The funds are in place, and many lake advocates support this boathouse. So why hasn’t it been built?
White Rock Lake is 1,015 acres of water and surrounding parkland open for public enjoyment.
Except for the spots that aren’t.
A handful of private facilities around the lake, and even upon its waters, are off-limits except to those who pay a rental fee or join a club. These private havens on public land came into existence over the course of decades, most of them before the prevailing sentiment in the neighborhoods circling the lake’s shores evolved into its current state — that public land (and water) should remain open to all.
So it’s nothing short of miraculous that the lake’s most vocal advocates, who lambasted Dallas United Crew five years ago for trying to build a watery party palace for its private rowing club, are now singing the praises of DUC’s latest White Rock Lake proposal and the inclusive way it was conceived.
The result: A kinder, gentler boathouse open to the public, floating on the northeast side of the lake, and half the size and a fraction of the original version’s cost.
The new idea seems to have won over all of the original naysayers — except one.
Councilman Mark Clayton finds himself at odds with his own political appointees and concerned about “selling off” a part of the lake.
This month, the project heads back to the White Rock Lake Task Force for another review and chance for public input. The future of the DUC boathouse — and perhaps all future development on and around the lake — hangs on the question of who and what defines “private” and whether building anything on the lake sets a precedent that can’t easily be undone.
The other rowing team
This story has been told before, when another crew team on the other side of the lake faced the same problem.
Boats have long been a staple on White Rock Lake; the boathouse at T&P Hill was built on the southwest side in 1930, where crew teams launched in the 1980s.
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Wynne McNabb Cunningham