The proposed the Oak Cliff gateway project caused a stir in our neighborhood after preliminary plans for it were released, showing five-story buildings that would replace successful existing businesses.

We asked Zoli’s NY Pizza Tavern owner Jay Jerrier last week to comment on the preliminary plans, which call for demolition of the Zoli’s building. He didn’t answer, but he’s been sending us all messages through the restaurant’s sign on West Davis.

The developer, Alamo Manhattan, has promised to conduct many neighborhood meetings to receive feedback throughout the planning process. But one neighborhood group is not waiting for the developer to start the conversation. Neighbor Rob Shearer and Kickstand screen a screening of a documentary, “The Human Scale,” starting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 16. The film shows the “human needs for inclusion and intimacy” in urban design. A panel of speakers will discuss the future of Bishop Arts after the film. They include City Councilman Scott Griggs, Bishop Arts Village developer Michael Nazerian, Dallas Morning News Architecture critic Mark Lamster and real estate developer Jim Lake.

Griggs weighed in on the project in a newsletter sent to constituents:

The important point for us to remember is that the designs made public recently are very preliminary designs that will be subjected to a rigorous public review process that has not even begun yet.

It’s my understanding is that the project is already undergoing significant modifications based on conversations I’ve had with Alamo Manhattan. And I will continue to oversee the process closely to ensure what eventually gets built retains the flavor and character of the Oak Cliff and Bishop Arts District we enjoy today.

Because the developers will need some funds from the city to make the project a reality (money to replace sewer lines, etc.), the Gateway project will undergo public review at several steps along the way. Each review will allow us to shape the project more to the community’s liking.