Plan to change preservation rules goes to City Council in December

Screen shot 2014-11-04 at 10.06.54 PMA plan to change how the city preserves historic neighborhoods is headed to City Council later this year.

The City Plan Commission in July approved a proposal that preservationists say would make creating conservation districts nearly impossible.

The plan would require neighbors to lay out a list of detailed preservation requirements and acquire signatures from 51 percent of their neighbors property owners just to initiate the process of becoming a conservation district.

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If neighbors could accomplish that, then the clock starts ticking.

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A neighborhood of 200 or fewer homes would have one year to agree to the terms and submit a final application for a conservation district. A neighborhood of 500 or fewer homes would have 15 months, and larger neighborhoods would have 18 months.

Opponents of the plan say drawing up preservation requirements at the very beginning would make the process less democratic and that it would be improbable that more than half of neighbors would agree to a plan into which they had no input. Therefore the process would be almost impossible even to start.

Others say laying out details from the beginning makes the process more transparent.

The proposal to change the conservation district process goes to the City Council’s Quality of Life Committee in December.

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  • dallasmay

    Is it actually 51% of the owners or the owners of 51% of the land area?

  • Thanks for your comment, dallasmay. The original ordinance was passed by the City Plan Commission with an amendment, lowering it to 51 percent. We reported on that here: http://oakcliff.advocatemag.com/2014/07/plan-commission-oks-conservation-district-rule-changes/
    I did make a clarification in this post to show that “neighbors” means property owners. Glad you pointed that out.

  • dallasmay

    You should re-read the ordinance. It’s not 51% of neighbors. It’s the owners of 66% or 75% of the land.

    http://www.dallascityhall.com/development_services/pdf/CD-Ordinance-draft_071714.pdf

    (B) The application must be on a form provided by the department and must include:

    [ZOC Recommendation]
    (i) The original petition forms submitted with the dated signatures of property owners within the area determined eligible for a CD in support of the proposed CD that represent at least 66 percent of the land, excluding streets and alleys, within the proposed CD or 66 percent of the lots within the proposed CD.

    [Staff Recommendation]

    (i) The original petition forms submitted with the dated signatures of property owners within the area determined eligible for a CD in support of the proposed CD that represent at least 75 percent of the land, excluding streets and alleys, within the proposed CD or 75 percent of the lots within the proposed CD.