In South Dallas, Councilwoman Carolyn Davis Wants to Crack Down On Car Washes, Massage Parlors

carwashposter.jpg
Council member Carolyn Davis wants fewer of these.
Eleven years ago, the City Council set aside an enormous, 3,700-acre tract of land surrounding Fair Park and put in place detailed zoning restrictions stipulating what types of homes and businesses could go where. It was an attempt to promote positive development and fight the economic decay that has taken root there.

In the intervening years it became clear, to council member Carolyn Davis at least, that the ordinance left out several things. It wasn't hard enough, for example, on car washes, massage parlors and smoke shops. And it was too hard on community gardens, which were not provided for in the original measure.

Davis is now pushing for changes recommended by constituents at a pair of public meetings. The updated language would ban massage parlors, piercing studios and, in places at least, car washes. It would also require specific use permits (and City Council approval) for check cashing facilities, public and private schools and tobacco shops. Community gardens would be OK.

"I like wholesome business," Davis told the Morning News. That means banning businesses that are detrimental to surrounding neighborhoods, but also promoting mixed-use development. She has her eye on land at Grand Avenue and Lamar Street and at Hatcher Street and S.M. Wright Freeway as spots ripe for development.

The key, of course, is to find a developer who agrees. The neighborhood isn't what it is because of lax zoning but because of generations' worth of disinvestment and economic neglect. Tweaking zoning rules isn't going to reverse that. Then again, fewer payday lenders and more community gardens certainly can't hurt. The City Plan Commission will vote on the proposed changes on Thursday.

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27 comments
MattL11
MattL11

I can wrap my head around wanting to ban massage parlors and smoke shops. I don't necessarily agree with it, but it's something I can understand. I, however, do NOT get the whole car wash banning thing. Am I missing something? Is it a euphemism? Am I too old? Too white? 

roo_ster
roo_ster

Yes, by all means make it more difficult to do business in that part of town. Especially the car washes, because we all know that automotive cleanliness is Just Plain Wrong!

 

QUOTE:

"The neighborhood isn't what it is because of lax zoning but because of generations' worth of disinvestment and economic neglect."

 

"Disinvestment and economic neglect" is code language for, "the locals are exceedingly prone to violent and property crime and people with money to start businesses and two brain cells to rub together decamped to greener pastures."

 

There will not be much in the way of private development down there until the residents clean up their act.

 

 

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

There's a ban on sidewalk cycling downtown, but again, I almost got hit by a Jimmy John's delivery person turning the corner at Main and Fields this afternoon.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

This isn't an abstraction. It means the city will go in behind the police department and root legitimate businesses and seize property. What idiot would invest in that climate? 

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

So the demand for the businesses isn't the problem, it's the supply?

 

Cart before the horse. Plus why does Carolyn Davis get to dictate what's wholesome to her? Her wholesome little Christian book store is another person's brainwashing shop. Get the people there to not want those less desirable business and....whaddya know, they don't open!

 

 

graham57
graham57

"Wholesome business"? What sort of airy-fairy censoriousness is this? She sounds like she has been reading a synopsis of "The Waltons" or a church brochure. In this recession, any business is better than no business. This seems like yet another attempt by a censorious nitwit to impose her own personal preferences on a business generation area. 

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

If there was money to be made, there would be development there already.

All this is going to be is another city funded "loan" program for connected constituents.

Whatever happened to the car museum? Lot's of development funds went in, but nothing came out.

And what does she have against clean cars? And education?

Chuck_Schick
Chuck_Schick

How can the city promote business growth if it's so hostile to the existing businesses? Yes, there are issues in these neighborhoods, but is pushing out those who are open and (presumably) operating at a profit the answer?

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @MattL11 What's wrong with tobacco shops?  There are tobacco shops and head shops, there's really quite a difference.  I go to a spot in Garland to get my bulk tobacco, it's a respectable place and I'm sure sells no contraband.  The car washes down there are a big hangout, simply enforcing loitering laws would likely ameliorate much of that.

 

Allow me to recommend "Elaine's" Jamaican Restaurant, a family establishment for good food on the North side of MLK.  After eating, drive around the block to the North and up and down MLK.  I suspect you'll see the problem with the car washes there. 

rubbercow
rubbercow

@MattL11 you never scored some dope at a car wash? Apparently, that is what goes on there. I usually just washed my car...

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

 @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz You should know this by now, but walking the streets of downtown is an every man for himself proposition.  If you are not dodging bicycles, your are trying to avoid being ran over while legally in cross walk, or not get hit by a DART bus hopping the curb on a right turn

anon
anon

 @JimSX someone who buys off politicians?

DMZ3
DMZ3

 @Montemalone I think the car washes are being targeted as "bad neighbor" businesses. They tend to attract groups of young men who hang out at them in customized cars souped-up with (very loud) sound systems.

MattL11
MattL11

 @scottindallas Oh, I personally have nothing against tobacco shops. However, I can at least fathom a reason why some might see them as unsavory, what with it being associated with various vices. I really didn't know people hung out at car washes. Interesting.

 

'll have to check out that "Elaine's" though. Sounds quality. 

MattL11
MattL11

 @rubbercow  Can't say I ever scored any stuff at a car wash. I did, however, in considering this question, look up the words to Rose Royce's "Car Wash." It was not all that helpful. 

roo_ster
roo_ster

 @scottindallas Got my pickup washed a couple times back when I helped out a mission church off Grand.  I am not arguing they are wonderful and without issue.  Any place in that neighborhood where numbers of folks congregate is prone to issues.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @DMZ3  @Montemalone They're not revving their engines, they're gathered in huge groups, loitering.  Go down there, there's some great restaurants down there and a lot of neighborhood color. 

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

 @DMZ3 Then ban the sub-woofers. They should be banned anyway, the whole city suffers when those morons drive around vibrating windows on buildings.

And ban the goddam leaf blowers. Every day I see the immigrants out in the street blowing trash down the storm drains or into the yard across the street. Then the next day, they blow it back. I've even seen them blowing one or two leaves instead of just picking up a broom. They pollute the air and the ear. Ban them today. The first politician that has the balls to do it should be named emperor for life.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @MattL11 It's good, you won't see many white people there, which I like when eating ethnic.  the Parking is fenced in, and theres' lot's of scenery.  It's about 6-8 blocks West of Fair Park. 

rubbercow
rubbercow

@MattL11 well, at least you learned something :)(

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @Montemalone  @rubbercow  @DMZ3 there are laws against those, set at specific decibel levels.  Much like existing loitering laws, the police need to enforce the laws, rather than engaging in prior restraint. 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

 @Montemalone  @rubbercow  @DMZ3 I know the idiots you are talking about, i was one of them in high school, could shake my house from 3 blocks away, but the parents always knew when I was home.  now I enjoy the subs for quality music listeing experience, not as a bass machine

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

 @rubbercow  @Montemalone  @DMZ3 I'm deadly serious. I wish I had a bazooka every time some asshat cruises down the street vibrating everything in sight with that ridiculous noise. You can't even hear the music, just the shaking.

If ever there was a reason to seize vehicles and send them to the crusher, that's it. Public nuisance.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

 @Montemalone  @DMZ3 ban subwoofers?  then how am i supposed to enjoy the full range of musical notes from the music I hear on KXT, that just wouldnt be right

rubbercow
rubbercow

@Montemalone @DMZ3 monte - if you were being serious about subwoofers I would quit my Jo and dedicate 100% of my time to having laws made against them. Ou can joke about it, but I promise you would not feel like it was funny when you are subject to non-stop sonic assault day and night.

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