Letter to Oak Cliff Gateway Steering >>
 EKPNA Remarks & Recommendations >>
 Response GFF/Gateway Steering Committee >>
November 21, 2011
Dear Christian and Oak Cliff Gateway Committee:
There are a couple assertions in the Oak Cliff Gateway Recommendation document (attached) from
Timothy Herfel representing the East Kessler Neighborhood Association that I feel warrant some
additional perspective for the consideration by the committee.
We at Methodist Health System cherish the neighborhoods around Methodist Dallas Medical Center
and know they bring tremendous value to our area. We are certainly supportive of Oak Cliff Gateway
changes that enhance our area. However, the reduction of lanes on Beckley Ave. from I-30 to
Colorado Blvd. and on Colorado Blvd from Bishop Ave. to I-35 would impede emergency vehicle
traffic and cause additional traffic congestion.
By maintaining those lanes, the committee will not only minimize potential disruption of ambulance
and other emergency traffic but will also accommodate the additional demand that would be essential
to our, and other, planned developments in the zone east of Beckley Ave. and west of Zang Blvd.
In comparison, I would ask the committee to consider roadways surrounding other major
hospitals in the Dallas area. Those that I visit most frequently do currently have lane numbers that
appear comparable to Beckley. For instance, Harry Hines Blvd. which runs in front of Parkland and
UTSW and Walnut Hill Rd. fronting Presbyterian-Dallas.
Methodist Health System encourages and supports healthy lifestyles for our employees and
community. We have been recognized locally and nationally for being on the leading-edge for some
of our employee health initiatives. We believe however, that it is possible to have a healthy lifestyle
without necessarily riding a bicycle on the main thoroughfares around Methodist Dallas. I am one of
those people who cycles for my aerobic exercise. I’ve ridden thousands of miles through north Oak
Cliff over the past five years without riding on Beckley (other than to cross over it).
The committee has a tough job trying to blend a multitude of perspectives, some of which are
asynchronous. It is our hope that the committee can establish a plan that enhances the Oak Cliff
Gateway but also maintains the current lanes around the Methodist Dallas Medical Center campus.
Stephen L. Mansfield, Ph.D., FACHE
President and CEO
Methodist Health System
November 16, 2011
Mr. Timothy Herfel, President
East Kessler Park Neighborhood Association
Subject: Response to EKPNA Letter of November 6, 2011
Item #1: (use of City’s Article 13 Form Districts Verbatim)
 Because the Oak Cliff Gateway is a diverse sector of the city, made up of a historical residential
neighborhood (Lake Cliff) and commercial and industrial properties nearly 100 years old, we felt that it
deserved a carefully customized ordinance which could foster the future vision while reflecting this existing diverse fabric. We believe that WUR rather than RTN is the best choice for the corridors along Beckley, Zang and Marsalis adjacent to Kidd Springs, East Kessler and Lake Cliff because the proposed mix of soft commercial and moderately scaled residential uses is appropriate for those high traffic/future transit thoroughfares. We recommended deletion of the Development Types sections because they are redundant and unnecessary to the integrity of the form standards.
Item #3: (Beckley Avenue)
 It is our opinion that Beckley has excess lane capacity both now and in a fully developed Gateway build out, and we generally support the idea of trading a lane of vehicular traffic in the south bound direction for a designated bicycle lane, while allowing bicycles to share a north bound lane (downhill) with autos. We have recommended that Methodist undertake a traffic study by a qualified professional traffic engineer to justify their position that no reduction would be acceptable. We will be meeting with Methodist soon to see what they have learned in their traffic study.
Item #4: (Solidarity with Other Neighborhoods Against “Unfriendly Zoning”)
 The Steering Committee has been diligent in soliciting, receiving and responding to questions and
suggestions from stakeholders in the Gateway. Many changes have been made from draft to draft that have resulted in an improved ordinance and we thank each group for their participation in the process. We hope it would not be characterized as unfriendly zoning.
Item #5: (Uses and Parking)
A. All lodging uses by SUP.
 We have suggested an SUP requirement in all of the sensitive residential-adjacent areas; the
chief offender of lodging problems (motels) are not a permitted use.
B. Need a definition for “Visual or performing arts studio.”
 Agreed; this will be added. An SUP should be required for this use in WUR. Once the definition is clarified, we think you will find an SUP to not be necessary; this was a use suggested by Lake Cliff as a good compatible use in and adjacent to their neighborhood.
C. Remove private recreation center club or area from WUR.
D. Live/work units not desired in WUR-EK
 The committee as of now does not have a problem making a recommendation for this. We would,
however, like to hear from the actual property owners of those parcels and see open communication
between the neighborhood and them. Its our understanding this has not happened yet.
E. General merchandise or food store less than 3,500 SF should require an SUP in WUR…
 Agreed, as pertains to convenience stores; we’ll work on the definition, and may isolate
convenience stores. This needs further exploration. We would like to seek a balance for
zoning that promotes businesses like Urban Acres while discouraging stores selling ‘single serve’
Restaurant without drive thru service should be added in WUR…
Utility or government installation needs SUP in WUR.
 City of Dallas will not accept this (we’ve tried!).
F. Single-family residential parking…
 This will be changed to 2 spaces/unit.
Guest parking for multi-family…
 No change recommended.
Medical office parking…
 1 space/200 SF seems possible but we would like to see what ZOAC (Zoning Ordinance
Advisory Committee) says in their report due out in a few weeks
Restaurant/bar/private club parking…
No change recommended.
G. Parking reductions for streetcar access and bus transit,
 This was taken from Article 13; no change was recommended.
H. Access to car-sharing program…
 Format of document was confusing because sentence continues on p. 23; this will be corrected
in final draft.
I. Employee transportation demand management…
 This was taken verbatim from Article 13, and is a good policy; no changes recommended.
J. Special parking regulations…
 This was taken verbatim from Article 13; no changes recommended.
K. Remote parking 300 feet vs 1000 feet…
 1000 feet is very appropriate in a pedestrian-oriented district; no changes recommended (remote
parking has already been prohibited in WUR-EK district).
L. Parking special exceptions…
M. Who will maintain the trash receptacles at 1 per 300ft in the ROW?
 Trash receptacles must be maintained, emptied regularly by the property owner who installed them –
unless a Public Improvement District is created for the Gateway. This requirement was taken from Article 13.
GFF/Oak Cliff Gateway Steering Committee
Pingback: Methodist Hospital…on changing traffic patterns along Beckley & Colorado « Oak Cliff Gateway - November 23, 2011
Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
Join 402 other followers
Oak Cliff Gateway
Blog at WordPress.com. The Morning After Theme.
Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.