Even after lots of coverage of of Winfrey Point, White Rock Lake, the Dallas Arboretum and all of the parking mayhem, we still have questions. What exactly are the plans, and who will ultimately make the call?
To find some answers, we decided to invite a guest for this month’s podcast who could give us a better picture. Our first request was Joan Walne, Dallas Park Board chairwoman and representative for our neighborhood. She declined our invitation. So we turned to Gerry Worrall, the Park Board representative for District 9, in which White Rock Lake Park and the arboretum are located. He, too, declined.
Because both Walne and Worrall are appointees — citizens who have been asked to serve on the Park Board by members of City Council — we decided to invite one of their elected superiors. Councilman Sheffie Kadane represents District 9, which includes the lake and most of its surrounding neighborhoods, and he agreed to talk with us.
Our 30-minute conversation with him revealed this: Kadane is very aware of the arboretum’s parking issues, and feels strongly that parking needs to be increased — outside White Rock Lake Park. He doesn’t want to see any parking or pavement inside the park, neither does he want to see the Little League baseball fields move (though he is advocating for improvements to them).
What was less clear is who will make the call going forward. When we asked if city council had any input or authority to overturn the Park Board’s decision to let the arboretum use Winfrey Point as temporary overflow parking, Kadane said no — that decision was entirely the Park Board’s. As to whether the Park Board has authority to pave portions of the park or take other action on parking plans without approval from the City Council, Kadane believed it would require council to make zoning changes, but wasn’t sure.
As we noted, Kadane opposes any more parking at the park itself. But the question remains whether that’s completely up to City Council, and if it is, whether Kadane’s fellow councilmembers share his views.
Listen to the podcast — which also touches on the Garland Road parking garage and other parking possibilities along Garland — by subscribing on iTunes, or listen to the podcast below.