The latest WHNA News

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WH Launches New Neighborhood Cat TNR Program

Winnetka Heights is full of proud pet parents and animal lovers, as well as loyal guardians of porch kitties. Neighborhood cats kill mice, rats and snakes, and can make good companions. But unsterilized cats can produce up to 4 litters every year — which could result in hundreds of offspring over a lifetime.

A proven, humane method of controlling the neighborhood cat population is called Trap, Neuter, and Release (TNR). Cats are humanely trapped, sterilized and then released back into their colony. Simply removing cats from their colonies is ineffective, because it allows new cats to enter the territory.

TNR programs help:

  • Prevent cats from reproducing
  • Stabilize colonies by keeping other cats from entering the territory
  • Decrease male spraying and cat fights
  • Foster a better quality of life for neighbors, as well as neighborhood cats

The WHNA is launching its own Neighborhood Cat TNR Program, and we’re looking for volunteers to help with the effort. There are several ways to volunteer:

  • Logistics
  • Transport
  • Trap monitoring
  • Communication
  • Special needs (kittens, recovery, etc.)
  • Colony managers

We also need help identifying colonies of unowned/feral/neighborhood cats in your area. During this phase of the project, we’ll identify the larger groups (4+) of unowned cats, so we can plan, schedule and target for the new Neighborhood Cat TNR Program.

If you’re interested in helping out, if you have geographic information or details about cat colonies in your area, or if you have any questions or concerns about other animal-related issues in our neighborhood, please email animals@winnetkaheights.org.

The WH animal initiative helps neighbors with:
* Assistance locating resources for animals and their owners
* Inquiries and schedule for the TNR program
* General questions on lost and found animals
* Assistance understanding the city ordinances (Chapter 7 code)

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August Happy Hour

Thursday, August 4 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Texas Theatre, 231 West Jefferson Blvd.

Meet us in the Texas Theatre lounge for drinks, door prizes, snacks and good times with new friends and your neighbors!

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Windomere Zoning – Hearing July 21; Update from WHNA

Dear Neighbors:

 

We are pleased to announce that the Winnetka Heights Neighborhood Association board has voted to support the owners of the former church building at 410 S. Windomere with respect to their re-zoning application for the property.  Our decision to support the project is based in part on extensive discussions and negotiations with the applicants, and we appreciate their commitment to listening to and addressing neighbors’ questions and concerns about the project.  The willingness of the owners to meet with neighbors, including the board, and facilitate dialogue toward an agreeable compromise has been much appreciated, and we hope that dialogue continues as they become not just a part of the neighborhood, but neighbors themselves.

 

After many meetings, emails, phone calls, letters from neighbors, and other input, we believe that the support – based on agreements by the owners to make certain changes to the application – both reflects the concerns of neighbors and provides a reasonable opportunity for the proposed arts center to prove its benefit to the neighborhood, all while rehabilitating and preserving an important historic building in Winnetka Heights.

 

We hope that you will agree with us, but, whatever your opinions on the project might be, we encourage you to attend the meeting of the City Plan Commission this Thursday,July 21st, at 1:30 p.m. at Dallas City Hall, 1500 Marilla Street (Council Chambers).

 

The changes to the application gained in this compromise are as follows:

 

1.      There will be a 4-year special use permit (SUP) for both the theater and the instructional arts studio. This time period will give the applicants time to get their arts center up and running while also giving the neighborhood an opportunity to see what impact the operations will have on the neighborhood. At the end of the 4-year term, if there have been issues with non-compliance with the SUP term, or if neighbors feel that the use of the property in accordance with those terms has too much impact on the neighborhood, there will be an opportunity to object to the renewal of the SUP.

2.      The applicants are asking to revise the parking set-up, so that it includes 30 spaces (2 are resident spaces and 1 is handicapped reserved). This change involves removal of the large wooden fence that blocks the view of the building’s façade from Windomere and recapturing a small portion of the parking lot pavement west of the existing fence. The applicants have assured us (and we believe Landmark Commission will require) that they will use landscaping or other appropriate screening required by the preservation criteria to screen the parking lot from the street. We believe this is a reasonable compromise. They would also be allowed to have a lease arrangement with a nearby non-residential building for overflow parking when needed. With 30 on-site spaces and a cap on the capacity of the theater use at 120 attendees, the need for overflow parking (i.e. off-site or street parking) should be minimal.  They will be permitted to overlap their parking requirements for the instructional arts studio and theater, as the two uses are not likely to occur simultaneously.

