Last night, District 14 council member David Blewett held the first community meeting of an authorized hearing involving the Arts District. The purpose is two-fold:
First to update the original Arts District plan (known as the Sasaki Plan) adopted by the city in 1981 – no surprise that urban planning has changed.
Secondly, the desire to expand one of two Planned Development Districts (PDs) to grow the district one block south to San Jacinto Street from the DMA to One Arts Plaza and unofficially encompassing Klyde Warren Park.
So far so good, nothing too odd here. But …
An authorized hearing is called when the city needs to decide on appropriate zoning (changes) in a specified area and in certain instances (i.e. all authorized hearings are zoning cases, but not all zoning cases are authorized hearings). But off the bat, we heard that Dallas Arts District representatives have been working on the Sasaki rewrite for roughly five years. They presented full-blown-and-baked renderings of their proposed streetscapes and appeared to have the new PD verbiage captured. We also saw that 90 to 100 percent of the stakeholders were already in agreement.