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Developers Are Suspending Efforts To Build Controversial White Rock Lake Restaurant

A spokesperson for developers Lyle Burgin and Rick Kopf says they have decided to suspend their efforts to build a restaurant on Boy Scout Hill in Dallas' White Rock Lake Park.

The announcement follows araucous meeting Tuesday nightwith 500 vocal opponents, most of whom live near the park.  Many objected to giving up two-and-a half acres of open space and native blackland prairie for a moderately upscale restaurant and 160 parking spots.

Dallas City Council member Sheffie Kadane, who represents the White Rock area, joined opponents saying he would not vote for the restaurant if the issue came to the city council.  The objection of a council member to projects in his or her district often kills the project.  

In a statement, the developers said: "We both firmly believe that the concept would be an excellent amenity for all of the citizens of Dallas, but the present time is not the right time. We thank all of the individuals and groups that have voiced their support."

The developers had said the White Rock restaurant would include indoor and outdoor seating where you could watch the sun set. Dinner entrees would cost $12 to $25, while lunches would be cheaper. A portion of the profits from the restaurant would be donated to a fund that would support other projects and needs at White Rock Lake.

The first inklings of a showdown began several weeks ago when signs began showing up in yards around White Rock Lake warning against the site conversion.

Boy Scout Hill is a grassy open area with a pavilion that’s intersected by the hike-bike trail.  It overlooks the lake at the northeast corner of the 15-acre park.

Conservationists say it’s one of North Texas’ last remaining remnants of native, blackland prairie and should be preserved.

Former KERA staffer Shelley Kofler was news director, managing editor and senior reporter. She is an award-winning reporter and television producer who previously served as the Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.