The City of Dallas wrapped up its series of meetings to gather neighbors’ opinions on changes to the Oak Cliff Gateway Plan Wednesday. David Whitley, the Trinity River Corridor Project’s assistant director, said he would take the results to the City Plan Commission, which is expected to make a recommendation to City Council in the next month or so. The purpose is for the city to make a land use plan for a swath of Oak Cliff that’s connected to the Trinity project.
In two meetings this month, the city has taken comments and suggestions on two parts of the plan: the area along Zang south of the Lake Cliff Historical District to Davis, and the section of Beckley that’s just south of I-30. Neighbors generally agreed that the plan should be sensitive to single-family homes — neighborhoods abutting the zones include Kidd Springs and East Kessler Park. They also said they want a pedestrian connection across Beckley between Coombs Creek Trail and the Trinity park. And most of all, Oak Cliff neighbors want to maintain the neighborhood’s character, so anything new must blend with the existing architecture and building heights, although not everyone agrees with that.
Christian Chernock, an East Kessler resident, suggested Wednesday that the city should allow buildings to be 30 feet or higher on Zang. And another neighbor chimed in that perhaps we should allow buildings of any height, not that anyone wants to build a skyscraper here, but to attract forward-thinking developers. "You should create zoning that draws the type of developers you want, and not just protect yourself from what you don’t want," Chernock said. He said Oak Cliff could benefit from SmartCode, which is a tool that has been successful in revitalizing cities such as Portland, Ore.
City Council is expected to consider the plan this fall.