DALLAS – A public hearing on a couple of zoning cases in the southern Dallas community of Joppa has been deferred to a later date.
Dallas City Council was scheduled to hear comments from neighbors in support of and in opposition to allowing a couple of concrete batch plants to open in the historic community, and for the potential closure of a Union Pacific railroad crossing.
Along Linfield Drive in Joppa, trains routinely roll through the area, and hundreds of trucks come in and out, daily, hauling heavy loads.
"It's mixed emotions in Joppa," said Shalondria Galimore, Vice President of the South Central Civic League.
Neighbors in the historic community are divided, as the City considers allowing a couple of industrial asphalt and concrete batch plants to open in the area.
“Why," asked long-time resident Edgar Green. He is opposed to the zoning changes.
The neighbors are also split over the City potentially allowing Union Pacific to close the Linfield Drive entrance into Joppa at its railroad crossing.
Neighbor Larry Christopher supports the zoning effort. He said, "I see people crossing the tracks all the time illegally."
Joppa is a growing community. Habitat for Humanity is building dozens of new homes in the area. Galimore believes new batch plants could bring new jobs.
Galimore explained, "They've sat down with us. They've come, answered the questions. We've gone on tours. The safety concerns that we had, we no longer have them."
Other neighbors do not believe the zoning recommendations and corporate promises are a good idea.
"The bottom line is what I'm worried about,” Green explained. “What do I have to give up to give you what you want?"
Neighbors say complaints are offering the community some concessions and promises like façade improvements, and landscaping. Critics opposing the plan say some businesses are not doing a good job maintaining the landscaping already present along Carbondale.
Larry Christopher lives near the train tracks at Linfield and Carbondale. He believes closing the railroad crossing is a safety matter that should be taken into consideration. He would like to see a pedestrian access along the adjacent bridge entrance into Joppa.
Christopher explained, "As the neighborhood grows, you see more and more children taking chances at crossing that track illegally.
Dallas City Council will take up the public hearing on the proposed zoning cases at a later date.