The latest WHNA News

NEW! Winnetka Heights Event: Save the Date + Call for Chefs

NEW! Winnetka Heights Event
Bites In The Heights
Saturday, May 14 starting at 7:00 p.m.
Turner House, 401 North Rosemont Avenue

Save the date for Bites In the Heights — Winnetka Heights’ exciting new Spring fundraiser.  The event will showcase the talents of our neighborhood home cooks!  Bites in the Heights will be held at Turner House and each guest will get to sample bites created by our neighbors and enjoy drinks and entertainment provided by the Winnetka Heights Neighborhood Association.

To make this new fundraiser happen, we need chefs!  If you would like to volunteer to provide one of the bites, please download the information sheet and sign up now.

Space will be limited and we will need to hear from you by April 16.
Please email community@winnetkaheights.org to confirm your participation or to ask any questions.

Stay tuned for more information!

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South Windomere Zoning Change Application

Summary

1)   What is this proposed zoning change about?

  • Potential changes to the Winnetka Heights Ordinance allowing commercial use on a specific property.

2)   Why is it important?

  • Since the Winnetka Heights Ordinance was enacted in 1975, no residential property has been rezoned for commercial use.
  • If approved by the Dallas City Council, an amendment to the Winnetka Heights Ordinance could cause other owners to seek additional amendments for different properties in the historic district.

3)   What do you ask of me?

  • Please take the time to read this detailed information, and then let us hear your voice on the proposed changes.

Background
As many of you may know, the structure once used as the Winnetka Congregational Church at 410 S. Windomere (Windomere and Twelfth) was sold last year to an entity known as Nostalgic Habitats, LLC. At the time, the new owners announced plans to convert the structure for use as an instructional arts studio, with a focus on providing arts programs for children.

When the new owners bought the property, they were aware that the property was zoned only for residential or church use. In order for the owners to operate the facility as proposed, the City of Dallas will have to change the zoning to allow for commercial use. Earlier this year, the owners submitted an application to change the zoning with City of Dallas Department of Sustainable Development and Construction (Zoning Case Z156-219). The application is pending. We do not yet know when the case will be heard by the City Plan Commission or the City Council. Please visit the City Plan Commission website for more information. If possible, we will send another email when we know the firm dates for the hearings.

Download the application (pdf)

Ordinance Amendment
The zoning change application will require that the PD 87 (often referred to as “The Winnetka Heights Ordinance”) be amended. The Winnetka Heights Ordinance is the ordinance enacted by the City of Dallas in in 1975 to clarify the allowable land uses and to change the residential zoning in Winnetka Heights from multifamily to single family, grandfathering in the existing duplex and multifamily structures and certain commercial buildings. Six years later the historic overlay was added to preserve and protect the architectural integrity of our neighborhood. The ordinance and the overlay address both the look of the structures in the historic district and the use of the structures. The applicants are working through the Landmark Commission process to make improvements to the exterior of the building. The zoning application addresses the use of the property.

The amendment to the Winnetka Heights Ordinance would be permanent, even if the proposed business is not sustainable or if the property is sold. The change could only be reversed by another amendment to the ordinance.

Proposed Use
The applicants are seeking to permit the conversion of the church building to a newly defined “Professional Arts Instruction Studio”. The new use will permit the adaptive reuse of the historic church building for instructional arts uses, visual arts display, community meeting space and private event space for weddings, birthdays and similar celebrations on a limited basis. In addition, the applicants seek to use the structure for theatrical and other performances, children’s after-school programs and a community garden. These additional uses would be subject to a Specific Use Permit, which means that after some period of time (currently undetermined), the city would review how those uses affected the neighborhood, and if the use did not meet the stated objectives or interfered with the quality of life in the neighborhood (all such standards are currently undefined), the permit for those uses could be withdrawn.

The applicants intend to operate the facility on a for-profit basis. Its hours would be Monday-Wednesday from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Thursday-Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., and Sunday by special arrangements but no earlier than 9:00 a.m. or later than 5:00 p.m. The operating hours do not include setup and take-down time and could be extended by exception on two occurrences of two consecutive nights per calendar month (i.e. twice per month, the hours could be extended). Outdoor amplified music will not be permitted and the applicants would have to take reasonable steps to minimize the impact of pick-up and drop-off traffic of the after school and summer camp programs.

