A lot has happened in the last month with the years-long zoning struggle in the Munger Place Historic District.

For several years now, the presence of retail businesses at the intersection of Collet and Reiger, where the underlying zoning is single-family, has been a sore spot for some Munger Place residents. But, other Munger Place residents support having the retailers there. On Jan. 19, the Plan Commission, which voted in September to allow for some limited retail uses at the intersection, adopted a list of permitted uses and architectural standards for the commercial properties at the intersection.

The Plan Commission recommendation which goes to City Council on Feb. 22, doesn’t have total support of either side – most neighborhood residents support all single-family zoning, while the retail owners and their backers believe the proposal is too restrictive. In deciding zoning matters, City Council members normally defer to the member whose district contains the site. Thus, the opinions of Council members Craig McDaniel and Chris Luna are important when the Council decides the case.

NEGOTIATING FOR DR PEPPER: The fate of the Dr Pepper building on Mockingbird continues to be the subject of intense negotiations. After a couple of procedural delays, the Plan Commission is expected to adopt preservation criteria and a historic overlay district for the site on Feb. 2. After that, the City Council should be able to act before the existing demolition moratorium expires later this spring. Rumor has it that at least two large retailers are close to signing leases. A lot of discussion is happening with architects on refurbishing the property. October 1995 appears to be the target for opening of the refurbished building, which may be somewhat ambitious. Another option would be for owner Dal-Mac to sell the property to a buyer who would agree to an adaptive reuse of the building.

GETTING A BIG SCREEN: A large multiscreen movie theater is expected to come to East Dallas by Christmas 1995. Sony Theaters plans to open a 14-screen complex on Haskell Avenue at Capitol as part of the Cityplace development. A preliminary site received its first necessary approval at the City Plan Commission on Jan. 12. Rather than the heated controversy that halted the Tinseltown proposal in North Dallas, most observers expect Sony’s proposal to be greeted with enthusiasm.

REZONED FOR A FACELIFT: The apartment complex at the southern corner of Abrams and Fisher should soon get a facelift. The project was recently rezoned from retail mixed use to make it conforming. This will make it easier for the owners to secure financing for rehabilitation. The 84-existing units will be renovated and seven will be designated as affordable housing as part of the City’s efforts to provide incentives for more affordable living units.

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