On September 28, 2017, Dallas' City Plan Commission rejected the proposed late-hours overlay thanks to:
• your endorsement of Stop the Curfew/Save the Patio
• your emails to Plan Commissioners,
• some great speakers on our behalf, and
• about 300 people who showed up at Dallas City Hall.
Two commissioners voted for the overlay. Four commissioners were absent. Nine rejected the overlay.
We didn't even come up as an item until after 5:00 p.m. By that point, our ranks had dwindled to about 150 and supporters' ranks dropped to two.
One supporter of the overlay spoke at the microphone.
Our speakers represented the gamut of stakeholders:
• Dallas Cothrum
• Lauren Santagati
• Nael Rodriguez
• Ed Oakley
• Arthur Hollingsworth
• Matthew Mabel
• Gabby Matsotso
• James Jay McDowell
• Ken Benson
• Wes Hoblit
Rather than wait a moment longer for city officials to take us up on our year-long offer, today the Greater Dallas Restaurant Association announced it will forge and convene an alternative, grassroots solution to:
1) establish a safe, vibrant and positive nighttime culture for both business and residents in Uptown,
2) strengthen Dallas' 24-hour economy,
3) bring together plan commissioners, council members, and key city department heads,
4) reflect all stakeholders: homeowners and renters, property and business owners, employees, related associations, and more.
Will supporters of the overlay concept be deterred? Probably not. Regardless, look to hear more soon about what we will call the Uptown Congress.
Finally, please, if you asked for a plan commissioner's support, please also thank them.
On May 18, 2017, ZOAC unanimously rejected the late-hours overlay. ZOAC (Zoning Ordinance Advisory Committee) is a committee of indviduals appointed by Dallas City Councilmembers. ZOAC is the first official body to review the city's proposed ordinance. However, Dallas city staff took the proposal up to the City Plan Commission in spite of ZOAC's decision. The Plan Commission is a 15-person body that makes final zoning recommendations to Dallas City Council.
On July 13, 2017, the City Plan Commission held a workshop meeting on the late-hours overlay. 30 opponents from Stop the Curfew were in the room but were not permitted to speak. We walked away from that meeting concerned that staff was presenting a narrative that would bias plan commissioners.
On August 10, 2017, the Plan Commission held a second workshop meeting on the late-hours overlay. Originally, city staff stated that the public would not be able to speak again. After registering our concerns, the chair of the Plan Commission notified Stop the Curfew that public comments would be accepted. Sixty or so people were in council chambers. Our speakers were outstanding. We streamed the meeting on Facebook When it came to stand up in opposition of the overlay, all but a handful stood up. When it came time to stand up for the overlay, one person reluctantly rose to his feet.
Our takeaways were:
1. The meeting gave the commissioners a better sense of the negative impact this overlay would have, and
2. There are other tools in the city's toolkit that can be deployed to address neighbors' concerns.
In the days following, Dallas Observer ran this story: "City Inches Toward a Vote on the Late-Hours Overlay, AKA 'Midnight Curfew' for Bars, Restaurants." Now we have learned that the Plan Commission will make its decision on Sept. 28.