Ken Kalthoff, NBC 5 News
The owner of Scott's Liquors on South Lamar Streets says he's in a dispute with Dallas City Hall over parking at his business.
The owner of a Dallas liquor store, who claims the city unfairly took away his parking spaces, now says the city is threatening to close his business for lack of sufficient parking.
Scott Lim has run Scott's Discount Liquor the store on South Lamar Street at Cadiz Street for around 20 years.
Back In April when NBC 5 first visited the store, spaces Lim’s customers had always used in the front were replaced with a wide new sidewalk.
"The day that they poured, they said 'Move your car, we're going to pour the concrete over your parking lot,'" he said.
Since then, Lim claims to have lost a large part of his business from customers who do not feel comfortable with remaining spaces on the side where there are no windows.
"It's making it hard," said customer Chris Wright. "Now you don't want to stop because you've got to park on the side. Now you want to go on down to the next store."
Lim said he has met with numerous officials over the past few months trying to reach a compromise on his situation but he wants his old spaces back and city officials say that won't happen.
Dallas Planning Director Theresa O’Donnell said the spaces in front of Lim's store were mostly on city property.
"That area was not approved for parking, nor had he come in and asked us to approve parking on that area would we have permitted it," she said.
The big new sidewalk is part of a project to improve the appearance of South Lamar Street and improve access for people walking to two DART rail stations nearby.
In addition to wider new sidewalks, trees and better streetlights have been added.
"It's what we're doing to revitalize the city and bring fresh air into those near town neighborhoods," O'Donnell said.
But Lim's liquor store still looks about the same as it did when the area was run down and O'Donnell said customers might feel more comfortable parking on the side if Lim removed the burglar bars from his windows and made his building look safer.
"Before I do that, I need my parking, otherwise I'm not going to make it," Lim said.
He believes the city should have paid him for the portion of his land that now is a sidewalk, but O'Donnell said the city should have charged Lim for the new sidewalk.
"It doesn't appear to me that we've taken his property. It appears to me we've improved his property," O’Donnell said.
She said Lim never owned all the parking spaces he was required to provide under city rules, and he could have been denied a certificate of occupancy years ago.
But the city is now offering to let Lim count the city-owned spaces on the side of his building along with two new parallel parking spaces to be fitted with meters on the street.
The side spaces would also get meters if Lim does not agree to lease them from the city.
"That's not right," customer Terresa Guiles said. "It's a business. They don't have meters at the grocery store and stuff like that."
For now the two sides are still negotiating and both sides say they hope to see Lim remain in business for many more years to enjoy the new Lamar Street.