Volunteers who began working in 2002 on a plan to rezone the Oak Cliff Gateway area say the proposal heading to City Council soon does not reflect their work.
The City Plan Commission on Thursday held the first of two public hearings on the gateway plan.
A draft ordinance presented to the Oak Cliff Gateway Steering Committee in May does not include the 55-page proposal prepared by Good Fulton & Farrell in 2012, which steering committee members funded themselves, raising $40,000 to pay for the architecture firm’s work.
“It’s a little disconcerting,” steering committee member Rick Garza told the plan commission. “And I would ask the commission to please take our recommendations and compare it to what’s been presented.”
The proposal prepared by city staff refers heavily to the city’s form-based zoning code but doesn’t include specifics that neighbors have been hashing out for more than a decade.
Larry Good of Good Fulton & Farrell told the plan commission Thursday that the city’s proposal doesn’t address planning for transportation, including the Oak Cliff Streetcar. It doesn’t contain a parking plan. It doesn’t allow for a medical district zoning overlay for Methodist Dallas Medical Center. And it doesn’t provide a plan for improving “The Hill,” a high-crime stretch of Marsalis between Colorado and Beckley.
“I can’t tell you how disappointed it was that we had zero … comments from staff,” Good told the commission. “They had no interaction with the committee that invested so much time.”
About 20 people spoke at the hearing, most of them asking the commission to take a step back and look at the work of the steering committee.
“What’s the rush, suddenly?” asked Old Oak Cliff Conservation League president Lisa Benskin. “Can’t we slow this down a little and do it the right way?”
A second public hearing is expected in the City Plan Commission meeting Aug. 7. City Councilman Scott Griggs also has scheduled neighborhood meetings on Tuesday, July 29 and Monday, Aug. 4.