Dallas cannot meet with the residents of the Flower Farms where they are located to talk about reassignment

In what was to be a series of community meetings to discuss residents’ views on rezoning flower farms, the city’s planning and urban design department failed to deliver on a key planning element: providing an interpreter for the majority of the Hispanic community.

The Flower Farms discussion, which doesn’t have a set number of meetings, is the city’s attempt to restore community trust after the Shingle Mountain debacle, which took about three years to defend, according to Downwinders at Risk chair Evelyn Mayo. by residents and local environmental justice groups before it was cleaned up.

Mayo says the meeting was a missed opportunity in the city’s efforts to hear from residents.

“Flower Farms, this community, was the first to develop a neighbor-led land use plan south of I-30, and the first to be done entirely in Spanish,” said Mayo, who has been heavily involved in the rezoning case. “For the city not to provide residents who are well versed in these matters but speak their own language, full participation is a disgrace and a disservice because it will affect their quality of life and property.”

Flower farms are for agricultural, industrial and commercial use and many residents do not want more businesses in their area. Last Tuesday’s meeting was to inform residents of the approved hearing process for changing the flower farm area. The first meeting in September included translation into Spanish.

Ashley Guevara, public affairs officer for the city’s public relations and marketing department, said there will be an interpreter at the next meeting, which has yet to be set.

“An interpreter will be available at the next meeting, and active measures will be taken to ensure that materials in Spanish are also available at the meeting,” Guevara said via email.

She also noted that two city officials provided translations and that Tuesday’s Power Point presentation, which will be available on the Planning and Urban Design website, will be translated into Spanish.

Mayo replied that the two city officials helped with the translation because they spoke Spanish, not because the city planned to provide translations. The presentation and all handouts were exclusively in English.

One of the residents, Genaro Vignegra, who attended a meeting with his parents, whose main language is Spanish, said he translated information for them at home.

“I was still explaining it to them when I got home, like what was the process and what were the next steps, but some other tenants don’t have that kind of communication or their kids are younger so they can’t go back and tell their parents what to do. actually happened,” Vignegra said.

Vignegra confirmed that interpreters attended the September meeting, but not many residents. He thinks the city wasn’t ready for Tuesday’s turnout.

The city is still working to build trust with the residents of the Post-Shingle Mountain Flower Farms, and Vignegra said the incident set them back.

“The feedback I give them is that they talk a lot but do little,” he said. “And sometimes they just don’t deliver what they promise, and that’s just frustrating.”

Mayo said the incident was more like the same behavior that had previously repulsed residents.

“It’s just another insult added to the injury. The city provided an opportunity to show their commitment to correcting the mistakes that have occurred in flower farms, and they missed another opportunity,” Mayo said.

“It’s a shame because it only adds to the burden on community leaders to come back and encourage people to keep participating even if they’ve had negative experiences because their input is so valuable,” she said.

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