The company that owns the 107-year-old George Sergeant house on Zang at Neely wants to turn it into a restaurant space.
But there’s not enough room surrounding the 3,000-square-foot building to comply with the city’s parking code; a restaurant would need about 30 parking spaces there. Jim Lake Cos. wants about 12 spaces instead, and they are asking the City Plan Commission to give them a break based on the age of the building and its location on the Oak Cliff streetcar line.
The plan commission took up the case last week but is holding the vote until after an Aug. 3 meeting with neighbors (6 p.m., Kidd Springs Recreation Center).
Several from the Kidd Springs Neighborhood Association spoke in opposition to the parking variance last week.
Randall Richins, who lives on Elsbeth, said the company has been asked several times to apply for landmark designation on the building, which would prevent it from being torn down or the exterior from being drastically changed.
While the building’s zoning of WMU-3 means that the owner could tear it down and replace it with a three-story building with a mix of residential, shops or offices, the plan is to reuse the old house, which was built by the first mayor from Oak Cliff.
Still there are some who question whether the company is doing enough to preserve the building.
Jane Bryant, who owns 600 Elsbeth, wrote to plan commissioner Mike Anglin:
“The current owners of 635 N. Zang have the let the structure languish and it is in a deplorable condition. I hope with the additional parking spaces provided, the owner will finally be motivated to be a responsible caregiver of the property and history. Hopefully they will also remove the pile of debris which for the past year has been as high as two stories.”
The plan commission is expected to take up the case again on Aug. 17.