mayor's house

Photo by Scot Dorn

As bulldozers and construction cranes take on much of the Bishop Arts area, plans are working to adapt and reuse a 107-year-old house on Zang.

The first Dallas mayor from Oak Cliff, George Sergeant, built the house at 635 N. Zang in 1910. Until recently, the house was cornered in by Sonic Drive-In to the south and homes to the west. But recent demolition and construction on those sides now makes the house conspicuous to passersby.

Jim Lake Cos. bought the house in 2009, along with an archive of material belonging to Sergeant, who was known as the “centennial mayor“.

The property is zoned WMU-3, which means that the owner could tear it down and replace it with a three-story building containing a mix of residences, shops and offices.

Instead, Jim Lake Jr. wants to keep the existing structure and turn it into a restaurant space, but he says that would require a zoning change to allow for fewer parking spaces.

Lake is seeking a parking variance that would take into consideration the building’s age as well as its proximity to the streetcar line. The request asks for a ratio of one parking space for every 250 square feet of interior space. The mayor’s house comprises about 3,000 square feet and would require about 12 parking spaces by that math.

The city’s parking code normally requires one parking space for every 100 square feet of interior space, 30 parking spaces in this case.