The Gaston Avenue Planned Development District (PD) was adopted August 15 by the City Plan Commission. The proposed PD runs along Gaston Avenue from Fitzhugh to Carroll and is divided into three sub-areas by the predominant uses in each.

The PD should help protect existing historic housing stock, with an eye toward future historic designation.

City staff proposed one amendment to resolve issues associated with longtime family-owned businesses within the PD. The amendment was adopted by the Plan Commission.

However, changes still can be made October 9, when the City Council is expected to review the issue. Contact the planning department’s Jim Prince, 670-3406, for more information.

NOT A DRY EYE IN THE HOUSE: The debate about how much power municipalities should have to regulate, through zoning, liquor-related uses within their boundaries continued during the recent special Texas Legislative session.

An eleventh-hour attempt was made to weaken cities’ ability to control liquor-related uses. An outraged City Council quickly urged defeat of this last-minute attempt, and East Dallas State Rep. John Carona succeeded in having the provision removed from consideration.

The issue has yet to be resolved, either in the Legislature or in the courts.

BRYAN PD HEARING DELAYED: Amendments to the Bryan Area PD have been delayed to November 7, when the Plan Commission has scheduled a hearing. Contact the planning department’s Karl Crawley, 670-4209, for more information.

WINDS OF CHANGE AT FAIR PARK: Whether you consider Fair Park within or just outside of East Dallas, the park has a major impact on our area’s economic health and quality of life.

In fact, the Fair Park site was donated in the late 19th century by the then-independent City of East Dallas.

Well, things at Fair Park may be about the change. It has been rumored that Fair Park may be operated by a Council-appointed board (with some appointments by others, as well), instead of as an entity operated by the Park Board.

Some observers believe a Council-appointed governing body may be more responsive to the public than the quasi-independent Park Board. Others say the Park Board is a logical entity to govern the City’s best-known park facility.

Stay tuned.

CARUTH ZONING CASE BEGINS: While not exactly within East Dallas, the most controversial zoning case in the works involves the old Caruth home site at the southwest corner of North Central Expressway and Northwest Highway.

The property is owned by the Nasher Company and is adjacent to several upscale townhome developments. The application involves a zoning change from residential to mixed-use, which would permit substantially higher and more dense development than currently allowed.

Proponents argue the location is appropriate for intense commercial use; opponents believe a high-rise development is inappropriate so close to the existing residential neighborhoods and that already congested traffic in the area would worsen.

The Plan Commission was scheduled to hear the case Sept. 26.

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