From: “Michael Amonett” Date: Wed, Jul 6, 2011 3:27 pm Subject: [Oak Cliff Gateway]
To: Christian Chernock and the Oak Cliff Gateway Committee
Dear Mr. Chernock,
The Board of the Old Oak Cliff Conservation League voted to support the implementation of the city’s Form Based Zoning Ordinance inside the Oak Cliff Gateway. The ordinance was passed in 2008 by the City Council and was intended for areas such as the Gateway. The League had representation on the committee made up equally of developers and neighborhood representatives. Two years of work went into that ordinance. What was encouraging was that the finished product reflected a rare compromise between residents and developers who don’t always see eye to eye and that compromise should be honored here. It protects our single-family neighborhoods by doing the following: • Recognizes the need for a certain amount of contiguous acreage for density to be successful • Creates a buffer zone between the neighborhood and commercial development • Honors a 3:1 proximity slope to keep new construction from intruding on single-family homes • Requires a transportation component to effectively reduce the need for parking and thereby justify reducing parking requirements The commitment to bring the streetcar to Oak Cliff creates the potential for real success in the Oak Cliff Gateway. Reduced parking requirements will be much more workable there rather than the recently even further reduced parking requirements of places like Gloria’s which has set off a towing frenzy in Bishop Arts. The District has been a good will ambassador for Oak Cliff and the atmosphere created by predatory towing is counter-productive. A streetcar will reduce the need for parking and make new parking reduction requirements more realistic inside the Oak Cliff Gateway. Using the Form Based model already negotiated and codified by the City would: • Save money because it is already on the shelf awaiting implementation. • Provide a large swath of acreage to do a myriad of things with as creatively as you wish i.e. Mixed-use structures, tall buildings, historical area and structures, creative streetscapes, appropriate structure forms and creative bicycle/vehicle lanes much like the Design Studio is doing in West Dallas • Avoid the controversy of the Bishop Davis zoning matter because the plan has already been vetted by the development and neighborhood communities and city staff and voted on and codified by the City Housing Committee, the City Planning Commission and the City Council Our regularly scheduled meetings are the first and second Mondays of each month for years now. Is it possible to schedule any future public meetings on this topic to any other day of the month so that we might attend? We would appreciate it! Your first meeting was scheduled on July 11, the same night as our regularly scheduled monthly Board meeting making neighborhood participation difficult. Thank you so much for your attention to our concerns.
Michael Amonett, President, Old Oak Cliff Conservation League
cc: Honorable Mayor Rawlings and City Council City Planning Commission