In the June issue of D Magazine, Eric Celeste writes about the not-in-my-backyard attitude many East Dallas residents have about development around White Rock Lake. In discussing the debate over a proposed restaurant on Boy Scout Hill:
Given the area’s liberalism and strong sense of place, it’s understandable that lake-area residents protect White Rock as if it’s theirs and theirs alone. In 1986, it was the Arboretum that wanted to build a restaurant on the lake. Rejected! In 2005, a 25-story high-rise was proposed. Denied! The next year, developers floated the idea of turning a well-known building at the lake’s northeast corner, Big Thicket, into a restaurant. Not in my house! A parking lot at Winfrey Point (swatted into the stands) and even a floating boathouse for a rowing team (okay, but we’re not happy about it!) were dismissed for being environmentally insensitive plans of callous developers who didn’t understand the specialness of the lake.
The problem: with the Boy Scout Hill restaurant, that wasn’t the case. Burgin and Kopf were sincere and worked hard to address residents’ fears.
Their proposal was withdrawn, but it’s certain not to be the last such debate. Are the people who live in that part of town standing in the way of potentially great new places around the lake? Or are they valiantly protecting a Dallas treasure?