New-Transwestern-rendering-Preston-Rd 

After attending my first Dallas Planning Commission meeting yesterday, I called my doctor for some anti-depressants to keep from cutting myself. I’ll give Commissioner Margot Murphy credit for putting attendees out of their misery quickly by moving the item up in the docket, but fault her for asking for a two-week delay in what has been nearly two years of tedium (history here, here, here and 25 more stories posted on Candysdirt.com). When the vote was taken to postpone, clearly not everyone was a “Yea” but no one had the guts to rock the boat and say “Nay.”

Why was the delay asked for? Shenanigans. Plain old political shenanigans.

Ya see, the Preston Hollow EAST Homeowners Association (PHEHA) which is directly north of the proposed development is apparently claiming surprise at the Planning Commission vote and in general at not being notified of the latest Transwestern proposal that’s been floating around since March. (You remember March, that was when we were hoping for a little rain.)

Ashley Parks, previous president and current PHEHA board member for the seemingly new post covering “zoning,” apparently missed the stories in the press, the discussions from the Preston Center Task Force meetings (of which she’s an appointed neighborhood representative) and the meeting last Thursday at the Baptist Church called by homeowners to talk one last time with Transwestern.

Oh, and apparently Parks missed the strings of communications sent directly by and to her and current PHEHA president Judy Smiley. Here’s a refresher …

(more…)

7 -7 final.jpg

Newest hot-off- the- press rendering for the proposed development

Is it time to take down the “No! Not in Preston Hollow” signs? Maybe!

Transwestern, the folks building those fancy new luxury apartments over at Northwest Highway and Preston Road, NOT to be confused with the luxury high rise apartment Crosland Group hopes to build IN PRESTON CENTER, has made some major, major concessions to its original plans in an effort to appease the homeowners who are concerned over the proposed changes bringing more dense living to the western edge of the Pink Wall neighborhood.

The density of the proposed project that would replace 24 old rental apartments and 12 townhomes has been significantly reduced.

Change Number 1: The number of units built will be only 165, way down from the original 296. 165 is also only 20 units more that Transwestern could build under current zoning.

Change Number 2: The homeowners who live on Del Norte got their way. Transwestern will only build three-story units in the property segment that runs from Averill Way north to the edge of the property line. This is the area closest to the single family homes on Del Norte. The units built on the property that runs from Averill Way to Northwest Highway will be four stories. That is only 1 story more than current zoning.

“It’s the right thing to do,” says Mark M. Culwell, Jr. Transwestern’s Managing Director of  Development. “The process is set up for collaboration — you hope at the end of the day it all produces a good result.”

(more…)

A resident within Preston Hollow East Homeowners Association received a flier from Transwestern and Dodd Communications and sent it our way. Some homeowners are saying that the flier is misleading, claiming that the rezoning was already in the bag:

SOMEONE THOUGHT THAT SARAH DODD’S BROCHURE INDICATED THAT THE REZONING WAS ALREADY DONE, AND AS I RE-READ, I COULD SEE THAT THE WORDING WAS MEANT TO MISLEAD AND TO DISPIRIT US. ON THE BACK PAGE, FIRST PARAGRAPH, SARAH STATES,”ANY ZONING CHANGES WE REQUEST WILL BE FOR A SMALL INCREASE IN DENSITY…” THAT IS TRULY UNDERSTATING THE MAGNITUDE OF GOING FROM 55 TO 600 RESIDENTS ON THOSE THREE ACRES.

Here’s what the brochure says on the back page:

Do you need a zoning change to redevelop this property?
No, the property is already zoned for apartment development and decades old apartment homes and townhomes currently sit on the property. Any zoning changes we request will be for a small increase in density to allow us to include more amenities in this project like underground parking and extensive landscaping.

As we’ve previously reported yes, the property planned for redevelopment does require rezoning to accommodate the 225-ish units they are proposing BUT the area is already zoned for approximately 120 apartments:

… the property’s current zoning allows for just 130 units. Right now there are 24 apartments and 12 condos on the site of the proposed development. So the re-zoning proposal would still add more than six times the existing units. That could mean a lot more traffic in the area, something to which neighbors are vigorously opposed.

The flier is accurate in claiming that under current zoning restrictions, the developer could build a larger complex than what currently exists, but in order to build their proposed development, they do need to re-zone the parcel. You can read the whole flier below:

Transwestern Flier Sent to Preston Hollow East Homeowners

Intrepid reporter Emily Toman at the Preston Hollow Advocate posted this video last week of Preston Hollow East Homeowners Association members gathering to protest Transwestern’s proposed development at Preston Road and Northwest Highway.

Since the project first caught the eyes of nearby residents, the scale has been shaved from 296 to 225 units. Still, residents believe that the scope of the proposed luxury apartment development will add a tremendous amount of traffic to an already congested intersection.

The biggest concern is how an influx of people and cars might affect the often gridlocked stretch along Northwest Highway, possibly prompting drivers to cut through the neighborhoods. Neighbors fear that, if approved, this development would be the first of more big developments to come to that high-profile area.

Landscape site plan Preston and Northwest Highway

Word comes from the great neighborhood reporters at the Preston Hollow Advocate that Transwestern has decided to slim down the scale of its proposed apartment development at Preston Road and Northwest Highway from eight stories to six, shrinking the complex’s size from 296 to 225 units.

For neighbors and members of the Preston Hollow East Homeowners Association, that’s a good start. Still, neighbors feel the complex, planned for the northeast corner of the intersection just across the street from Ebby’s Little White House, will add an unbearable amount of traffic to an already congested area.

According to the story from the Advocate, the property’s current zoning allows for just 130 units. Right now there are 24 apartments and 12 condos on the site of the proposed development. So the re-zoning proposal would still add more than six times the existing units. That could mean a lot more traffic in the area, something to which neighbors are vigorously opposed.

“Traffic is the big concern,” PHEHA president Ashley Parks said in the Advocate story. The PHEHA petition has almost 1,050 signatures as of this morning (almost double the amount since our last report), and residents are planning a rally on Saturday at 2:22 p.m. at Preston Hollow Park.

So, do you think Transwestern’s revised re-zoning plan goes far enough to protect the neighborhood from excess traffic? Or are nearby residents blowing the whole thing out of proportion?

Landscape site plan Preston and Northwest Highway

Word comes from the great neighborhood reporters at the Preston Hollow Advocate that Transwestern has decided to slim down the scale of its proposed apartment development at Preston Road and Northwest Highway from eight stories to six, shrinking the complex’s size from 296 to 225 units.

For neighbors and members of the Preston Hollow East Homeowners Association, that’s a good start. Still, neighbors feel the complex, planned for the northeast corner of the intersection just across the street from Ebby’s Little White House, will add an unbearable amount of traffic to an already congested area.

According to the story from the Advocate, the property’s current zoning allows for just 130 units. Right now there are 24 apartments and 12 condos on the site of the proposed development. So the re-zoning proposal would still add more than six times the existing units. That could mean a lot more traffic in the area, something to which neighbors are vigorously opposed.

“Traffic is the big concern,” PHEHA president Ashley Parks said in the Advocate story. The PHEHA petition has almost 1,050 signatures as of this morning (almost double the amount since our last report), and residents are planning a rally on Saturday at 2:22 p.m. at Preston Hollow Park.

So, do you think Transwestern’s revised re-zoning plan goes far enough to protect the neighborhood from excess traffic? Or are nearby residents blowing the whole thing out of proportion?