Dallas plan commissioners’ phones go quiet

In a recent conversation with District 14 Plan Commissioner Bob Weiss, I asked how the economy was affecting the city’s planning and zoning cases. Let’s put it this way: The normally swamped commissioners have a lot more time on their hands these days.

"Our whole caseload is low. We’re like a canary in the mine," Weiss told me. "They might accelerate, but judging just from what we’re reading each week, it’s low." He mentioned the JPI case adjacent to the Trinity River that is subject to foreclosure as one example of what’s happening, and says that developers are laying low. "I’m not getting any calls from anybody, even a heads up."

The bright spot in the toll the recession is taking on development and redevelopment is that it could make way (eventually) for smaller, more neighborhood-focused projects, as Jeff Siegel alluded to in the February cover story. And it should give the plan commissioners more time to mull over the seemingly imminent zoning proposals for Bishop and Davis and the Oak Cliff Gateway (which are not tied to any proposed developments).

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