Trucks kick up clouds of dust as they rumble in and out of Oak Cliff Metals. The trucks line up, heavy with the weight of scrap metal and park on Pontiac Avenue, making noise as they wait to enter the site.
Dallas Councilman Dwaine Caraway wants to close the scrap yard that he said has operated illegally for years.
Oak Cliff Metals occupies both sides of dead end Pontiac Avenue east of Cedar Crest Boulevard near the Trinity River.
Part of the site that also fronts Cedar Crest Boulevard is zoned “community retail.” A request to rezone the property “Industrial” was denied by the Dallas Plan Commission in February.
The Dallas City Council will vote August 11th on the issue.
“They’ve been playing games but they’ve not had a firm hand on them,” said Caraway. “I’m that firm hand right now, and on August the 11th when they come to city hall, I intend to make sure that they go away.”
Caraway said land zoned “community retail” should provide services for the neighborhood and not a metal scrap yard. Despite this, Oak Cliff Metals has found ways to continue operating anyway.
“They’re pretty sneaky, pretty arrogant. They don’t care for our community. They’ve shown us that,” said Caraway.
But representatives deny the company has broken any laws and insisted it wants to act as a good neighbor.
Attorney Bob Wiegand said the firm has a certificate of occupancy issued by the city for outdoor storage and the zoning case is the result of a good faith honest disagreement about the rules.
Zoning representative Santos Martinez said eight of the company’s 12 lots are already zoned “Industrial” and the pending request is reasonable.
He said the company has provided work in the neighborhood.
“They have done a good job of employing people who can walk to work,” said Martinez.
Martinez said the company has also offered to buy dead end Pontiac Avenue from the city to close it and make it part of the private site.
Caraway isn’t impressed.
“Now as we approach the 11th of August, they begin to clean up and do the best that they can do, so that they can stay there.
Unfortunately this community, this entire community, does not embrace it, does not want it, does not deserve it and won’t have it,” said Caraway.