Here’s what developers can build in Bishop Arts right now

The change barreling toward our neighborhood should surprise no one. And neither should the outrage.

More than 5,000 people have signed a petition to stop the Bishops Arts Gateway, a proposal from Alamo Manhattan to plant five-story apartment buildings in the path of well-established neighborhood businesses.

Emotions are running high, and this is only the beginning. Many neighbors want to kill the project. But, what about the next developer who wants to build five stories at West Davis and Vernon? Or four stories west of Tyler? It’s all allowed under current zoning.

Two more Bishop Arts developments are already in the works. Now is probably a good time to step back and look at the big picture that editor Rachel Stone presented in her November 2014 cover story, “Massive rezoning cases urge urban density throughout Oak Cliff.”

The stage was set for high-density development back in 2010 when the city council approved the Bishop/Davis zoning, which rewrote the rules for what can be built along the West Davis Corridor and from Zang to Montclair.

If this still sounds abstract, here’s what we’re looking at:


What did the Bishop/Davis zoning do?

bluegrey The Bishop Avenue corridor can have building heights of up to three stories. The distance from the building to the curb must be 20-25 feet, which the Old Oak Cliff Conservation League has said should be changed. The league argues that these “setbacks” should be about 5 feet greater so that the façades of new buildings line up with the façades of old homes and don’t visually overpower them. Office-only uses mistakenly were prohibited in the Bishop corridor, and the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce had to request a specific-use permit to open its new offices in a former doctor’s office.

red The “East Garden District” is the site of a planned development from Farrokh Nazerian and his son, Michael. The zoning allows building heights up to five stories on Bishop and Zang and four stories otherwise. Accepted uses include apartments, duplexes, restaurants without drive-through windows, convenience stores, parking lots, medical clinics and offices. The $100-million, two-phase Nazerian project as planned with apartments, parking, restaurants, shopping and offices with buildings as high as four stories, is allowed under the Bishop/Davis zoning.

pink Commercial and industrial uses are prohibited in this residential district, but a restaurant without a drive-through could be allowed by permit adjacent to Kidd Springs Park.

brown Apartments, shops, restaurants without drive-through windows and offices are allowed in this area, where buildings can be as high as four stories.

lightblueAlong the West Davis corridor, from Montclair to Polk, drive-though windows are expressly prohibited, along with tattoo, piercing and massage parlors. Buildings can be as high as three stories.

orangeIn these sections of the West Davis Corridor, buildings can be as high as five stories.

leafgreenAlong the West Davis corridor from Montclair to Plymouth, new buildings can be as high as five stories, unless they are directly adjacent to homes.

yellowNew restaurants with drive-throughs are expressly prohibited in this area, generally the Bishop Arts District, as well as tattoo, piercing and massage parlors. Buildings can be as high as three stories.

More than a thousand people via Facebook have joined the June 16 event, “The Future of Bishop Arts: A Neighborhood Conversation”, featuring a panel of Oak Cliff urban planners, developers, business owners and our city councilman. But, notably, not Alamo Manhattan or any of the businesses it may displace. Says, Kickstand, the event organizer: “The goal of this event is to raise awareness about the amount of development coming to Oak Cliff (this is much, much bigger than just Alamo Manhattan) …”

But stay tuned for more notices of meetings specifically about Alamo’s plans for the Bishop Arts Gateway.

Related coverage:

Go here to see all of our Oak Cliff development news.

By |2015-06-11T10:43:26-05:00June 11th, 2015|Bishop Arts District, Development, News|13 Comments

About the Author:

Emily Toman
EMILY TOMAN is the senior editor. Email or follow                                                           


  1. […] West Seventh corridor is included in the Bishop Arts District zoning. The authors of that zoning plan envisioned Seventh as a mix of commercial and residential […]

  2. […] those hated original designs are acceptable under the current zoning in Bishop Arts. Which is why the zoning needs to be changed, according to the Old Oak Cliff Conservation […]

  3. roxbox July 2, 2015 at 7:08 AM


  4. Lolotehe June 12, 2015 at 7:10 PM

    Does anyone from Oak Cliff still go to Bishop Arts?

  5. KeepOurFreedoms June 11, 2015 at 9:51 PM

    We don’t need any 2 – 5 story buildings there. Quit messing up Oak Cliff.

  6. Kirk Stanley Jones June 11, 2015 at 9:03 PM

    I agree, but just an observation; I live in Kessler Plaza and the area bordered by Hampton, Jefferson ,Plymouth and Davis needs improvement in many ways. I would take a five story building over CVS.

  7. Stan June 11, 2015 at 7:55 PM

    It would be up to Scott to request another study which would cost money and time.

  8. Scott Batson June 11, 2015 at 6:37 PM

    Being involved when the zoning was changed in 2010 instead of complaining about it now.

  9. choraleboy June 11, 2015 at 3:44 PM

    This is excellent coverage. Very helpful to see what was passed in 2010 and what we now have to live with.

  10. Bob Dobbins June 11, 2015 at 2:46 PM

    Nice chart, thanks for the info

  11. Andrew Hudson June 11, 2015 at 1:03 PM

    Money drives zoning. But zoning dictates the parameters for what CAN be built. Allowing structures to be a certain height does not mean everything needs to be that height! Developers stack up as many units as they can to optimize profit! You can’t blame them for that. Unfortunately, zoning does not address aesthetics. You can build an ugly, inappropriate building anywhere you want if you got the money!

  12. guest June 11, 2015 at 12:42 PM

    Outside of being the Waltons or TC what does it take to get the zoning changed into something more appropriate for the area?

  13. lakewoodhobo June 11, 2015 at 12:00 PM

    I would love to see a graphic like this combined with the new Oak Cliff Gateway zoning and Jefferson zoning.

Comments are closed.