I was somewhat stunned when I read this story in the Dallas City Hall blog that seemed to suggest, at least to me, that the City of Dallas' Sanitation Services was going to conduct an election to determine whether members of the Peninsula neighborhood, located just east of White Rock Lake, wanted their garbage collected at curbside or in their alleys.
Background: Because the city is switching to its One Day Dallas program city wide, all garbage pickup will be handled by automated trucks, meaning all customers need to be equipped with city-issued garbage carts. The people in the peninsula, who were used to just tossing their garbage bags in their back alleys, were told they would now have to wheel their newly-issued carts to the front of their homes. Led by the Nazis who head up the Peninsula Homeowners Association, a small minority (less than 20 percent of the neighborhood's residents) attended a protest meeting with representatives of the city's Sanitation Services Department. Residents who actually supported the change were stormed upon by their neighborhood Nazis who told them to either support the association's stand or shut up.
When I read the above-cited story in the City Hall I wondered how it could permit one neighborhood to decide where it wanted its garbage picked up without extending the same courtesy to every neighborhood association in the city.
Well, it turns out the city is not giving the Peninsula residents the option of returning to the way things used to be. Not by a long shot. If the following things happen, the City will return to collecting the neighborhood's solid waste in their alleys.
1. The residents, by a substantial margin (some I've talked so said the margin may have to be close to 80 percent), must approve the change and 100 percent of the residents must then agree to undertake, at their own cost, the rest of the steps.
2. The residents must make the necessary improvements to the alleys that will permit the operation of the automated trucks.
3. The residents must adjust their fence lines that parallel the alleys so that an indentation is made in those fences allowing for the placement of the city's solid waste carts.
4. The property owners must deed restrict their properties so that these new fence lines are maintained in perpetuity.
If and when all that is done, the city will allow them to return to having their solid waste collected from the alleys and not at the curbside.
Oh, and by the way, any other neighborhood facing the same situation can take the identical steps to have their solid waste collection back in the alleys as well. So this is not preferential treatment for just one neighborhood.