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Local Issues: MP Testifies Against Late Hours Overlay

After the Zoning Ordinance Advisory Committee (ZOAC) voted not to recommend the Uptown late hours overlay back in May, it looked like the controversial proposal was dead in the water. Not so, it turns out! The City Plan Commission (CPC) chose to revive and discuss the measure, rather than passing it on. Despite the fact that opponents of the proposal have outnumbered supporters by vast margins at every forum for public comment, city leaders appear hesitant to kill the item.

(Confused as to what, exactly, is contained in the proposal, and why it’s problematic? See our earlier explanation here.)

Last week, the CPC decided to conduct yet another workshop on the late hours overlay, as they slowly move toward their eventual vote on the issue. It was more of the same scene that’s played out at every meeting about the proposal – a handful of disgruntled neighbors against an army of restaurant owners, developers, and other industry professionals.

MP President Karl Crawley testifying before the CPC.

Masterplan and its sister company, LaBarba Permit Service, have been heavily involved in the opposition effort. We’ve heard over and over from our clients on both the real estate development and hospitality industry sides that this proposed overlay would be devastating for their business interests.

At the most recent meeting, Masterplan President Karl Crawley testified. He stated that the Dream Hotel (on McKinney Ave.) made a $40 million investment, which they would likely not have done if the overlay was in effect. Crawley also noted that many future development decisions could be influenced by the CPC’s continued pursuit of the overlay. The crux of the problem is that the late hours overlay would have a profound effect on the economic and social constructs of the city, rather than simply serving as a (likely ineffective) measure to stop young adults from getting drunk and rowdy in Uptown.

There will likely be one more briefing on the issue in September, followed by a vote. We’ll be following the proposal closely, so keep your eyes on this space for more updates!

SOURCE: Dallas Observer.

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