Dallas Will Try Again to Sell Elgin B. Robertson Park, Two Years After Voters Said No

Categories: Park and Rec

In November 2010, Dallas voters firmly rejected the city's plan to offload Elgin B. Robertson Park. The idea of selling the park, which occupies 257 acres on the shore of Lake Ray Hubbard, had been but on the ballot partly as a way to boost the Parks Department's capital budget and partly because the city has little use for it.

"It's 10 miles outside the outside the limits of the city," Mike Hellman, the city's manager of park planning and acquisition, told Unfair Park this morning. "Even though it's technically inside the city because of the lake, it's surrounded by the suburbs and is primarily used by the suburbs. So, you have Dallas residents paying for a park that's not really being used by them."

But none of that was really communicated to voters, whose natural reaction is to oppose the sale of the city's parkland. "They didn't know what we were doing, so they voted no," Hellman says.

The city still wants to sell the land (along with the 76-acre Joey Gorgusis Park in Oak Cliff) and so, lesson duly learned, it is considering putting the measure on the ballot in May. Hellman is briefing the Park Board on the matter on Thursday, when members will decide if they want to move forward with as referendum and what type of educational campaign is needed.

And Hellman thinks the city still has a possible buyer in the city of Rowlett.

"I haven't talked to them lately, but I'm sure they are [interested]." The bigger question, he says, is whether they'll be able to raise enough cash to acquire it.

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Do they want to sell it to someone who'll make money off of fracking it?

RTGolden1 topcommenter

If their justification for selling the Park on the Hubbard is that it is outside the city, and only suburbanites use it (patently false, I used it all the time when I lived in Dallas, still use it as a suburbanite), then why lump the Oak Cliff park into the same category?  Is that park not inside Dallas city limits?  Or is this just a way for them to get rid of parks enjoyed by people they don't give a shit about, so they can afford more of the pocket parks in the CBD?


Many moons ago there used to be a disc golf course at Elgin and it was not a bad lay out at all. The city or whoever was responsible for maintenance never mowed the grass. So that made the course pretty much unplayable due to the pin high grass not mention the snakes that loomed.


Considering our city's track record, I would not trust them either.   If they sold those parks, where does the money go?   Is it for a tollroad down the Trinity River?   A park next to gas fracking?   A golf course where no one in the neighborhood can use it?  Or another string bridge that is not needed?  The possibilites are endless.


Thankfully, despite their attempts, the law continues to say they can't sell any of the land W.W Samuell deeded to the city.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

Those pesky Dallas citizens .... since when to they think that they have a say in how the city of Dallas is run?

I wonder how nice it would be if the Bob-O-Link golf course had been retained as parkland instead of being sold off to developers in the 60's?

ScottsMerkin topcommenter

funny, they think the voters dont know what they are doing while the voters think city hall doesnt know what its doing.  


@s.aten You said it about trusting the city of Dallas.  The sale of these parks would not be back on the agenda if there were not private interests with a hidden agenda.  Some developer, builder etc wants these properties and some politician has his hand in the pocket of same to get these parks sold. Same old Dallas. Same old corruption. 


@s.aten Possibly... or, judging from a read to today's DMN-- more money for Perot.  'Cause it's like IMPOSSIBLE to sell land for apartments between Uptown and the Design District unless the City hands over buckets of money for subsidies.

One thing is for certain-- it won't be used in a manner that will improve the quality of life of City residents.


@ScottsMerkinThe voters should understand that city hall knows all to well what it is doing - lining their crony's pockets at the voter's expense

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