The study‘s facilitator, Larry Good, met with the Old Oak Cliff Conservation League last night in a crowded back room at the Cliff Cafe. A few interesting things were noted and said (and I’ll get to more of them later this week and next) but one, especially for this crowd, was Good’s highlight of "contributing buildings", or what the study’s committee chairman Rick Garza is calling "buildings of character".
New league president Michael Amonett, who traded polite barbs with Good during the meeting, explained from the outset to league members that "I want you guys to have a voice because you put so much blood sweat and tears into your houses." This is a league devoted to neighborhood conservation, after all, and they were preparing to hear about a plan that could ring change in the form of new development.
Good seized on this theme, and brought up that committee members had decided to identify buildings along Bishop and Davis "that are really assets to the neighborhood because of their scale and character."
He gave the example of Canon’s English Village at Edgefield and Davis, which has a "marvelous second floor that can’t have a certificate of occupancy because they have no ability to provide parking." He also mentioned the "wonderful old theater building" on Davis "but you can’t use it because there’s no parking."
The committee’s plan is to encourage reuse of these buildings (i.e. conservation) by writing language into the zoning proposal that would both reduce parking requirements for such properties, and make available more Tax-Increment Financing (TIF) funds as reimbursement for certain renovation costs. (I’m working on getting a full list of these buildings and how they have been identified — more to come.)
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