What does the West Oak Cliff Area Plan say about the Tyler-Vernon Station area?

The first draft of the plan, recently released, identifies several neighborhood focus areas. We’re walking our neighbors through all of them this week. We started with Elmwood’s commercial district. This is part two.

Read the draft plan and give feedback here.

Tyler/Vernon is the part of the plan that sparked political debate and community outrage last year, and it gave birth to a neighborhood movement.

Neighbors near Tyler Station organized when it came to light that some property owners want to increase building heights to allow townhomes or apartments.

The Polk Vernon Neighborhood Association’s president, Yolanda Alameda, served on the West Oak Cliff Area Plan’s community task force, which logged about 26 hours of meetings.

Mayra Chavez lives on Polk at Clarendon, and investors recently purchased property near a church at the northeast corner. Her home is at the crux of where the draft recommends allowing future townhome development.

The City of Dallas Office of Planning and Urban Design emphasizes that this is a draft, and staff will continue to meet with neighborhood groups over the next six weeks or so to work out details of the next draft. None of this has been decided. The deadline for neighbors to comment on the plan is May 10.

Neighbors started the West Oak Cliff Coalition to advocate for Spanish communication throughout the planning process.

Coalition members knocked on doors and distributed printed materials to encourage their neighbors’ involvement in the plan.

Chavez saw how townhomes built at the roundabout on Tyler at Canty changed the look of that area. It inspired her to act because she doesn’t want encroaching development to leave her home as the last house on a block filled with three-story townhomes.

“We would like to stay here and have our home passed through the generations,” she says.

The Polk Vernon Neighborhood Association meets at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 26, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to discuss the draft of the plan.

Accessory Dwelling Units

Polk Vernon neighbors have more organizing ahead of them. Gaining conservation district status with the City of Dallas is one of the top recommendations the draft makes for this neighborhood.

Conservation districts allow neighbors to shape development standards for their area, but the draft specifically recommends using a conservation district or overlay as a way to allow more housing density.

Within 1⁄2 mile of the Tyler-Vernon DART Station, modify the zoning through conservation districts or an overlay tool to permit missing-middle housing types, including accessory dwelling units, duplexes, and triplex/ quadplexes, narrow-lot single-family, and cottage homes (where applicable) to be allowed by-right, adhering to architectural and urban design standards to be determined on a neighborhood basis. Development will be required to follow existing city codes related to ADUs, parking requirements, setbacks, and massing standards.

The draft plan generally recommends as a land-use goal increasing housing opportunities throughout West Oak Cliff  through “accessory-dwelling units,” or rear apartments. It is also suggested in the draft that property owners could convert or replace homes with duplexes, triplexes or quads. [Correction: An earlier version of this post erroneously described the city’s rules for accessory-dwelling units. They can be one unit with a maximum of 700 square feet.]

The red circle represents 1/2-mile around Tyler/Vernon station.

Townhomes

The area shaded in aqua and moss in the