After many years of controversy, the City of Dallas took a step Wednesday toward closing a Martin Luther King Boulevard car wash that violates zoning rules in place since 2012.
Jim’s Car Wash is at 2708 Martin Luther King Boulevard, just down the street from Dallas Fair Park.
Neighbors claim the car wash harbors drug dealers and other crime. They insist it is a drag on the area.
Owner Dale Davenport insists he has done everything police have asked to curb crime at the property but that police have been slow to respond to his calls for help.
“Because I said I've got drug dealing on the property, the City of Dallas sued me, and they used my own 911 calls against me,” Davenport said.
State lawmakers have come to Davenport’s defense in the past, claiming the City misused nuisance laws against the businessman.
City Councilman Kevin Felder, who now represents the area, said neighbors demand that he take action against the car wash.
Felder and four other City Council Members signed a letter to force Wednesday's vote on sending the case to the Board of Adjustment.
“This has been a perpetual albatross, a perpetual negative,” Felder said.
The City Council voted 12 to 2 to send the issue to the Board of Adjustment.
That panel will take testimony from witnesses and hear evidence on whether the car wash should close. It will begin the consider the case no sooner than January.
If the Board of Adjustment decides the car wash must close, the owner could be granted more time to stay in business and recover his investment. He would also be free to use the land for something else that complies with zoning rules.
Councilman Philip Kingston who voted no Wednesday said the City of Dallas should buy the property instead of waiting through a long process to close the car wash.