Photography by Sam Gillespie

The Plan Commission will hear a request Thursday from the owners of Lakewood Village, the shopping center located at the southeast corner of Mockingbird and Abrams.

While the parking lot is shared, the shopping center is on three separate parcels with three different owners. One owner owns the TCBY/Subway building, one owner owns the Taco Joint/Lakewood Growler building and a third owner owns the Texas Family Fitness building. All three owners are cooperating in this request.

The goal of the request is for the City to recognize the multi-use nature of the center and consider the parking requirements in context of each other. The owners argue that looking at parking requirements tenant by tenant doesn’t tell the whole story. Some uses are heavier in the morning, and some uses are heavier in the evening. The owners note that Dee’s Doggie Den occupies 13,000 square feet and is mostly a dog play area — and dogs don’t drive.

To get there, the owners need to zone the property community retail from the current Planned Development District 79, which is governed by a parking ordinance from 1975. The community retail classification allows the owners to use nationally generated data regarding parking requirements for different uses. Data showing the different uses that share parking require a total of 527 spaces for the center. The center has 659 spaces in the parking configuration, which is plenty of space to handle the current demand, according to the analytics.

Approval of this request will come in handy for the owner’s future leasing efforts. Should a vacancy lease to a user that  would require a variance under the old parking requirement, the owners now have some breathing room and a marketing advantage.

The application also includes a request for approval of landscaping improvements.

“I never make a final decision regarding support of or opposition to a zoning request until the public hearing takes place,” District 9 Plan Commissioner Michael Jung said. “That said, I am not hearing significant opposition to the basic concept of transitioning to [community retail] uses or to the concept of using mixed-use shared parking. The applicant has been working with a group of neighbors across Hillside Drive and has worked out most issues to their satisfaction. The biggest remaining issue is landscaping.”

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