“They murdered my business!” car wash owner Dale Davenport tells me.
Dallas politicians crushed his life’s work. They blamed his car wash for high crime, citing Dale’s own 911 calls as evidence that there was crime around his car wash. They then re-zoned his business to destroy it.
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It seems very unfair. Davenport complied with all sorts of city requests aimed at keeping crime low.
“They said ‘build a six-foot fence.’ I built an eight-foot fence,” he tells me. “Then they said, ‘put up signs.’ I already had signs up, so I put up more signs. Then they told me to put up lights. I already had lights up, so I put up more lights.”
The city also demanded that Davenport hire security guards at his car wash, but:
“When I did hire guards, they… told me, you’ve hired the wrong guard company… there was a city councilman that had an armed guard company that they wanted me to tender my business to.” Dale says.
We contacted all 14 current city council members. Not one would agree to talk to me about that.
They shut his business down using two laws. They condemned his business as a “public nuisance” and they changed his zoning without telling him. The previous zoning listed “car wash” as an acceptable business use, and he’d be operating for 20 years. But the city council voted to simply delete car wash from the zoning.
So for a year, the once-thriving car wash has just sits there—shut down.
Too bad. “It’s like a good place for the community. it really is,” a man on the street told a local news station.
Davenport is fighting back in court.
“This car wash has helped feed my family. It’s helped put my kids through college… I know right from wrong, and this is wrong. And this is something that I needed to do. To stand up. Because this is tyranny!”