The White Rock Boat House Was Approved Over Neighbors' Objections Today

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If you want a summary of neighbors' reasons for not allowing Dallas United Crew you can visit visit this website, which is advertised on a fair number of yard signs surrounding White Rock Lake. The boat house will destroy a beautiful, relatively pristine view of the lake, critics say. The team in question was, until recently, called Highland Park Crew. And, as the URL implies, they fear it will destroy home values.

Today, the City Council bought none of that. The DUC's plan to build the 9,000 square foot boat house easily won approval.

"It'll be an asset to our lake," said Councilman Sheffie Kadane, whose district includes the future sight of the boat house. "It'll be an asset to our city." That's not just because it will give rowers easy access to the water. It's also because of what DUC does for the community, through it's programs for underprivileged children, veterans, and "our crippled children."

Dwain Caraway explained it like this: White Rock Lake belongs to the community. Why, he remembers picnicking there with his father 50 years ago, buying worms on Garland Road to go fishing, feeding the ducks. It's sort of a shame that people don't picnic there so much anymore, Caraway continued, but times change and the city needs to recognize that and allow projects that best serve the community. Matter of fact, Caraway suggested, maybe there should be a skateboarding park.

Eventually, Caraway got back on topic. Neighbors are just going to have to suck it up and cope with a boat house obstructing their view, just like the people who live around Fair Park have to cope with the state fair and Cotton Bowl.

The vote was unanimous, with several council members taking pains to thank opponents for their engagement. That wasn't enough to pacify one woman, who began shouting in displeasure. Mayor Mike Rawlings promptly kicked her out before promising to hit the water with DUC at an unspecified date.


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34 comments
LDR4
LDR4

This thing will come under control of the Dallas Water Utilities because it floats. Also, these rowers have been evicted several times before from previous locations they rented.

Daniel
Daniel

It looks like a miniature branch library or a miniature YMCA. This is unacceptable. I wonder can they make a new design that glows in the dark or even one that is outlined in argon or neon. Or both. For the sake of the whole city. That means viewers like me, who will see it a couple dozen times per year and I'll think it's cool and it will make me wish I were stoned, I wonder can they make it play the signature riff from Smoke On the Water every day at 4:20 a.m., whoops, meant 4:20 p.m., ha ha, my bad, we'll reset the timer someday -- for the sake of the whole city, which means people like me, not just a posse of scolds who live next to it, practically on top of it, and spend much of their lives shouting in displeasure. Look, if Smoke On the Water proves politically unfeasible, we can make it the Highland Park High School fight song or what have you -- whatever makes the most people the happiest.

censormeallyouwant
censormeallyouwant

Another case of shrill liberal nimbyism crying doomsday and losing because most people turn off their ears as soon as someone like Jim Shutze takes up a crusade on something,

G_David
G_David

I'm really hoping that is just a possible "concept" and not any sort of final design.  A 1000+ acre park built primarily by CCC workers during the depression and featuring an Art Deco cultural center doesn't need this ugly-ass turd of generic plopped down right in the middle of it.  Isn't there some way to make it actually look it belongs there?

amuse2
amuse2

BTW - the boathouse is a huge asset to the lake.

bearcamp
bearcamp

It looks like a rest area on a flooded interstate.

rwells138
rwells138

Did he say skateboarding? That is progress!

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

Will this have valet skull parking?

drtz
drtz

Why oh why can't Dallas find some decent architects?  If they're going to build this thing at least try and make it not look so stupid.  I honestly can't believe the vote on this was unanimous.  City Hall disappoints once again.

BobLowlaw
BobLowlaw

I suppose there might be fair reasons for opposing the proposal, but the opposition didn't seem interested in any of them.  They insisted on getting worked up about insane, made-up stuff.  This is going to be City owned facility just like the neighborhood rec centers, pools, golf courses, and tennis centers.  If the people running it (and paying for it) screw up, the City will toss them out and get someone else.  They are putting it in, arguably, the ugliest part of the Park, in a swamp between two concrete bridges (if there is a house that can see that spot, the boathouse will improve the view).  It will be between an exit ramp and an entrance ramp, so it's hard to see how traffic will be much greater.  And it's for school age kids to harmlessly row boats around the lake. It was just a lesson in how a bunch of busy-bodies can work themselves-up for no good reason.

 

Maybe it shouldn't surprise me, but I'm gratified the City made the right decision.  I guess the City deals with loonies every day.

G_David
G_David

"It's sort of a shame that people don't picnic there so much anymore, Caraway continued..."

 

Seriously, Dwain, you need to get out more.  What's a shame is how long it takes the Parks Department to dump the trash cans after a weekend of picnickers. It's kind of disgusting actually.

engmofo
engmofo

Well hit me with a bat & call me Sally......someone actually wants a skatepark (other than every skater in Dallas)?????

