Is Dallas Enforcing its Watering Restrictions? Just Ask the House of Blues and Ursuline

Categories: City Hall, Weather

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This man is not happy with you, Ursuline Academy.
Last December, with Texas in the midst of one of the worst droughts on record and with lake levels dropping to worrying lows, the city of Dallas implemented Stage 1 water restrictions, meaning residents and businesses could only drench their grass twice per week. Even as North Texas was emerging from the worst of the drought, the City Council made the measure a permanent thing back in April.

When I moved to Dallas back in May, however, it took me one walk around my parents' North Dallas neighborhood to realize that not everyone was heeding the new law. I saw odd-numbered houses watering on Sundays and even-numbered houses watering on Saturdays. Others watered on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays, when no watering was allowed. The problem wasn't exactly rampant, but common enough to notice. And who knows what secretive lawn care was taking place in the wee hours of the morning?

It made me wonder what, if anything, the city was doing to enforce the new restrictions. I never witnessed any code compliance officers, jackbooted or otherwise, writing up any of my parents' neighbors. So I called code compliance to see. If I wanted hard numbers, I was told, I would need to submit an open-records request, which I did. Then I waited. And waited some more. And checked back with the open-records department and waited some more. I checked back with the city again earlier this week and finally, late Tuesday afternoon, they provided the three-page list that evidently took three months of painstaking labor to compile.

I've attached it below and I have a call into the code department just to get an idea of their approach. Are they exclusively responding to complaints? Or are they pounding the pavement looking for people to ticket?

While I wait to hear back, I'll engage in some speculation. Judging from the relatively low number of citations, I'm guessing this is a complaint-driven process. The numbers were particularly high in December, January and February, a function, I'm assuming, of the rule being relatively fresh on people's minds. As time passed and the drought eased, people weren't as incensed by their neighbors' over-irrigation. I'd be interested to see what's happened to the numbers in June and July, but that's not worth waiting two months for.

Instead, since we're in a public-shaming type of mood, let's call out the most egregious offenders. Like the country club-esque campus of Ursuline Academy (4900 Walnut Hill Lane), which was cited on January 6. The House of Blues (2200 North Lamar St.), from back in December and, on December 29, the city dinged the $15 million Baron House in Preston Hollow. Seriously, guys. How much water do you need in December?

WaterRetrictionsViolator.PDF

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15 comments
TURK182
TURK182

Eric you must be new, because a lot of your articles start out in a disbelief that the City is going to do something upright and good.  This city is taking and taking at every corner and at every dept. it can squeeze from.  Wake up newbie 

Gat2keeponmovin
Gat2keeponmovin

What gives you the idea that some guy in a water department truck has an authority to issue a citation? Or that he knows laws?  Or that he has any more interest than you do in knocking on someone's door and telling them to turn off their sprinkler? You seem like a little pansy running to tattle to the teacher.

Xanadu
Xanadu

Vicious?  Good one.

Gat2keeponmovin
Gat2keeponmovin

I don't get it-- did you really expect the guy driving the water department truck to go lecture the owner or something? Why didn't you do it yourself you little brownshirt.

Gat2keeponmovin
Gat2keeponmovin

And his contribution would only be marginally less topical if he were..

RTGolden
RTGolden

You do realize, he could 'move away', and still contribute to DO, right?

Russp
Russp

I've always been curious as to who is in charge of the sprinklers that over water the medians along Pearl Street and Harry Hines. I ride home from work on many nights having to go through pretty deep puddles that run from one curb to the other and in other spots watching water just pour down the gutters. Is this city, county, state?

214 Cocksucker Lane
214 Cocksucker Lane

You moved here "back in May." Where the hell is your strip joint and Baptist church story? Go up to HP (that's Highland Park, Eric. My Dad calls it Trailer Park) and knock on doors and find out why some asshole tried to kill his wife and ended up dead of suicide instead. That's a story. Try twenty years in this fucker! The paucity of data should tell you this is no story. For the love of god, go see whose lawn JWP is pissing on in Sunny South Dallas instead of worrying about our sensitive lawns during the heat of summer or otherwise.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

In contrast with most other jurisdictions, WCID6 doesn't have its water rates posted online anywhere that I could find--- post a link, if you have one. I do note, however, that Balch Springs doesn't have any watering restrictions, even though it buys water (via WCID6) from the City of Dallas-  which is the primary matter dealt with in this thread.

Gat2keeponmovin
Gat2keeponmovin

Uhm... do you need a little lesson on the definition of private? Because this is clearly very public.

RTGolden
RTGolden

A gallon per sq foot allotment on my lot would be wasteful.  My lot is just under 1/2 acre, or right around 20,000 sq ft.  I water the trees around the house, am currently in the process of xeriscaping the front and back yards and the rest of the lot is basically field and trees that I let run fairly rampant.  I keep the field mowed at about the 6'' height and only mow about 1 per month out there.  My monthly household usage of water is under 2000gallons.

RTGolden
RTGolden

yet another reason to ban HOA's outright.

RTGolden
RTGolden

And yet, in little ol' Balch Springs (WCID6), we'd pay $144.97 for that same 25,000gal of residential water usage, plus the attendant sewage fees.  We don't have the luxury of tollroads to zip quickly from house to downtown.  Our property taxes (for part of city anyway) still go to support DISD schools and we're still subjugated to the same south dallas shenanigans at the county level as the grove, south dallas and oak cliff. I'm pretty sure the other WCID6 cities pay the same rates as we do, so you might want to paint with a finer brush when talking about the 'stress from the suburbs'.  Or are you one of the usual crew of downtown jackasses who thinks only trees and alligators live in the southern sector?

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