The full details of the use are in the application, which we encourage you to review.

Considerations
Neighbors have commented on the application as follows:

  • The adaptive reuse of the church building would help preserve an important historic structure in our neighborhood, such preservation being an important mission of the neighborhood.
  • The availability of community-oriented arts instructional studio within walking distance would also be a benefit for many of our families.
  • The facility would be used for community events and provide space for community arts organizations.

However, neighbors have also voiced the following concerns:

  • Winnetka Heights is a successful residential neighborhood. There is no pressing need to begin allowing the rezoning of our properties from residential to commercial.
  • The benefits of preserving the history of a neighborhood are generational in scope. We, therefore, should be patient and encourage the adaption of the space within the allowed zoning.
  • It is currently understood that the facility will only have 20 parking spaces. The applicants intend to work with DISD to use the parking lot at Greiner for overflow parking, but that use would be under an informal arrangement, with no guaranty that the school spaces would be available. The applicants have stated that the main room in the facility will hold at least 150 guests. The effect on parking on Windomere and Edgefield will be significant.
  • There are already considerable traffic concerns on Edgefield, Windomere and Twelfth. This facility may make things worse.
  • Large performances or events will create noise and activity on an otherwise quiet residential street.

Request for Input
The WHNA has not yet taken a position on this matter. This is why we want to hear from you. The application has been reviewed and discussed by the WHNA Board of Directors at several of its meetings this year, including a meeting with the applicants in February. The application was also discussed at the WHNA General Membership Meeting in March.

Winnetka Heights residents who desire to have their voices heard on this matter are encouraged to

The WHNA Board of Directors will review all of the comments, along with the feedback it has already received from neighbors, prior to taking any formal position on this matter.

We look forward to hearing from you.

The WHNA Board of Directors.

Jacob Metcalf Salon

2016 Spring Salon Series at Turner House

Thursday, April 14 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Turner House, 401 North Rosemont Avenue
Buy Tickets

Turner House Salon Series presents North Texan Musician Jacob Metcalf, who released his first full-length solo effort, Fjord, in last winter.

From the Turner House website:
The result is an often-breathtaking collection of indie-folk compositions that range from wistful, unhurried ballads to swirling, majestic orchestrations, sometimes within the same song, and all set to Metcalf’s warm, inviting vocals and non-linear story-telling.

“The album is about great divides,” Metcalf explains. “Fjord is about splintered people living in a fractured age.”

The material for the record was written over the last decade on five continents (Asia, Africa, Europe, North and South America). It was during the last few years that Metcalf lived out of his car and inside a four foot crawl space between a vintage store and loft apartments in order to save enough from his bakery and music teaching jobs to make this album.

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Reserve your spot for this free family-friendly event

Two Family-Friendly Events for Neighbors
Reserve your spot
 
FREE Teddy Bear Clinic at Methodist Richardson Medical Center
Saturday, April 16 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Doctors, nurses and therapists will set up a special hospital clinic to give your child’s bear a full checkup. Remember to bring your bear from home! Teddy bear clinics are a great way to familiarize children with the concept of going to the doctor in a friendly, safe environment.
Be sure to reserve your spot today. Spots are limited and filling up fast
Plus, don’t miss the Grand Opening Celebration for Methodist Urgent Care at Inwood Village on Saturday, April 30 from 9 a.m. to noon.
Enjoy snow cones, face painters and a balloon-making clown! Have fun and tour the newest urgent care where parents and children can be treated. 
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Helpful Resources from the Code Awareness Committee

Spring is in the air, so be sure to plan ahead to get your CAs (Certificate of Appropriateness) submitted well in advance. You can view the 2016 Application Review Process Calendar online.
We want to make sure you have all the tools and resources you need to easily comply with the Historic District guidelines. You can find and download PDFs of the CA application and submittal checklist, as well as other helpful forms online as well.
Also, as mosquito season quickly approaches, please be sure to check for any standing water where these pesky insects breed, and replace any damaged trash receptacles with missing lids by requesting service from the 311 Department.
And as always, if you have any code-related questions, please feel free to email our Code Chairs, Robbie and Joe Christopher at code@winnetkaheights.org.