Yesterday, the results of the PD-15 authorized hearing had their first airing with City Plan Commission. Those expecting a knock-down, drag-out were disappointed. Those relishing hypocrisy, dipped in pretension, were not disappointed.

It was explained that because the opposition to the city’s PD-15 draft had paid the fee to postpone the meeting originally scheduled on March 21, the meeting had to take place that day because a postponement sets a clock ticking. Because of that, and the unavailability of the much-awaited traffic study, the CPC hearing was ultimately split into two parts. Traffic issues and more discussion will take place at the June 6 CPC meeting.

CPC chair Gloria Tarpley set out the game plan from the beginning so everyone understood what was being accomplished that day. Zoning cases usually have an applicant (someone wanting to do something) but the authorized hearing didn’t. So the meeting disposed of the usual presentation of whizzy graphs and ambitious drawings. Instead, Tarpley opened it up to public comment for those in support of the city’s recommendation and those opposed.

First up were those in support (myself included – I’m a PD-15 resident). I’m going to call it 10 people who spoke. Their comments can be bucketed into:

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New-Transwestern-rendering-Preston-Rd

As predicted, we are all two-weeks older since the Planning Commission fobbed-off the vote on the proposed Transwestern development at the northeast corner of Preston Road and Northwest Highway. What, if any, votes changed in those two weeks is unknown, but I suspect few. Certainly attendees were not treated to German band Texas Lightening popping out of a cake as I’d hoped.

In those two weeks Transwestern held a meeting largely for angry single-family homeowners upset that the proposal had moved on without them paying attention and seemingly their neighborhood association not informing them. Thankfully I was busy elsewhere that evening. However, I invited Candy over after the fireworks to spill the beans while I plied her with wine.

Also in those two weeks the opposition became a bit more organized and vocal, certainly putting up more of a show at today’s Planning Commission meeting.

And a show it was… hours of tedium and speechifying. It was like church without the wine and crackers.

The same tired rubrics about density, traffic and parking ultimately found no purchase with the Commission. Especially after both the Transwestern-hired traffic engineering representative and the City traffic planning representative spoke. Those arguments were shot, gutted, stuffed and mounted on the rumpus room wall. (more…)

Adam and Alicia Rico. Photo courtesy Ryan Ray

Adam and Alicia Rico. Photo courtesy Ryan Ray

Adam and Alicia Rico are trendsetters of sorts, and quick to spot an opportunity when it comes to expanding their business reach.

The Brooklyn couple relocated to Dallas and opened a floral shop, Bows and Arrows Flowers, on Lower Greenville in 2009. Their gorgeous bouquets and arrangements quickly became one of the must-have wedding details for many Dallas brides.

They moved their shop to Bryan Street in old East Dallas in 2011. Last July, the pair spotted a dilapidated mansion in the neighborhood that, to their eye, would make a perfect wedding chapel once renovated, replete with the kind of stylish, high-end details they already offer with their flowers.

They live nearby at N. Fitzhugh Avenue and Live Oak Street and know the area well, so they purchased the property and spent months renovating the space and clearing trash and debris from neighboring lots. They built a new outdoor courtyard, added new exterior features, and were at work on the interior, as well.

But to make the wedding chapel legal, they needed to rezone to property from residential to commercial. And that’s where they ran into problems, Adam said.

“We knew that the process of zoning takes a while to go through, so we estimated four to five months, knowing that it could be challenging at any point,” said Adam. “But we didn’t expect to run into so much opposition from a few neighborhood associations.” Jump to read more!

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