Neighbors: Oak Cliff Gateway zoning plan needs work

LakeCliff:FifthStreet

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.

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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.

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“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.

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  • Andrew Hudson

    It‘s called a plutocracy. Democracy is dead! If you did a “study” of anything months or years ago, you’re working with outdated, obsolete data. And if you think you’re leading, I would like to know who you think is following you… most of us are enduring pompous, self-righteous, educated thugs who are playing the system and imposing their values on the rest of us!!

  • Michael Amonett

    To be fair, the “committee’ was appointed by two former members of the city council that were defeated in elections by our current councilmember. This ‘committee’ was very similar to the last ‘committee’ that brought forth Bishop/Davis. That multi-acre zoning matter was very controversial. There were many neighbors that turned up at CPC and Council to protest those votes and they were ignored. Much of that energy went in to help elect our current council member over the two that gave them Bishop/Davis. I would say those elections are more indicative of the will of the people than the ‘committee’. Yes there were many public meetings with input from neighbors and I hope that is reflected in the ultimate product. But I also hope that the finished product looks more like our current councilmember and the voters he represents because I trust him to have his eye more on the will of the community than either the committee or staff.

  • lui

    the tif district changes in OC gateway is designed to raise tax revenue by giving tax brakes to developers. The zang triangle is an example.
    Where can we see the data that the zang triangle has increased tax revenue? My sense is that it is a scam played on all the locals who actually pay taxes.
    Just another giveaway to the ultra wealthy.

  • dallasmay

    Did city staff have any response to the neighbors asking about the committees work? Did they even acknowledge that they had seen it?

  • downtownworker

    City Staff is an out-of-control dictatorship that needs to be stopped.

  • Linda_Coleman

    I’m continually amazed and disgusted by our Plan Commission and their blatant disregard for the people who actually live in Dallas. When will we have representatives on that commission who actually care about neighborhoods?

  • Oak Cliff Townie

    Leaving out their 55 Pages says Wow where do you folks get the mistaken notion
    that you really had an input ? Thanks for giving us the idea to change things But we we have it from here and we think we will go in another direction .