In 1963, the RCA Victor Company, which manufactured televisions, ran an advertising campaign with the slogan “The Gift That Keeps On Giving.” The neighborhood adjacent to Preston Center —PD-15, where one might actually still find an RCA Victor TV today, is a lot like that old ad.
PD-15 is the neighborhood behind the Pink Wall at Northwest Highway and Preston Road where a condo fire almost three years ago killed one resident and left hundreds homeless (not to mention a charred hulk of concrete over a basement parking garage).
I received word on Sunday that CARD (Citizens Advocating Responsible Development), a non-profit association that is not happy with the way zoning changes proposed for PD-15, has hired former WFAA investigative reporter and congressional-candidate-turned-media-consultant Brett Shipp as their spokesperson. Or, as Brett told me, “to fight out of control, irresponsible development” at Preston Place.
CARD says it is a “grass-roots force to stop development change,” claiming Dallas City Hall is not listening. As always, I add this disclaimer: I own a unit in this area, and I do have a dog in this hunt. That is one reason why our columnist, Jon Anderson, who recently sold a unit at The Athena, has been covering so much of this case from the days when Transwestern first bought Townhouse Row and an apartment complex on the very corner of Preston and Northwest Highway.
Brett Shipp told me Sunday he is taking on the cause and is planning a presser. And there’s more…
A report on said presser is already circulating on Facebook, posted by CARD member, former Laura Miller supporter, and PD-15 resident Sharon Stone, among others:
NEWS FLASH!!! “CARD” ( Citizens Advocating Reasonable Development) & Media Consultant BRETT SHIPP will hold a PRESS CONFERENCE
– WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 4!!! @ 10:30 a.m.
-Behind the Pink Wall
– Directly behind Preston Towers (in the Alley between “Gaslight Manor” lowrise on Bandera & Preston Tower , on the East Side of Pickwick Ln, just south of Bandera)
All the major networks local affiliates and members of the print media will be there in attendance !
Everyone who opposes the City’s Plans for AGGRESSIVE UPZONING in PD-15 & Preston Center as well as throughout Dallas is welcomed and encouraged to attend !
Today PD-15, tomorrow it could be YOUR neighborhood!
MARK YOUR CALENDAR & COME SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR OVER 80% OF THE HOMEOWNERS IN PD15 WHO ARE ASKING THE CITY FOR REASONABLE DEVELOPMENT !!!
“CARD” – Citizens Advocating Reasonable Development
The interesting thing about this movement is that it seems to be attempting to pull in help from residents from outside of the Pink Wall area who, in general, are opposed to greater density in development across the city.
A GoFundMe campaign has also been started by William Kritzer, a resident of Preston Tower, one of the two high rise towers in PD-15 that claim to not want a third tower in between them.
The fund, started July 31, has collected $1,600 of its $5,000 goal to date with 25 donations, many of them anonymous.
The facts change a lot in these posts, so here is what we, who have been covering this since well before 2017, the first blaze, the second blaze, and every subsequent PD-15 meeting, and were the first to report the fire, know:
Claim: “The City has worked with developers proposing at least one 310 H building!”
Fact: “One thing that Gates was fairly clear on was her support for Residential Proximity Slope (RPS), which translates to her not supporting the 310-foot plan passed by Plan Commission.”
The Dallas City Council and Plan Commission have an open door to listen to the plans and concerns of developers as well as residents. Almost without exception, developers and applicants for zoning changes present their plans to relevant city departments and representatives to inform and exchange ideas before votes are taken on the matter.
Claim: “80% (sometimes it’s 60 to 79%) of the owners living within PD 15 notification area are OPPOSED and VOTED AGAINST the previous City plan of 240-foot heights – some 70-feet below the existing 50-year-old towers.
Fact: Each condo building gets a single vote cast by a condominium representative. Condo HOAs could enable individual voting for residents to get an accurate count, but have refused. Many homeowners are in favor of development. Many of the structures behind the Pink Wall are 60 to 80 years old, and many are rentals facing structural obsolescence and deferred maintenance, as the Preston Place condos did, which burned.
Claim: A Traffic Study has not been done.
Our Jon Anderson, who has been covering the PD-15 discussion since day one, will file a report after the press conference Wednesday.