, all three of whom share Latino heritage.
Resendez called Johnson "the most divisive and dishonest figure in city politics in a generation" and said that Johnson's tenure as mayor has been marked by dysfunction.
National League of United Latino American Citizen (LULAC) President Domingo Garcia told NBC that "it is very unusual and highly irregular for a Mayor to be involved in council races against sitting council members, incumbents, especially against Latino incumbents."
"For the Mayor to get involved in those races and get his money people involved, it’s divisive, counter-productive, and I think the Latino community will take notice when he comes up for election," Garcia said.
Bye Belo Mansion
The Dallas Bar Association's board of directors voted to change the name of the Belo Mansion, where the group maintains its headquarters. This follows the lead set by A. H. Belo Corporation, which decided to change its name because its founder, Alfred Horatio Belo, was a Confederate Colonel in the Civil War.
The new name of the Mansion has yet to be determined, but the process has begun.
All that's left now is Belo Garden Park, a park located near the old newspaper building downtown.
Airbnb for cars
Getaround is a new car sharing platform that has entered the Dallas market. The company describes itself as like Airbnb, but for cars. Local car owners can now use the contactless Getaround app to list their cars and make quick cash, sharing them with area drivers by the hour or the day while never having to meet to exchange keys. Rates are said to be more affordable than rental car rates, which have climbed due to a shortage.
Getaround COO Dan Kim, formerly of Airbnb and Tesla, says in a statement that the new remote working reality has made cars a source of income for some and a transportation solution for others. Getaround has launched in 26 new cities in the last three months and is in 800+ cities around the world.