Apartments on Garland Road fail to woo Plan Commission

Lennar's proposed design for a 294-apartment complex on Garland Road.
Lennar’s proposed design for a 294-apartment complex on Garland Road.

Dallas Cothrum, the representative for developer Lennar Multifamily Community, had defeat in his voice when he approached the microphone at Thursday’s Dallas Plan Commission meeting to discuss the proposed 294-unit apartment complex on Garland Road.

“We made every effort to come up with something reasonable and higher end,” he told commissioners, explaining that Lennar could not find common ground with the neighbors. “We just couldn’t quite get there. We’d like to have more time.”

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Neighbors punctuated that point by sticking through a marathon meeting that didn’t consider the proposal until almost 7 p.m. Commenter after commenter had the same critique of the project: it’s too big and areas around the lake must be developed more thoughtfully.

“The land around White Rock Lake is sparse and precious,” Vail Fassett, co-president of the Little Forest Hills Neighborhood Association told the commission. “We as a community can’t be short-sighted in our plan.”

The land in question includes 9353 Garland Road, which currently houses White Rock Community Church, along with a medical office building at  9335 Garland Parkway.

Lennar’s proposal for the 4.33-acre property included buildings that rose from 45 feet at Garland Road, to 95 feet at the back of the property, and included a request for an additional 12-feet for support structures like communication towers and elevator penthouses. Despite neighbors’ concerns for traffic, city staff “determined that it will not impact the surrounding street system for the proposed development,” the report stated.

Michael Jung, Councilman Mark Clayton’s appointee to the Plan Commission, said he thinks apartments is an appropriate use for the property, but the density was simply too high. He pointed out that neighboring complexes have between 17-39 units-per-acre. Lennar, by comparison, asked for 68 apartments-per-acre.

“I suggested 40 units (per acre),” Jung told the crowd. “The developer said there’d be no way to make that work.”

Jung also said he had received 99 emails against the project compared to six in favor.

With that, the commission unanimously denied Lennar’s request without prejudice, but the developer may still appeal that decision to the City Council.


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  • Biff Henderson

    BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME

  • Darryl Baker

    Developers are not very smart. I know of NONE who has actually worked with the community FIRST to develop a plan and then come hand-in-hand with the neighborhoods and together ask for a project to be approved.

    Imagine that as a novel way of breaking the chains of failure and discord.

  • G_David

    You’re being far too pedantic with your definition of Lakewood.

  • Ceemac

    That is not Lakewood. Completely different neighborhood. Name slips my mind at the moment. I can’t think of a single apartment complex within Lakewood. There are some on the edges.

  • Los_Politico

    There are more apartment complexes in Lakewood than in all of 75218. What’s with you?

    (and I don’t live in Lakewood)

  • Los_Politico

    Ah ‘traffic’ the swang song of the suburbanite.

  • Los_Politico

    Next time you’re driving west on Gaston take a look to the left and notice the massive apartment complex that was just finished at Tucker.

    Get dense or die, that’s the way the 21st century is going to be.

  • erica from dallas

    The city did not approve the apartments because of the density among other things. The planning commission killed it. The city said nothing about the stress of traffic.

  • Michael Williams

    And put a lovely complex in Lakewood to share the joy.

  • Michael Williams

    There is too much traffic from the three existing apartment blocks as it is, and they come out of there like bats out of he77. The city says more traffic from 300 apartments, lets say 450 cars would not add to the problems but a Panera would. I smell something rancid, like what usually comes out of the City, especially where real estate and money mix.

  • Michael Williams

    But this wasn’t Lakewood or it would have never been considered. It is Garland Road, Forest Hills, Casa Linda which does not have the money to keep our City Council in line. But we do have votes

  • Michael Williams

    The city says those apartments wouldn’t stress the traffic system, but a Panera would. Okay, does someone smell something rancid, like from a dumpster in summertime. There is something going on, something dirty, involving money, real estate and politics. We need to be vigilant and watch both these sites before we get saddled with something we do not want near White Rock

  • Los_Politico

    Freshmarket was bad; Whole Foods and Central market are booming. I never went to Sugarbacon. It just looked like more expensive diabetes to me.

    The problem with Lakewood Village (and Casa Linda) is that there aren’t enough people and especially not enough of the much hated “transient millennials” that spend all their money on food and drink. The dual income households of Lakewood buy everything on Amazon and maybe go out for dinner twice a week.

    If you want successful neighborhood retail you need to look at how much disposable income an area has. You can either have a small amount of rich people, or a dense amount of less-rich people. East Dallas is going to be best as a dense middle income area, I don’t want to be HP. Killing apartment projects is extremely short-sighted.

  • OxbowIncedent

    “We made every effort to come up with something reasonable and higher end…” When you look at Freshmarket, Sugarbacon closing, and now this, I think you can see that developers and commercial mgmt companies may be overestimating this area for “high end” things. Lakewood ain’t Highland Park.

  • CitizenKane

    I appreciate the neighborhood looking out for WR Lake; this project is way to dense, way to tall, and way to intrusive on the neighborhood.

    The land owner and developer need to re-think things. Comeback with a reasonable plan. This all comes down to greed. The landowner and developer trying to squeeze every drop of profit out of our neighborhood.

    Do the right thing Lennar; scale back your project (by more than half).