Entire Bishop/Davis study voted into public hearing; Kings Highway townhomes approved

Not only did the city council unanimously vote to send the Bishop/Davis land use study into a public hearing process, no one present at this week’s meeting voiced any opposition, either. That’s the word from Rick Garza, chairman of the committee that has studied land uses along Davis and Bishop for the past year. Portions of the study area were eliminated from the public hearing process at a recent plan commission meeting, but the council vote supercedes the commission’s decision.

Next up — a delegation of the steering committee and city staff will sit down to outline timing and scheduling of the public hearing process.

I also chatted with Garza about council’s decision Wednesday to approve a rezoning request from INCAP that involves new townhomes on a parcel of land in the Kings Highway Conservation District. Garza was president of the conservation district’s board in 2005 when INCAP originally approached the neighborhood with this request; more after the jump:

The land that was rezoned, bound by Kings Highway on the north, Mary Cliff on the west and Kyle on the south, is a "single block that consistently has had the highest crime over the last 20 years," Garza says. "It was a series of multi-family buildings that were unkempt, severly deteriorated, and housed way more people than is legal." Garza says Kings Highway neighbors told INCAP they were open to the rezoning, and met six or seven times over the different concerns (for example, INCAP originally wanted to build the townhomes 45 feet high; Kings Highway neighbors compromised at 38 feet).

Before INCAP bought and razed them, roughly 56 multi-family dwellings sat on this parcel of land, Garza says. The new zoning, which allowed for more height, density and setbacks closer to the street, calls for 60 townhomes to be built there. Though the Kings Highway Conservation District board and many neighbors who live there backed INCAP’s plan, Garza says, a few neighbors, including those from nearby Timbergrove Circle, were opposed to some of the changes the rezoning allows — among them, more density.

Garza makes a couple of interesting points, however: Though the land will now have more residential units, they 56 units there before had more than the allowed number of people living in them, so the density would not increase much, and perhaps not at all. He also believes that had INCAP asked for the rezoning change before buying and razing the land — a section that neighbors continually complained about because of the crime issues and drug activity — the developer probably would have faced little to no opposition.


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  • jennisto

    I am happy that the re-zoning work was completed before the land went into pre-foreclosure. At least the residents of the neighborhood had a working relationship with the developer. I know it wasn’t all roses and sunshine (having been at many of those meetings), but at least we reached a workable solution. Glad that whatever happens next it can’t go back to what it was.

  • Anita Mills

    As a long-time resident of Dallas Land & Loan neighborhood (we were not consulted on a re-naming of our neighborhood by the privately-funded study group to “Garden District”), I am particularly concerned that the purported Bishop-Davis Study decided to include ALL of my neighborhood – the only such neighborhood to be so included. The notification process of “public” meetings has been haphazard and there seems to be a gap in the ability of the powers that be to adequately canvass the neighborhood with notices of hearings.

    I appreciate your keeping on top of this issue and look to y’all to keep me up-to-date on the progress toward hearings.

    All I’ve talked to in my neighborhood (a super-majority of dwellings are single family, owner occupied, by the way) are concerned that we keep the ambiance, with mostly 100-year old houses, large front porches, large trees, and sidewalks on which people walk. It is a true neighborhood – it does not need “revitalization” by developers.

  • John McCalib

    Dear Advocate,
    Please note more residents were in opposition 62% to Incap’s plan than in favor. So much that it took a super majority 75% from the city council to override the wishes of the neighbors. In fact some on Kyle street did not get their reply forms to vote, and I directly told Mr. Dave Neumann via-city’s own e-mail reply of this problem.
    The residents directly around these rowhouses and Timbergrove Circle will have to live with yes more density, decrease set backs from 25ft to 15ft, increased height from 30ft to 38ft, number of stories, and deforrestation of 30 plus mature trees.
    For your readers we do not have a trolleycar line on this street, nor is this a commercial district.
    Yes we are very happy the apartments are gone. Same as the 1000 apartments call Stevens Forrest built by Past Mayor Bob Folsom, that were taken down 19 years ago thru the combined efforts Timbergrove & Kings Hwy.
    Alot has been acomplished when all the neighbors have a voice, not just a few who care more about style than greenspace.