How Planners Can Help the Dallas Food Scene Flourish

Dallas is amidst a process for electing a new City Council, and one local writer sees the transition as an opportunity to present an ambitious agenda for also overhauling the city's local dining scene.

1 minute read

May 12, 2021, 7:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Klyde Warren Park

Food trucks line up outside Kyde Warren Park in downtown Dallas in March 2018. | stock_photo_world / Shutterstock

Brian Reinhart proposes a bold policy agenda for the incoming members of the Dallas City Council—one focused on improving the city's culinary scene. Reinhart's proposals include numerous intersections with the purview of the Dallas Planning and Urban Design Department.

But first, the political context. As Reinhart explains, "Dallas is halfway through electing a new slate of city council members. Most of the seats were decided in the May 1 general election, with six to be decided by runoffs on June 5."

Before laying out a culinary agenda, Reinhart suggests naming the proposed legislative package the Enabling New Culinary and Hospitality Innovation and Leadership Across Dallas Act (ENCHILADA). The list reads as follows, with more details in the source article:

  • Fix the permitting process
  • Eliminate minimum parking requirements
  • Open up the food truck universe
  • Put "scores on the doors"
  • Put a cap on the fees charged by delivery apps
  • Do literally anything to reduce Dallas's physical segregation
  • Make decisions based on real knowledge and data.

By my unofficial count, planners have a role in all but two of those proposals. And it's surpassingly notable that the parking reform movement has gained traction in this famously car-centric city not just for the connection between parking and increased housing costs, but also because parking requirements create obstacles to the creation of new small businesses.

Monday, May 10, 2021 in Dallas Observer

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