Dry overlay finally passes

the overlay was revived after discussions among Council members

Regular readers of this column will recall that residents of Old East Dallas have been working for months to obtain passage of a “D-1”, or Dry Overlay District. Last month, I described the overlay’s defeat by the Plan Commission, despite support from neighborhood and community groups.

Following the Advocate’s press deadline, however, the overlay was revived after discussions among Council members, Plan Commission members and neighborhood groups. And on Jan. 28, the overlay was approved by a 9-6 vote, with commissioner Martinez and me (who represent the affected area) voting for the proposal.

The overlay district is bounded on the north by the alley between Ross and San Jacinto, on the east by Glasgow, on the south bey the Santa Fe Railroad tracks, and on the west generally by Haskell to the north and Peak to the south.

The Plan Commission recommended the Council waive specific use permit (SUP) application fees for existing area businesses for a one-year period following adoption of the ordinance by the Council. The waiver will be granted on a case-by-case basis, depending upon economic hardship.

This provision addressed the concern of “mom and pop” businesses for whom the several-hundred-dollar permit fee would be a financial hardship.

Based upon the Commission’s vote, it appears likely the Council also will support the ordinance. The Texas Supreme Court ruling on the general issue of whether cities can use dry overlay districts to regulate state-licensed, alcohol-related business is expected this spring.

After passage by the Council, it will be up to the community to monitor SUP applications and to provide input on a case-by-case basis.

GASTON PD CHALLENGE: The proposed Pitre Vision Home group residential facility and the proposed Kid Net group home for drug-affected babies came before the Plan Commission on Feb. 4 for consideration as amendments to Planned Development District No. 362 along Gaston Avenue, between Fitzhugh and Carroll. (See Debbie Cartwright’s Kid Net feature in this issue of the Advocate).

Supporters of the homes and neighborhood residents who opposed the request because they were reluctant who opposed the request because they were reluctant to amend the PD just one year after its implementation, both provided testimony.

By an 11-2 vote, the Plan Commission recommended no changes to the PD, supporting the neighborhood’s position. It appears unlikely the matter will go before the Council following its defeat at the Plan Commission.

Kid Net expressed its willingness to operate its facility on a smaller scale, which is allowed in the PD. However, Pietre’s plans are unknown.

During the hearing, it came to light that Pitre originally planned to operate his facility as a boarding house. He said he could not operate the group home economically with only five residents, which is permitted.

Yet another, unnamed group residential facility has applied for an SUP within the Gaston PD. The Plan Commission will hear that case March 4.

The property address is 4513 Gaston, northeast of Carroll. Contact Ms. P.J. Young at the Planning Department, 670-3086 for information.

ZONING CASES RESCHEDULED: Two recent East Dallas zoning cases have been rescheduled for Council action.

The case involving the car wash located at Reiger and Collett, near the Munger Place Historic District, was scheduled for Council action Feb. 10, but was postponed until March 10.

And the case involving the single family zoned lot at the northeast corner of Greenville and Marquita will be heard March 24 by the Council. (The case is among several profiled in this month’s Advocate front page story.) The San Francisco Rose restaurant has applied to use the lot for additional parking.

The Plan Commission approved the application, but the neighborhoods are working to obtain 20 percent opposition, thereby forcing a three-fourths vote for Council approval.

RETURN TO HOLLYWOOD: Extensive revisions to the ordinance governing the Hollywood-Santa Monica Conservation District were slated for Plan Commission consideration Feb. 18 (following the Advocate’s deadline).

Beginning in late 1991, the City’s planning staff decided that some revisions to the district ordinance would clean up errors in language, as well as bring the ordinance into compliance with applicable state law.

Included in the request are new or revised definitions for “accent color”, “parkway”, “remodel’, “side yard”, “street facade” and “trim color”.

Also, proposals are included to remove the 15-foot corner side yard setback requirement; clarify garage door and carport entry setbacks; require architectural compatibility for accessory structures visible from the street on corner lots; clarify provisions for porch enclosures; provide approved paint color ranges; make amendments to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act standards; and provide that appeals of the Planning Director’s decisions on compliance are made to the Board of Adjustment instead of the Plan Commission.

If you have questions on these revisions, please contact Michael Finley with the planning department, 670-3086.

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