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TRC Blog

January 27 , 2011

Dallas City Council approves stricter permit plan for Lowest Greenville

By Rudolph Bush
The Dallas Morning News JAN 2011
 
To applause and praise, the Dallas City Council unanimously approved a stricter permitting plan for Lowest Greenville Avenue that supporters hope will curb the area's growing reputation for late-night violence and restore it as a lively neighborhood retail and restaurant strip.
 
The council agreed Wednesday to require all businesses along Greenville between Belmont Avenue and Bryan Street to apply for a specific use permit to operate after midnight.
 
Council member Angela Hunt, who proposed the plan along with council member Pauline Medrano, said the vote marks "a new day for Lowest Greenville."

Leaders of six adjoining neighborhoods came to the council to promote the plan that they believe will finally help them have some control over the late-night partying and, at times, violent spillover from bars on the street.
 
Police officials praised the new permit requirement, saying it will be an effective tool to persuade businesses to operate responsibly. 

Hunt said the Police Department is forced to devote too many officers and spend too much money policing one strip of the city.
 
The redevelopment plan for includes a $1.3 million streetscape makeover to widen sidewalks and add landscaping and decorative lighting among other things. 
 
Residents and business owners along Greenville hope to see that work under way early summer and completed by year's end.
 
Oncor vote delayed
 
Without discussion, the council agreed to suspend for 90 days a vote on a proposed rate increase by Oncor.

The utility is requesting an overall 16.2 percent rate increase from member cities to cover the costs of improved infrastructure and lost revenue from a decline in customer growth and consumption by existing customers.
 
Whatever the council's final vote is on the rate increase, Oncor is likely to appeal it to the Public Utility Commission to ensure a stable rate across all member cities, city staff members said.
 
Green card program
A Dallas City hall program that helps foreign nationals get green cards in exchange for high-dollar foreign investments in the city has paid off with its first big business, according to an announcement from Mayor Tom Leppert.
 
A $15 million call center that will employ 300 people will open soon near downtown Dallas using funds from the City of Dallas Regional Center, Leppert said in a news release. An exact location has not yet been chosen, the release said. 
 
The call center, operated by Encore Enterprises, will include investment from 30 foreign nationals who have each put up $500,000.
 
Leppert and council member Ron Natinsky have promoted the regional center program for months in hopes of drawing more investment dollars to Dallas.
 
According to the release, other projects are in the pipeline, including the planned Nylo hotel in the Cedars and a "well-known restaurant chain."
 
The CDRC is built on a federal immigration program called EB-5. Investors who qualify under the program are guaranteed a green card for themselves and immediate family members. 



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