On Tuesday afternoon, the White Rock Task Force (WRTF) approved a temporary solution to Dallas United Crew’s (DUC) struggle to have a boathouse.
DUC has been storing their boats in exposed trailers on the west side of the lake near Big Thicket, at the former location of the Snipe Club, but their unprotected boats and trailers have been vandalized and stolen. The rowing club hopes to build an 18-foot high structure that is 84 feet by 50 feet and surrounded by a 6-foot rod iron fence to store their boats and gear in this location. The structure would be metal-framed, canvas-walled and would be just large enough to house the crew’s boats.
In 2012, DUC began raising money for a two story boathouse and private event facility that had been approved by the Park Board, but the contract lapsed after DUC failed to raise the money they needed to get it built. The next iteration was a smaller boathouse that sat above the water, which was approved by the task force, but City Councilman Mark Clayton pumped the breaks on that plan a few months ago to make sure other options were explored.
At Tuesday’s WRTF meeting, members discussed the merits and faults of land versus water based structures. Michael Jung, a task force member and district 9 plan commissioner, cautioned against a permanent land structure, which could lead to restaurants and vendors seeking permission to build on the lake. He says that a water-based structure in that location is the best option because of the old Snipe Club, meaning the area had previously been developed for boating. It would give the impression that new construction would not be welcome on the lake.
The task force was clear in saying that this structure should be temporary, and hoped the contract would not exceed five years while a water-based boathouse solution can be reached. This issue will go to the Park Board and City Council over the next couple months.
The White Rock Task Force does not have any legal jurisdiction over the lake, but is a gathering of nonprofit, foundation and neighborhood leaders in the area that have gained the trust and the ear of local legislators who make the policies around the lake. They work to “preserve, protect and enhance the lake,” according to their Facebook site.