Driveway access, fence height and renovation rules for historic Craftsman homes were among proposed changes neighbors discussed last week at a pre-application meeting to amend the Belmont Conservation District.

The March 20 meeting came about two months after 10 property owners submitted a request to begin the process of amending the conservation district. Neighbors in the group Amend Belmont Conservation District, or ABCD, hope to eliminate language they say limits renovation work on Craftsman homes. Other neighbors say the group is trying to change the district’s rules instead of fixing their own code violations.

“My take is that there is an interest in having this conversation,” said Geyden Sage, chair of Amend Belmont Conservation District. “The back and forth continues on Facebook, but the meeting was very informative. It went well.”

About 75-100 people attended the pre-application meeting at Greenland Hills Methodist Church, according to estimates. Attendees included District 14 City Councilman Philip Kingston; Paul Ridely, District 14 city plan commissioner; David Preziosi, executive director of Preservation Dallas; Norman Alston, Dallas Homeowners League treasurer; and David Blewett, District 14 City Council candidate.

“It was a huge misinformation campaign and a distraction from other things we could be doing in the neighborhood,” Kingston said of the meeting. “A greater percentage of people were there to protect the ordinance, but I was proud of people for treating others with respect.”

The councilman said City of Dallas staff will decide what changes could be included in the petition, which will be discussed at the next pre-application meeting. The date and time of that meeting have not yet been decided, he said.

Audio from the meeting can be found here or watch this video:

Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.