There are approximately 1.3 million Dallas residents, but just 12 of them were participants who tuned in Tuesday for an hour-long virtual workshop on navigating city services.
The online discussion, facilitated by Dallas outreach specialist Chanel Williams, covered basic information on city government, how to find services on the city website, the ForwardDallas comprehensive land use plan, and upcoming events.
The next virtual workshop will cover land use and zoning. Workshop notices are posted on the Planning and Urban Design webpage.
Seven visioning workshops for ForwardDallas begin Oct. 19 and will be held in different quadrants of the city through Nov. 5.
“ForwardDallas is a comprehensive land use plan that outlines specific goals,” Williams said. “It will basically help shape Dallas over the next 20 years. There are so many people that are relocating to Dallas and we need to be strategic on how we are going to use the land that we have to address all the people that are coming here. It’s a good thing to make sure you’re involved in this process. We want to know what type of things that you feel are missing in your neighborhood or what your neighborhood could use. It could be more greenspaces or multi-use housing.”
Williams encouraged neighborhood association leaders to stay connected with ForwardDallas updates through social media and share information with other residents.
“We want to know your areas of concern and your ideas for certain land use spaces,” she said. “We have a social pinpoint interactive map, which allows you to get a little bit deeper. If you have a specific area that is of concern, or it could be your own neighborhood, you can pinpoint that exact location on the map and give us your feedback. We want to know that so we can include it in this plan.”
Service area supervisor Sandra Bowie added that the visioning workshops are important for neighborhoods.
“We want to hear from you,” she said. “We want to know what your vision is for Dallas for the next generation.”
Eric Onyechefule, public information coordinator for the Code Compliance Department, reviewed the responsibilities of his team including nuisances, graffiti, mosquito abatement, consumer health, and food safety.
Onyechefule encouraged residents to call his department to proactively address code issues in their neighborhoods.
“They do some very good work, especially when you consider that over 60 percent of people rent, so that’s a lot of work for our code inspectors to go out there and help apartments, help our residents abate violations and learn more about violations,” he said. “We’re always available to answer questions and to help understand any concerns that you may have.”
Felecia Foster, senior outreach specialist with Sanitation Services, gave a brief overview of garbage, recycling, and brush and bulky collection. She also touched on tire disposal and residential and commercial waste drop-off at McCommas Bluff Landfill.
Green business certification information is available on the Sanitation Services website.
“Communications and outreach is new to the sanitation unit,” Foster said. “Our job is to make sure we’re educating, empowering, and communicating with you a lot better on what’s going on with our services.”
One participant had a question about a permanent certificate of occupancy for a home he’s building and was directed to the city’s Building Services Department. Another resident was directed to Public Works and 311 for information about digging before planting trees.
Bowie shared information on Dallas Water Utilities’ Branch Out Dallas program, which offers free trees to registered residents on Nov. 5.
City officials on the web meeting provided information about National Night Out on Oct. 4, Office of Arts and Culture grants, Community Court, and the Rapid Integrated Healthcare Team.
Chalonda Mangwiro-Johnson, community engagement manager, said slides from Tuesday’s presentation will be posted on the Planning and Urban Design website.