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It Ain't Easy Being Green: Community Gardens and N. Central Landscaping

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For about 10 minutes an hour ago, the city's Web site was working -- time enough to let me access the briefings for this afternoon's meeting of the Transportation and Environment Committee, where you'll find Schutze 'round 2 today. The site's down yet again (which Frank Librio didn't know till I just called, sigh), so let me summarize -- because, at last, the council's getting around to tossing around community gardens. (That link probably doesn't work at present ... unless you're inside City Hall.) There are three options being proposed, with the leading contender a so-called "hyrid" that allow community gardens "by right" (or, without charge) everywhere but in so-called single-family and duplex districts, where it appears you'll need to pony up $1,170 for a specific use permit. Did I read that right? That can't be right. Jim will report back.

Also on the agenda, this golden oldie from way back: North Central Expressway Landscaping. You remember: The Texas Department of Transportation doesn't have enough money to build roads, much less upkeep the greenery in the N. Central median between the High-Five and downtown. And, well, the contract with TxDOT's up this month, and it's time to decide: Keep doing what we're doing and spend $750,000 annually for upkeep; plant native grasses that need less upkeep but will still run the city $300,000 annually to maintain; "do nothing" at a cost of nada and let it all wither and die; or go "hardscape" and build a screen or sculpture. That last options seems very ... very ... Dallas.

Update at 12:59 p.m.: Since the city's Web site still isn't working, Librio sent along the council briefings. They're both after the jump.

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