W-S City Council’s Grand Plans For Dreamland Park/Columbia Heights Will Never Be Implemented

“It sounds like a good idea, but it’s outrageously expensive if you were to do the whole neighborhood… I think that’s a huge amount of money to pay six graduate students.”

“They are not building anything. They are just studying. I don’t mind the concept, but I just think we are being taken for a ride…”

-Robert Clark, Community Development/Housing/General Government Committee Meeting, Dec 10, 2019

“This is a very expensive project, but it’s probably not going to be built as it’s on paper now. -Jeff MacIntosh, Jan 10, 2023

Last week, John Railey roasted the City of Winston-Salem for giving HousingNola “$322,000 for an action plan on affordable housing…” A few days later, WFFD exposed the City for giving ESR a hefty sum of $100,000 to administer $241,000 in Weaver Fire recovery funds.

But another example of the City of Winston-Salem’s wasteful spending has avoided scrutiny by the local press. The Winston-Salem City Council recently adopted an ambitious plan for the Dreamland Park and Columbia Heights neighborhoods. The W-S Chronicle gave a good but uncritical examination of the City’s moonshot study.

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See Link For Full Dreamland Park Document

There is no harm in planning, but a $120,000 study for an $86 million project without a developer or any funding sources is ridiculous! It’s pie in the sky. It’s a fanciful document, a fiction that will never become a reality. It’s even more outrageous and unlikely to be implemented than the End East Master Plan. The sad reality is that East Winston politicians have embraced plans and projects for decades that have not come to fruition.

It’s a shame that neighborhoods can’t be revitalized in campus laboratories. If they could, giving North Carolina A&T $120,000 to revitalize two East Winston neighborhoods in need of investment would have been quite a deal.

The Dreamland Park/Columbia Heights plan is Councilmember Scippio’s passion project. It’s a boondoggle born of sentimentality. The rest of the Council appears to have approved the plan in deference to Scippio’s wishes for her ward. No one on the Council was willing to speak the hard truth that Scippio’s plan wasn’t good for the East Ward or the City.

The $120,000 that the City of Winston-Salem spent on Councilmember Scippio’s dream study could have rehabbed several houses in the East Ward or provided emergency rent assistance to tenants facing eviction. But instead, the City of Winston-Salem wrote another six-figure check for a housing study that will go on the shelf.

Dreamland Park Transformation Plan


Dreamland Park Neighborhood Transformation Plan by CP Tew on Scribd

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