I’m going to put on my media-critic hat for a brief moment and take issue with a story that WFAA ran Friday about the two-story parking garage at Preston Center. The city wants to possibly, maybe, perhaps sell or redevelop the 50+-year-old structure, but surrounding property owners are none too happy at the prospect of possibly, maybe, perhaps having the parking they rely on disappear. The story breaks the news that the city is locked in a lawsuit with 74 defendants to redevelop the property. Sure, a pretty good job is done of explaining why the city would want to sell the land (though it’s pretty obvious that a piece of land that size in the middle of one of the city’s premiere retail developments could rake in a pretty penny) and gives a good breakdown of how much cash the city could reap in a sale, but the story does not touch recent developments between the city and property owners or even basic facts pertinent to the dispute.
I bellyache because a story I wrote for the July 16 edition of Preston Hollow and Park Cities People covers the above bases. A sampling:
-There is nothing new about this story. The legal battle is four years old and counting. This could at least have been mentioned so you’d know this isn’t exactly a recent development.
-The land on which the parking garage sits, under the shopping center’s specific use permit, cannot legally be used for any use other than parking or traffic. The city (or, I suppose, the developer who buys it) would have to amend the SUP in a lengthy process involving the City Plan Commission and City Council.
-There have been much more recent developments in the case. After Teresa Bennett, a handicapped Dallas woman, sued the city for failing to provide adequate handicapped-accessible parking in June, the city filed its own suit against the Preston Center West Corporation, a nonprofit coalition of businesses licensed to run the garage, claiming it was the corporation’s responsibility to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Of course, all this is just sour grapes at WFAA for stealing my thunder. Ah, well. I’ll find something else to complain about.