3.      The applicants are also attempting to open up an entry from the back of their parking lot to the alley to allow for queuing off-street. During pick-up and drop-off periods, traffic would be routed to the alley, where it would turn right towards 12th Street. Applicants have committed to paving the alley from their property to 12th. It is unclear if city staff will support this, but we have agreed to support it as a way of dealing with resulting traffic and ensuring that it does not queue on Windomere. We believe this is a creative solution to mitigating the impact of the new uses on nearby neighbors.

4.      Special events are not permitted except as incidental to the approved uses.

5.      The hours are operating hours (not performance hours) and will commence no earlier than 9 a.m. on Dallas ISD school days (7 a.m. on other days Monday thru Saturday).  Closing hours will be 11 p.m. Friday/Saturday and 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday. Sunday hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

6.      Language will be added clarifying that the district’s preservation criteria, and the existing review and approval jurisdiction of staff and the Landmark Commission, remain in place for any change made to the building and property.

We wish we could have provided this information to the neighborhood earlier, but we have been working the applicants on these changes up until yesterday.  We have to note that the agreement we have reached with the applicants is not binding on the city.  City staff has made its own recommendations.  The City Plan Commission will consider the application and make a recommendation to the City Council.  The City Council will have the ultimate say in whether the application is granted and under what conditions the re-zoning is approved.  We believe the agreement outlined above represents best efforts at achieving a positive change that will benefit Winnetka Heights, the owners, and the Oak Cliff community at large.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email any of the three board members below for clarification. Again, we also urge you to attend Thursday’s meeting of the City Plan Commission this Thursday at 1 p.m.

 

Thank you for all of the feedback we have received from neighbors up to this point. This has been a long process but hope that this will be a compromise that will protect the neighborhood, preserve a beautiful historic building, and provide a wonderful new center for the arts in Oak Cliff.
Sincerely,

 

Board of Directors
The Winnetka Heights Neighborhood Association

 

Board Members to Contact:
Anne Hagan – 214.394.5334; annebhagan@gmail.com
Lee Ruiz –  214.794.7147; leeruiz@gmail.com
Patrick Lynch – 512.699.6917; pm.lynch@gmail.com
WH Family Fun Fest

WHFFF DJ Lineup announced!

The Winnetka Heights Family Fun Fest DJ lineup has been announced below! Be sure to come by to support your block!

We’re so excited about tomorrow and hope everyone comes by to get some sun, cool off in the water, enjoy free food and beer, plus hang out with our Winnetka Heights family. And don’t let the kiddie pools fool you. This event is not just for kids. We do, however, expect to see plenty of big kids (read: adults who just wanna have fun) sliding down the bounce house.

Be sure to bring your towels and bathing suits. If you have an extra kiddie pool you’d be willing to let us borrow that day, feel free to bring it along. The more kiddie pools, the merrier.
Time Block Block Set/DJ Name
2:45 Winnetka DJ Tanner
3:15 Rosemont DJ DadBod
3:45 Clinton Uncle Jam
4:15 Edgefield East Listebnub
4:45 Windomere Bulltron
5:15 Willomet DJ TBD
5:45 Montclair Montclair Collaboration

July 23: TNR Class for Winnetka Heights

Learn about the TNR Program
Saturday, July 23 from 10 a.m. to noon
The Petropolitan OC, 2406 Emmett St.
There will be a TNR (trap, neuter and return) class open to Winnetka Heights residents next weekend. If you’d like to attend, please register by emailing animals@winnetkaheights.org. After you register, you’ll receive instructions. In order to check out a trap, you will need to attend the class.
If you have any additional questions or concerns about other animal-related issues in our neighborhood, email animals@winnetkaheights.org.
This new resource has been created to help neighbors with:
• Assistance locating resources for animals and their owners
• Inquiries and schedule for the TNR program
• General questions on lost and found animals
• Assistance understanding the city ordinances (Chapter 7 code)