City of Dallas Takes Legal Action to Preserve its Rights While Seeking Agreement with U.S. Navy on Path Forward to Develop Hensley Field

City of Dallas Takes Legal Action to Preserve its Rights While Seeking Agreement with U.S. Navy on Path Forward to Develop Hensley Field

The City of Dallas (“the City”) on Wednesday, August 2, 2023 initiated legal proceedings to ensure it can move forward with a plan to transform the site of a former U.S. Naval Air Station at Hensley Field into a premier mixed-use community for the benefit of all Dallas residents.

The City plans to continue negotiations with the U.S. Navy on its environmental remediation of Hensley Field during the legal proceedings. The City must have the remediation completed before it can move forward with its plan for the site, which includes sustainable urban systems, parks and open spaces, a diverse mix of land uses and mixed incomes, and the creation of thousands of jobs. The legal proceedings are necessary to preserve the City’s rights for environmental remediation of the former military operations at the Hensley Field site.

“We appreciate all of the U.S. Navy’s efforts to remediate the site for the past 20 years,” Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax said. “We are confident that we can reach an agreement on the final phase of the project that ensures Hensley Field can be safely developed into a premier community offering mixed income housing, recreation, commercial space, and more. We will continue these productive discussions with the U.S. Navy and remain focused on reaching a consensual agreement.”

The U.S. Navy leased the property known as Hensley Field from the City of Dallas in 1949 to operate the Naval Air Station Dallas. The Navy closed Naval Air Station Dallas in 1999 and returned the property to the City of Dallas with environmental contamination consistent with that of other U.S. Military installations. The City filed a lawsuit in 2001 over the environmental concerns, reaching a settlement agreement in 2002, whereby the Navy was obligated to complete remediation of the environmental concerns at Hensley Field by late 2017. That deadline was not met. While the Navy has made progress and continues to work with the City, the Navy must fulfill its obligation to complete the remediation.

Hensley Field sits on more than 700 acres of largely undeveloped land on the border of Dallas and Grand Prairie. The City’s for the Hensley Field property, prepared at the Navy’s request, seeks to use the site as a catalyst toward our community’s objectives of economic recovery, social equity, and environmental sustainability. The aim of these legal proceedings is to preserve the City’s rights, while working with the Navy to and come to an amicable resolution to ensure that the Navy fulfills its obligations and meets the remediation standards necessary for the redevelopment plan to be implemented.

The City will continue to work with the Navy to reach an amicable resolution so that Hensley Field may be redeveloped, reach its full potential, and better serve Dallas residents.

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