The latest WHNA News

WHNA_logo_FINAL5

Windomere Zoning Update / Hearing Reset for July 21

Neighbors:  the post below was uploaded to the Winnetka Heights neighborhood website this afternoon.  It was pulled down when we were advised that the hearing set for June 30 was rescheduled for July 21.  We are posting  it again now for your information about the process.  Please note again that the date of the hearing is no longer applicable and that if there are any changes to the application, the Board of Directors may reconsider the position set forth below.

Finally, please note that the email about the Board’s position with a reminder of the hearing set for June 30 was scheduled to be sent to all Winnetka Heights residents on our mailing list on the afternoon of June 29 (not May 29 as indicated the update email sent to neighbors explaining the the communications).

POST OF JUNE 29, 2016

Dear Neighbors,

 

This is to further update you on the zoning application that has been submitted for 410 S. Windomere, the building at the corner of S. Windomere and 12th Street.

 

The application will be heard by the City Plan Commission on Thursday June 30 at 1:30 p.m. at Dallas City Hall, 1500 Marilla St., in the City Council Chambers.  We encourage all neighbors interested in this application to attend and have their voice heard.

 

The Winnetka Heights Neighborhood Association has considered all of the input that it has received from so many of you and will be delivering our recommendations to the City Plan Commission ahead of the hearing.

 

In summary, we believe that the application as currently submitted proposes new uses in manner that makes such uses not consistent with the mission of the neighborhood and we are opposing its approval.

 

However, we have also reviewed the recommendations issued by the City of Dallas planners who reviewed the application.  These recommendations would modify the application in ways that we believe will make it more responsive to the concerns raised by neighbors.  The most important of these recommendations is that both uses at the facility – as an instructional arts studio and as a theater – be governed by a Special Use Permit with a two-year term.  By allowing the uses with this restriction, the applicants will be able to operate their business on the premises, but the city and the neighborhood will have an opportunity to review the impact of the business on the neighborhood in a relatively short time frame.  The applicants have proposed that only the theater use be governed by the Special Use Permit and that the permit have a six-year term.

 

The recommendations would also further limit the hours of operations and make clear that the facility could only be used for events only to the extent that such events are incidental to the allowed uses.  The applicants have agreed to help control traffic by not allowing queuing only on the property and not allowing pick-up and drop offs on the city streets.

If the application is amended to incorporate the recommendations of the City of Dallas planners, with some additional changes that we recommend, the neighborhood association will support the application.

 

We have heard from many of you that you support the application and have tried to take a position that respects both the concerns of the neighbors opposed to the application and the desire of those in favor of the application to have the church building preserved and adapted to this new use.  We also acknowledge and are grateful to the applicants for the changes they have made to the application in response to your input.  We believe that if the application is modified as described above, the neighborhood will have the best chance of enjoying the new uses at this facility in a manner consistent with the lifestyle that we are all committed to preserve.

 

You can see the WHNA letter to the City Plan Commission and the recommendations from the City of Dallas planners in their Case Report through the links below.

 

As a reminder, property owners within the 500-foot radius of 410 S. Windomere — the notification zone – should have received a notice of the hearing along with a form ballot to be completed and returned to the city.   This is an important part of the process and the City Plan Commission and the City Council will pay careful attention to the ballots returned and the required votes to approve the application may change depending on the number of “votes” opposed to the application.

 

Please be sure to return your completed ballot by the time of the hearing on June 30. 

 

 

 

Letter to CPC from WHNA

Windomere Case Report

logo

Public Meeting about Tyler-Polk Conversion Project

Tomorrow! Tuesday, June 21, 2016
6:00 p.m to 7:30 p.m.
Cliff Temple Baptist Church, 125 Sunset Ave.
Main sanctuary via the corner of Tenth & Zang
There will be a public meeting about the proposed conversion of Tyler and Polk Streets from one-way streets to two-way streets.
The meeting is welcome to neighbors, and a great opportunity to get your questions answered, as well as voice your own opinions on these proposed changes.
You can learn more about the project and review detailed project documents online.
WHNA_logo_FINAL5

Update on zoning application for 410 S. Windomere

This post is to update you on the zoning application that has been submitted for 410 S. Windomere, the church at the corner of S. Windomere and 12th Street. The applicants did not go forward with their application as originally filed and instead revised their application on Monday, May 9th. They have since forwarded the board additional changes to that application that they are willing to submit if acceptable to the neighborhood. Further explanation, along with recommendations based on neighborhood input, is below.

 

Summary

1)   What is this proposed zoning change about?

Potential changes to PD 87 (often referred to as “The Winnetka Heights Ordinance”) allowing non-residential uses 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 non-residential use.

If approved by the Dallas City Council, the proposed amendment to the Winnetka Heights Ordinance would represent an increase in non-residential uses allowed on the property at 410 S. Windomere.  Some might argue that this change could represent the beginning of a transition in the nature and character of uses within this portion of our neighborhood, which might provide a rationale for 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. 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 was re-submitted on Monday, May 9th and will be heard by the City Plan Commission in the coming weeks. Subsequent to that filing, the applicants sent our board further changes that they are willing to make to the application when it is heard by the City Plan Commission.  It is this latest version that is discussed below and on which we would appreciate your input, but please note that the applicants have not submitted this most recent version of the application to the city for review and, therefore, remains subject to change. Please visit the City Plan Commission website for more information.

 

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.

In their latest application, the buyers have proposed using a “Special Use Permit,” or “SUP,” for certain of their proposed uses. An SUP is not permanent and has an initial term that may be amended to a similar or different term once it has expired. After the SUP term has expired and if the property owner wishes to continue the Theater use, the neighborhood will have the opportunity in a public hearing to argue that the SUP should or should not be renewed.