WhiteRockLakeLover
WhiteRockLakeLover

I was at the meeting. The crazies were out in force spouting nonsense. Some old guy was worked up about the contract not requiring the rowers to all live in Dallas. The lady complaining about her view being ruined  lives on a street on the far side of Buckner, about 1/4 of a mile away from the lake (thanks Google Maps). There are a ton of trees between her house and the site (none of which will be cut down) - there's no way she will ever be able to see the boathouse. But my favorite crazy was the "bird lady" who had to be taken out. Pure theater.

anon
anon

If these people were losing the view from their home of the lake, I could see the objection. That act legitimately would hurt property values. But I'm not sure whose view is being obstructed, other than the park-going public. 

albert.finney000
albert.finney000

If they don't like it, they can just shut the hell up and move

tomhoop
tomhoop

Well with all the rucous you would have thought it was being built on West Lawther. 

BobLowlaw
BobLowlaw

 @LDR4 That is a lie.  Opposing the boathouse is one thing.  Lying is another.  

RowingRocks
RowingRocks

It's a complete LIE to state that this team or its rowers have ever been evicted from anywhere.

 

The team started at and rowed out of the basement of the Bathhouse Cultural Center for 6 years and left there in 2006 on such good terms that they were invited to keep and use a boat there last year (space being at capacity at the White Rock Boathouse).

 

The team moved to White Rock Boathouse when it was opened and stayed there 4 years; they were given over a year's notice that WRB was going to need the space and left on good terms. In fact the management and board of White Rock Boathouse are on record stating this and endorsing the DU Boathouse as well.

 

Also I fully expect that (as they have done for the past several years) when the White Rock Juniors, Dallas United Crew and Jesuit qualify crews for the Nationals that the teams will share a trailer for their boats to minimize all of the teams' costs. You don't do that with a group that you don't get along with.

 

How about you stop posting lies and go with the truth? The truth is you just don't want anybody else using "your" lake. Well guess what - it isn't your lake. It belongs to ALL of us. And plenty of us want to row!

 

 

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

 @bearcamp It does look decidedly mid 20th century utilitarian. Much like the elementary school I attended that was probably built sometime in the late 60's. 

Daniel
Daniel

 @BobLowlaw Wouldn't it be funny to install a 40-foot iridescent bong and at regular intervals it plays Black Sabbath's Paranoid and steam billows out the top and a lady starts shouting in displeasure but there's nothing she can do about it?

Mervis
Mervis

@BobLowlaw Shouldn't it be Bob Loblaw?

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

 @albert.finney000 really?  So people that have spent years living there should just uproot their families and lives because a council of 14 thought they know whats better for the neighborhood more so than they actual neighbors?  If i bought the house I did bc of the view of the lake and then the city decides some rowing team needs a shitty building right in my view, Id be pissed too

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

 @ScottsMerkin  Merk, let's not act as if Sneaky Pete's is opening up a White Rock outpost--it's a crew facility.

 

I also agree that it really does smell of more "but it's our lake, stay away" sentiment that is rather pervasive from the locals.

albert.finney000
albert.finney000

@ScottsMerkin - The other side won, your concerns are laughable now

WhiteRockLakeLover
WhiteRockLakeLover

 @ScottsMerkin  @albert.finney000The person complaining about her view doesn't have one to lose - she's on the other side of Buckner (Loop 12), at least a quarter of a mile away from the site, with hundreds of dense trees blocking it from her view in any case.

 

I agree with the speaker who called the opponents elitists. They just don't want anyone else using 'their' lake, even if they're not ever going to do more than look at it.

albert.finney000
albert.finney000

 @ScottsMerkin 

 

"...ridiculous premise that if you dont like something you should just shut up, take it or move."

 

It's a ridiculous premise, but  common to elections and domestic disputes, I've always wanted to use it.

 

About this meeting, did any of the women stand up and asy "I can see White Rock from my house!"?

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

 @albert.finney000  @ScottsMerkin my concern for the statement "Dont like it move" is laughable to you? you are ruining all the good points you make by standing behind this ridiculous premise that if you dont like something you should just shut up, take it or move.

BobLowlaw
BobLowlaw

 @WhiteRockLakeLover  @ScottsMerkin  @albert.finney000 Exactly right.  Opposing a project is one thing,--lying is another.  I don't believe there is any house that can see that highly-unattractive spot between the two concrete bridges.  The whole thing was just a depressing commentary on the state of American discourse.

albert.finney000
albert.finney000

@ScottsMerkin @WhiteRockLakeLover- I dunno, seems to me the people elected to make these decisions are representing a majority, as such they have mandate. Dissent against the rulers is to be condemned as the cries of cranks and traitors.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

 @WhiteRockLakeLover  @albert.finney000 I get that some of the arguments were embellished or patently false, and I am not defending the elitist, but telling someone to shut up and move is also not a fair response

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