Due to overwhelming community outcry, Rollingwood terminates contract on potential police department annex

During City Council’s July 15 meeting, officials decided to scrap a plan to rezone the residential property at 503 Vale St. in order to possibly use it for a police building annex. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
During City Council’s July 15 meeting, officials decided to scrap a plan to rezone the residential property at 503 Vale St. in order to possibly use it for a police building annex. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)

During City Council’s July 15 meeting, officials decided to scrap a plan to rezone the residential property at 503 Vale St. in order to possibly use it for a police building annex. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)

What initially seemed like a possible solution to house the Rollingwood Police Department evolved into a decidedly divisive wedge issue among the city’s residents over the course of a couple of months.

Due to council’s actions during its July 15 meeting, the acquisition of and proposed rezoning of a residential property to headquarter the city's officers is longer an option.

Officials on May 20 confirmed the city was under a $1.2 million contract to obtain 503 Vale St., a residential property, for the potential use of a police department annex building.

But by June 12, the city had received several dozen comments in opposition to the proposed solution, including from several Vale Street residents who addressed officials June 17.

“It’s brought a lot of attention to the different issues that we’re facing as a city,” City Administrator Amber Lewis said July 15, adding she hopes the civic involvement officials have seen regarding this matter transfers over to work on creation of Rollingwood’s upcoming comprehensive plan.


During City Council’s July 15 meeting, officials decided to scrap the project in a unanimous vote. This came after council had previously postponed a vote to rezone the property from a residential to governmental site during a June 17 meeting.

On July 15, council also voted unanimously to not amend the zoning of the property.


The Rollingwood Police Department has a storied history with its main headquarters issues ever since mold was discovered in the former police building located at City Hall at 403 Nixon Drive in 2017, at which time the department relocated to a nearby trailer.

The department is again temporarily headquartered at the main City Hall building but still seeking a permanent residence solution.

Just prior to the vote to terminate the proposed rezoning of the residence, Mayor Michael Dyson echoed Lewis in calling for the community to reroute its enthusiasm toward the city’s comprehensive plan.

“We’ve had not quite 20% of our community vocally engaged in this ... that is really impressive,” Dyson said. “I hope it didn’t cause everybody as much heartburn as it caused me, but we made it through it.”
By Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018.


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