City Attorney's Filings Defend Lower Greenville Ordinance Requiring Late-Hours Permits

This year began with the Dallas City Council passing that ordinance that requires all Lower Greenville businesses to get specific use permits if they want to keep their doors open past midnight. This year ends with the city entangled in two lawsuits over that ordinance: the one brought by Yucatan and Service Bar, which were denied their permits by the City Plan Commission and the council; and the one brought by Madison Partners, which ditched its plans for a bowling alley next to Good Records when the council denied the proposed business a late-hours SUP.

On Wednesday the City Attorney's Office filed responses to both suits, denying any wrong-doing and inviting the plaintiffs to tell their tales to a jury. And, as you'll see on the other side, in the Yucatan-Service Bar litigation the city has filed a plea to the jurisdiction, claiming, for starters, that it has sovereign immunity. The city's 24-page response also takes issue with, among other things, the bars' contention that the ordinance is "arbitrary because it is spot zoning." Says the city:
The term "spot zoning" is not a word of art, rather it is descriptive of the process of singling out a small parcel of land for use classification different and inconsistent with that of the surrounding area, for the benefit of the owner of such property and to the detriment of the rights of other property owners. The application of the Ordinance to the retail area does not fit the description of spot zoning because it does not change the underlying zoning for the area. Furthermore, as described above the SUP requirement bears a reasonable relation to the general welfare -- cutting crime. The zoning ordinance bears a reasonable relation to the general welfare, and the City could make the amendment without showing a change in conditions.
As always, the legal docs follow -- some 348 pages once you add in the exhibits, which include city docs, letters in support of the SUP and many printed-out pages of Unfair Park. So flattered. City Response to Yucatan and Service Bar Suit

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