In January, nearly 100 neighbors interested in Planned Development 15 packed the Walnut Hill Recreation Center community room. The PD-15 area is located north of West Northwest Highway between Pickwick Lane and Baltimore Avenue and encompasses six condominium complexes. At issue: What will become of the condos now after one complex burned down? What are the height restrictions? What’s the grand vision for redevelopment? Millions of dollars are at stake. City Council member Jennifer Staubach Gates told the crowd that she’d like for recommendations to be ready by March given that the last committee couldn’t come to a resolution. Why should neighbors care about what seems like a difficult-to-understand issue? If you care about traffic and Northwest Highway development, here’s what you need to know.
What is a planned development?
• It establishes planning and zoning regulations for an area of land.
What is PD-15?
• PD-15 was established April 23, 1947, and includes approximately 14.2 acres.
Why a PD-15 steering committee?
• Preston Place burned down in March 2017.
• The City immediately created a study group, which ultimately couldn’t come to an agreement about how to develop the area.
• In April 2018, at a community meeting, Gates invited citizens to apply to be on a new steering committee.
Who’s on the new PD-15 steering committee?
The City reports the organization represents all property owners within PD-15, with proportional representation mirroring land mass. Neighborhood representives from outside PD-15 also are included:
• Preston Place: Trish Morin-Resch
• Preston Tower: Tatiana Frierson and Robert Bowling
• Athena: Margaret Darden and Barbara Dewberry
• Royal Orleans: Ed Massman
• The Diplomat: Maggie Sherrod
• Diamond Head: Sandra Welch
• Preston Hollow East Homeowners Association: Juli Black
• Immediate adjacent neighbors to PD-15 (behind the “pink wall”): Grover Wilkins, Preston Hollow South Neighborhood Association; Kevin Griffeth; Jim Panipinto
Why should you care?
How much traffic will development bring to PD-15 and surrounding streets? How high should the buildings be? How much do you care about being able to walk to Preston Center? Are you concerned about underground parking? What about flooding and water flow management?
What has the new steering committee been doing?
• Wilkins, desiring an urbanist’s counsel, invited architect Michael Friebele at Callison RTKL to offer a concept.
• The Friebele concept: “One idea, and you build the whole thing.” Sources won’t allow us to publish a map of the concept, but the idea is for architects to design one concept for all properties, suggesting no more than 10 stories on Northwest Highway and four stories on the north side.
• Here’s what owners at all condo properties want, according to Wilkins: plenty of green space and walkability; high rises on the south, low rises on north.
What should you do?
Ask questions. Contact Andrew Ruegg, at 214-671-7931 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“This tract of land is incredible,” Wilkins says. “I am three minutes from the tollway, five minutes from Central Expressway. What more do you want? The design factor is essential. We think if we present this to the community, the community will go with this.”
Sources: Dallas City Hall, Grover Wilkins
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