Last night I spent time at Preston Tower listening to Steve Dawson, the Pink Wall representative on the Preston Center Task Force explain the area’s poison pills for redevelopment.
There are two ways land usage can be shaped. Either through city/municipal zoning or through civil covenants and deed restrictions. According to the Task Force, aside from the Preston Tower and Athena PD 15 area and the new PD for the Laurel project on Preston and Northwest Highway, the Pink Wall is zoned MF-1 (A). Roughly, this designation equates to three-stories with the (A) designation adding some setback requirements. However according to Article IV on Zoning, the MF-1(A) setback requirements are only required of “nonresidential districts” and the Pink Wall is clearly residential.
In addition, when the Pink Wall was developed in the 1950s as part of the town of Preston Hollow, the builders placed deed restrictions on the lands from Northwest Highway to the alley between Bandera and Del Norte and from one lot inside Preston Road to Edgemere. Covering several tracts, the restrictions are the same. The restrictions essentially limit the building to the existing height, setbacks and unit counts per parcel. In other words: A dead end for redevelopment without intervention. Transwestern’s Laurel project is outside the restriction zone.
The deed restrictions, dating from 1956, had an initial enforceability period of 20 years and automatically renew every 10 years. The latest renewal was on Jan. 1, 2016.