Kessler Steps case goes to trial in March

Kessler Park steps: Photo by Danny Fulgencio
Kessler Park steps: Photo by Danny Fulgencio

The case for public access to a hidden passageway in Kessler Park will go to trial next year.

Property owners adjacent to the Kessler Steps sued the city of Dallas a year ago, claiming the city has no right to the property, which was built in the early 1920s as a pedestrian passage between Edgefield and the higher elevation of Canterbury Court.

The lawsuit claims the strip of land that includes the steps is overgrown with bamboo and other plants and should stay that way. “Any removal of the vegetation would cause severe flooding and erosion,” the lawsuit states. Dallas County District Judge Eric Moyé on Friday denied requests from each side for rulings in their favor and set a trial date for March 7.

Neighbors rediscovered the passageway a couple of years ago and considered restoration of the steps before encountering resistance from adjacent property owners. Kessler Park neighbors recently raised $71,000 and donated it to the city to restore the steps. That cash would allow the city to design the restoration to about 60 percent, according to City Councilman Scott Griggs. Estimates to restore them have gone as high as $200,000.

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