10/31/05 Shady Dealings on the City Plan Commission
Special use permit change (Zoning Case Z045-158)
This case concerns the renewal of a Special Use Permit for the Interstate Motel at 109 W. Overton (at Beckley). This motel is right near I-35 and Overton Road in Oak Cliff. The motel needs this permit to continue to operate. The community is dead set against this motel getting a renewal of this permit, but the District 4 Planning Commissioner (Angela Marshall) keeps trying her hardest to get it approved.
This is a hot-sheet motel that maintains an ?anything goes? mentality. The motel is owned by the Patel family which owns and operates similar motels throughout Dallas and beyond.
They have no meeting rooms or anything of that sort. They have nothing but cheap rooms by the hour (or $19.95 per night) that can be used for prostitution, drug dealing, and whatever other crime can be dreamed up by its occupants. Do you know that when drug dealers come from out of town that they hole up in these motels until the deal goes down? You know now.
If you?re a sexual predator, you have a place to stay at the Interstate Motel! Easy access to kids and anonymity will fuel their sick minds. The Nolan Estes Center and three schools (two elementary schools and a pre-K Head Start school) are directly adjacent to the motel. A GED center is across the street, and a hospital, South Oak Cliff high school, and two churches are within a one block radius. In addition, this motel is directly across from homeowners who are subjected to random crime because of its existence. As if that isn?t bad enough that there are 15 registered sex offenders in a 2-block radius!
If kids or seniors want to go to the park or playground, they have to walk by the motel. When children have to go to school, they have to walk by the motel.
My understanding is that if a Planning Commissioner doesn?t support something in his/her district, that pretty much kills the deal. Why hasn?t that happened?
I cannot for the life of me understand why the District 4 Plan Commissioner won?t stop supporting this motel. She is the main person that?s keeping it alive. What are her motives? I?m not sure, you?ll have to ask her.
This hearing has been postponed and been taken under advisement an unheard of 4 times in 6 months!
Here is the zoning case history:
What does that tell you about what other commissioners (save a few) think about this deal?
Now I hear that there will be a bus tour of the site. To have a tour is pointless, because the tour will occur during the middle of the day when things are as quiet as possible. I would also bet that the Patels, who own many of these seedy crime-ridden motels across the metroplex, will have the property looking its best since they probably have been tipped off about the tour. How convenient!
Here is the criminal history:
45 calls in the last 4 years (27 in 2004 alone). And the crime has continued in 2005 (18 since the beginning of the year). Among the crimes are aggravated assaults, disturbances, and car thefts.
Everyone is making a big deal about the donations made by the Patels to the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. I say, SO WHAT! So if a donation is made we are supposed to turn the other cheek? This is just like a drug dealer that gives out free turkeys who passes out turkeys during Thanksgiving. A drug dealer is a drug dealer and a slumlord hot-sheet motel owner is a slumlord hot-sheet motel owner.
The neighbors don?t want it, the schools don?t want it, and the community as a whole doesn?t want it.
So maybe the CPC person in District 4 thinks it?s OK for a hot-sheet motel to be in the same block as several schools. I don?t! And neither does the community.
We have a chance to rid the community of a haven for prostitution, drugs, and crime. This community has suffered enough. If the District 4 Planning Commissioner would stop hindering us, we could do it.
I am disgusted that anyone could support such a place.
Elected officials and commission members should represent the community, not their own self-interests. Why is the community being ignored?