Preston Center: Photo by Fernando Rojas

Preston Center: Photo by Fernando Rojas

The pieces to the forthcoming Preston Center land-use study are set to fall into place by this summer, discouraging any new zoning changes in the area while traffic engineers, city planners, business owners and neighbors decide what’s best for the troubled intersection. But this week’s City Plan Commission agenda included a request from Crow Holidays for a specific use permit to build a pedestrian skybridge from the garage to the future site of a new Tom Thumb.

That isn’t sitting well with neighbors who fought against the two recent apartment proposals that spurred the study.

“Despite repeated conversations with you and Commissioner Murphy over the past several weeks, we have received no assurance from either of you that this case will not be acted upon, as promised, until the master plan is complete,” states a letter to Councilwoman Jennifer Staubach Gates’ office last week and signed by several neighborhood leaders, including former mayor Laura Miller.

“The purpose of this letter is not to debate the merits of allowing a pedestrian sky bridge to be built over a city street to the already over-crowded, two-story public parking garage in the center of Preston Center West. The purpose of this letter is to ask you, most ardently and respectfully, to honor your unequivocal commitment to us – made in numerous public and private meetings over the past six months – to not approve any land use changes in and around Preston Center until we have finished creating a communal vision for this area that benefits both area residents and Preston Center business owners.”

Read the full letter here.

As Gates previously told us, the city can’t place a moratorium on all re-zoning requests within the boundaries of the study. Everyone still has the right to file, but it’s up to her and the rest of the council and commissioners to decide whether a request would negatively impact the efforts of the study.

City staff, however, recommended approval of the skybridge. The issue has now been delayed until the Jan. 22 plan commissioners meeting while Gates and Commissioner Murphy take a closer look at the request.

The Dallas Observer reported on the details of the skybridge and the 50,000-square-foot Tom Thumb slated for the former Sanger Harris department store at Berkshire and Westchester, noting that the zoning is in place for the grocer. It’s just the bridge that needs approval.


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