Dallas developers have traditionally reacted to the master-planning of Dallas in almost the same way a vampire reacts to a string of garlic or a crucifix. Under developer-mayor Robert Folsom, the city council threw out the last master plan submitted in 1976. The city planning staff was allowed to dwindle from 150 to fewer than 100 people.
Under recently appointed Urban Planning Director Jack Schoop, master-planning is back with a different name: “Concept Plan.” It’s hard to imagine a plan without concepts, but Schoop is trying to get them from the community instead of his staff. He has been quietly holding 20 planning workshops around the city, including 400 participants from such groups as the Greater Dallas Planning Council, the League of Women Voters, and the South Dallas Improvement Association.
Schoop will call a “Community Congress” of the workshop participants, to make some recommendations. Schoop isn’t saying what those recommendations will be, but one thing is clear: Dallas is planning to plan.