Why is the Interstate Motel Still Open?

I have heard questions about the Interstate Motel. It is located at Beckley & Overton in Oak Cliff. (map) Unlike the American Inn at 4538 Scyene in South Dallas, we did not initiate the action to close the Interstate. Our efforts against the Interstate were born out of the motel owner’s efforts to secure a Special Use Permit to continue to operate as a motel with 60 rooms or less (per City Code).

In November 2005 Dwaine Caraway and I, along with help from others in Dallas were successful in getting the Special Use Permit denied.

So, why is the motel still open?

Here the scoop: once the permit is denied at the City Plan Commission level, the motel owner can then get the case heard at the City Council level. The motel owner did so in January of 2006, but then it was deleted from the agenda as shown here (see item 53 in this link). The owner must then apply to have the case put back on the agenda within 60 days. The owner never re-applied, and nothing else came of the situation.

The motel is still open because the Councilperson for District 4, Maxine Thornton-Reese, has made zero effort to close the motel. She has not called Code Enforcement, Building Inspections , or any other City department to close the motel. I’m sure they’d love to do it.

We have done all we can do to get the motel closed. Our job was completed in November of 2005. Now, the onus is on the City of Dallas. We can’t do everybody else’s job ALL of the time.

In April of 2006, we received news coverage regarding our efforts to close southern sector hot-sheet motels. Here’s the link. This is just one story, but it shows what we’re up against. Although it is not shown in the clip, we did receive support from Councilman Fantroy and a few others, but no support from any of the other three Southern Sector council members.

It’s been 8 months since the permit was denied. How long is enough?


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