Q&A, Response

Response – Public Meeting Q&A July 11, 2011

For those present, thank you for attending the public meeting on July 11.  More than 120 neighbors and stakeholders signed-in to participate in the gathering hosted by Methodist Hospital and organized by the Oak Cliff Gateway Advisory Committee.

The evening started with a presentation highlighting the long road to adoption of a land use plan in 2009 and then continued with an explanation of the purpose and charge for the Oak Cliff Gateway Advisory Committee. Attendees learned that the committee will make recommendations to designate zoning districts, address permitted land use, define urban form and building design standards and it will consider street and streetscape design standards.  Download the presentation >>

During the meeting we assembled into three groups corresponding with different parts of the study area. Group leaders received a good number of comments and questions.  Responses have been consolidated into summaries A-C:

Summary A:       Thoroughfares and street planning, boundaries, building heights, parking, eminent domain and views of downtown

Suggestions & Comments

a. Would like to see tiered building heights

b. Would like to see permeable views – 20% land coverage, rather than a wall of tall buildings

c. Do not want to see high-rise tower development

d. New development in the study area should showcase the current type of land uses and construction materials traditional to the area

e. Would like to see Beckley Blvd. more pedestrian friendly

f.  Would like to see slower vehicular speeds along Beckley Blvd

g. Do not want to see an increase in through traffic within the East Kessler neighborhood

h. Would like to see planning begin with ideas for the street grid

i.  Would like to see protecting of the greenbelt

j.  Do not want to see properties taken by the City of Dallas

Status [A]

On boundaries: Dallas City Council and the Dallas City Planning Commission have already decided on the matter of boundaries.  This advisory committee will take efforts to honor previous compromises and decisions that have brought us to this point in rezoning the Oak Cliff Gateway.

On current zoning: You can familiarize yourself with existing zoning ordinances and the building guidelines already allowed by clicking on the following links:

PD 160 – Kidd Springs  >>

PD 468-A – Beckley Avenue Industrial Area >>

PD 468-B – Oak Farms Commercial Area >>

PD 468-C – Lake Cliff Residential Area >>

PD 468-D – Founders Park Mixed Area >>

PD 468-E – Hospital Area >>

On streets, uses and zoning methods: The advisory committee is scheduling a series of meetings with subject matter experts to address the following areas of concern:  thoroughfare plans, complete streets, non-conforming uses, and the City of Dallas Form Based zoning codes.

On objectives of rezoning: The committee’s first draft, as presented on July 11, outlines several objectives addressing many of the concerns raised during the public meeting and subsequently shared on this blog.  These objectives include:

– Encourage properly scaled infill development

– Establish a scale of development capitalizing on the Gateway’s vehicular traffic patterns – – while encouraging some areas to develop greater pedestrian activity.

– Create vibrant mixed-use districts.

– Encourage the development of a medium density, mid-rise residential districts

– Encourage the development of mixed use transitional areas allowing for ground floor retail and personal services along thoroughfares and within selected districts.

– Create development patterns allowing permeability of views for properties behind districts allowing mid-rise and high-rise development.

– Incorporate access points for pedestrians and bicycle users to the Trinity River.

On parking: The advisory committee will recommend roadway improvements along thoroughfares and streets.  These amenities will include traffic calming methods, bike lanes and designated areas to accommodate off-street parking.  In an effort to encourage vibrant, pedestrian oriented mixed-use districts, recommendations will address off-street parking regulations as well.

On the matter of eminent domain:  The advisory committee does not have the authority to take private real estate for public use.  If you would you like to learn more about the regulation and process of eminent domain click here [link].

Summary B:       Will the Oak Cliff Gateway rezoning recommendations reconcile with all the various plans and concepts already adopted?  i.e. The Forward Dallas Plan, The Dallas Bike Plan, Trinity River Corridor plan.

Status [B]

The advisory committee is reconciling common themes to draft an ordinance with incentives and standards to meet with the objectives of the various plans adopted to date.  Some of these objectives include better walkability, greater connectivity and traditional neighborhood structure and access to the Trinity River.  The committee is also exploring ways to address the larger issue of providing fair treatment for structures and uses that may be viewed as non-conforming.  Keep in mind that it could take decades to realize this vision, so the committee will seek ways to allow for transitional uses in the interim.

Summary C:     Will the Oak Cliff Gateway Advisory Committee propose adoption of form based zoning for the Gateway?

Suggestions & Comments

a. Propose form based zoning instead of defining a planned development district

b. The OCCCL and others worked with the City of Dallas to adopt a form based code

Status [C]

The committee is working with our planning consultant and scheduling time with other subject matter experts to review the advantages of using the City of Dallas Form based zoning ordinance or defining another planned development district (PD).  Regardless of which method is recommended, committee members agree on incorporating major principles of smart code, form-based and complete streets planning.


Q&As: Gathered by Don Maison, Jim Cutler, Rob Garza, Tino Jalomo and Michael Mendoza

Responses: Drafted by Tino Jalomo and Michael A. Mendoza in  consultation with the Oak Cliff Gateway Advisory Committee



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