Jefferson rezoning plan approved

Jefferson Tower

The City Plan Commission last week approved a plan to rezone Jefferson Boulevard, 12th Street, Centre, Sunset and surrounding avenues from Beckley to Polk.

Only three people spoke at the public hearing, which started at about 6 p.m. Thursday.

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Jim Lake Jr., whose company is redeveloping Jefferson Tower, told the panel that the purpose of rezoning is for the buildings to have a better, higher use. Jim Lake Cos. redeveloped Bishop Arts starting in the 1980s, and the company now is remaking the tower’s lower levels into retail and residential space.

Amanda Moreno, whose partner owns about a third of the property in the proposed special purpose district, said the change in zoning could help them take advantage of the full heights of the buildings. Many of the two- and three-story buildings are only occupied on the ground floor, she said.

Only one neighbor without commercial property interest in the area was there to speak.

Delories Hilliard, who lives on 12th Street, told the panel she didn’t want Jefferson to “turn into a Lower Greenville.”

Hilliard is in favor of the rezone, but said she fears changes could cause “moving people aside who have been there through all the developing years.”

“We want responsible improvements that don’t compromise what’s already there,” she said.

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City Council must approve the zoning plan for it to take effect.

 

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  • Smokey

    I don’t think there is any risk of Jefferson turning into lower Greenville. There is no Lakewood, Uptown or Knox Henderson to help it along. You can not import a demographic or a vibe, and artist will be priced out as they are in the “Bishop Hipster District”. Please no more Ray Bans and Penny Loafers!

  • Andrew Hudson

    Unfortunately, cities are in the discrimination business! Significant tax breaks are given to deep pockets while anyone living in the area is benefiting by watching their taxes go up, while establishments they can’t afford reap the benefits! I have one neighbor who was harrassed by the city for protesting what is going on, to the extent, that they have been silenced by the city’s bullying techniques! I am saddened by a city that has so little compassion. I moved to Oak Cliff in the late seventies and moved into an old building in the early nineties… the area is unique and unfortunately, that is being trashed in favor more crummy apartments, tasteless McMansions and basically total dilution of whatever character Oak Cliff had! BTW, it is interesting to note that North Oak Cliff is just a tiny part of Oak Cliff! The poorer part is being totally ignored, as they always will. The issue is not simply financial. It is an issue of myopic vision by city “leadership”. The inability of people in power to step back and see the big picture and being sensitive enough and intelligent enough to consider the impact of their decisions on everyone!

  • Andrew, you make some good points in trying to make sure Dallas caters to all citizens rather than just those with money. But Jefferson and Deep Ellum, not to mention Bishop Arts and West Village and Uptown, have all ebbed and flowed economically over the years, and the city hasn’t really had much to do with that. I don’t know that it’s possible to accomplish what you are suggesting in basically setting aside private property for a specific economic class — the people who own property tend to want to control their own development. Most of us, given the choice, are going to take more money for something we own rather than less, and property owners are no different.

  • Andrew Hudson

    The practice of “improving” selected areas of Dallas basically is a disaster for the residents of these lower income (and therefore powerless) areas. Bigotry comes in many sizes and flavors and the worst of which is economic! The developers move in squeezing the poorer residents out, destroying the true nature of the area replacing the buildings with incongruous, overpriced establishments that locals cannot afford. Bringing McMansions and faux brownstones into an area like Oak Cliff does not improve the area! It actually destroys the integrity of the area! It would be nice to have a city sensitive to the needs of the residents rather than catering to money! Areas like Deep Ellum and the area around Jefferson are perfect examples of hysterically throwing development money at an area only to never maintain the area and have it slowly degenerate back through lack of physical and financial support!

  • dallasmay

    “she didn’t want Jefferson to “turn into a Lower Greenville.” ”

    Err… which means what? She doesn’t want Oak Cliff to have grocery stores? Because we have enough to go around right now.