Dallas council wants every resident to have a park within ten-minute walk

The City of Dallas wants every resident to have a park within a ten-minute walk.

It's a lofty goal, but the city council is considering a plan that would help make it happen without raising taxes. Instead, it could raise the price of new homes and apartments.

Michael Przekwas is worried about the cedars neighborhood becoming a park desert. New development is rapidly expanding in the neighborhood just south of interstate 30 and it is where the city has made a new park a top priority.

"We haven't had a public park in The Cedars for over 50 years. We're getting a lot more people a lot more kids, a lot more need for it,” Przekwas said.

If the new plan passes, more parks could start popping up all over the city. One of the areas with the fewest parks is North Dallas, where rapid growth has left very little unused land.

“If we look in Southern Dallas, 60-70 percent of the park land, northern 30 percent of park land. That's not equitable,” said councilman Lee Kleinman.

Kleinman is concerned the new plan won't help North Dallas since land is so expensive for the city to buy there.

Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway said the homes were nice enough in northern Dallas that park land is essentially people’s own lawns.

"You put all them big houses there, look at Mr. Perot's house, not trying to put him under the bus, look at Jerry Jones' house. Not putting him under bus, but look how much acreage they got. Let's be real, they've got big houses, big yards, swimming pools. They basically live on a park,” Caraway said.

The plan would require developers to set aside land or pay a fee based on the number of homes, apartments or hotel space they build. So while does not raise taxes, the Dallas Builders Association warns that cost could be passed on.

"It's not totally taking the burden off the taxpayers, it shifts the burden to a smaller group of taxpayers, your future homeowner,” David Lehde said.

The council is expected to vote on the park ordinance sometime next month.

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