Except with respect to certain proposed rights of the neighborhood through the SUP process referenced above (and further described below), 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

 

Re-Zoning


The applicants previously sought to re-zone the church building to a “Instructional Arts Studio.” In the most recent application, they have added “Theater” as an additional permitted use although the theater use would be allowable only by SUP, as described above. The community garden use that was in the previous application has been eliminated. The instructional arts studio will permit the adaptive reuse of the historic church building for instructional arts uses, visual arts display, after-school classes, and summer camps.

 

For all uses, outside lighting is required to be shielded to prevent spillover and limited to no more than 20 feet in height, although there is an exception if the owners deem higher heights to be necessary for safety reasons. Outdoor amplified music is not permitted, and the owner and operator are required to take reasonable steps to minimize the impact of pick-up and drop-off traffic and queuing on Windomere Avenue north of Twelfth Street.

The applicants intend to operate the facility on a for-profit basis. Its days and hours of operation for its use as an instructional arts studio are undefined, and the parking requirement would be 20 spaces (the current lot size), except as modified for certain uses under the SUP.

The Special Use Permit (as proposed by Applicants)

The building’s use as a theater would be governed and only allowed by a special use permit. As submitted by the applicants in their latest  proposal to the board, the hours of operation 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. The exception for two occurrences of two consecutive nights per calendar month (i.e. four times per month, the hours could be extended) that was in previous versions has been eliminated.

The seating capacity for a theater use is limited to 120 seats, and the theatre may still be used as a special event facility for “private” events up to 10 times per year. These events are not limited to the 120 seat capacity that applies for use as a theater.

Finally, to try to address concerns regarding parking, the applicants have included a new provision that limits tickets sales to four tickets sold for every one available parking space. So for example, to hold the maximum seating of 120, the operators will have to have 30 spaces available for the event (the 20 in their lot plus another 10). This parking requirement does not apply when the church is used for special events, in which there would be no requirement for a minimum number of parking spaces.

The initial term of the SUP, as proposed, would be 6 years, expiring in 2022. In addition, if the property is sold to a third party, written notice of sale must be provided to WHNA and a public hearing will be called to determine proper zoning on the property.

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

Process
The City is currently in the process of reviewing the applicant’s request and preparing materials and a staff recommendation concerning the case for the upcoming public hearing.   It is important to note that the materials provided to our board may not represent the final version of what the Plan Commission will consider at the public hearing.  Comments and feedback from City Staff may further alter the proposed conditions.   The board will monitor and review any materials concerning the case provided by the City prior to the hearing.

 

While our board will be voting to take a position in the matter to present to the Plan Commission and City Council as they consider the request, individuals may also voice their opinion to the City in this matter, either in writing or by attending the public hearing.

 

Considerations


Neighbors have previously 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 business use.
  • 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 neighboring facilities, including DISD, to use the parking lot at Greiner for overflow parking. Applicants are pursuing DISD’s formal facility rental process but at this time there is no guaranty that the school spaces would be available at all times. The applicants have stated that the main room in the facility will hold at least 150 guests (since the 120 seat limit for Theater use would not apply to special events). 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.

 

Recommendations

 

As noted below, the WHNA has not yet taken a position on this application.  We have heard from many of you that any change in zoning for non-residential use would not be a positive outcome for the neighborhood.  But, to further the conversation, we have outlined the following recommendations based on input that we have received, to determine if a change in zoning, made with sufficient protections for the neighborhood, would be acceptable to more of you.  In that light, we would make the following recommendations.

 

  • The SUP should be for a 2-year term in order for the neighborhood to more timely assess the impact of the expanded uses of the space.
  • The WHNA would not agree with a waiver of any city-required parking requirements and ask that all parking required for a theater of this size be provided through enforceable agreements, as currently required by the city. The per-event formula proposed by the applicant is complicated and would be difficult, if not impossible, to enforce.
  • The applicants should provide a traffic management study showing the theater’s impact on traffic on Twelfth, Windomere and Edgefield prior to approval of the SUP, and further be required to provide a management plan for the City’s approval that mitigates projected impacts.
  • Use of the space for events should be subject to the limitations on hours and the SUP that will be in place for the theater use.
  • The provision regarding lighting should eliminate the exception to the 20-foot height limit, should make it clear that all lighting remains subject to the Winnetka Heights preservation criteria and will be subject to a Certificate of Appropriateness approved by the Landmark Commission
  • While outdoor amplified music is prohibited, outdoor speakers could still be used for display of outdoor movies and television. Adequate restrictions to protect adjacent neighbors should be placed upon these speakers as well.
  • No changes to the Winnetka Heights Preservation Criteria should be effected by the amendment. For example, the building should remain subject to all existing rules relating to changes to the exterior.

 

Request for Input
The WHNA has not yet taken a position on this new proposal. This is why we want to hear from you. We want to know if you feel that the amended application, with or without our recommended changes, addresses your concerns.

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 will also discuss this application at a neighborhood workshop to be held after the Annual Membership Meeting to be held on Tuesday, June 14 at 7:00 at Turner House (401 N. Rosemont).

We look forward to hearing from you.

The WHNA Board of Directors.

WHNA_logo_FINAL5

June 14: Annual Membership Meeting

Tuesday, June 14
Enjoy complimentary wine starting at 6:30 p.m.; the meeting begins at 7 p.m. 
Turner House,  401 North Rosemont
We hope you can join us for the Annual Membership Meeting where we will elect new officers and hear from special guest speaker Councilman Scott Griggs. If you live in Winnetka Heights, you’re already a member of the neighborhood association.
The nominating committee has named the following candidates for the 2016-2017 WHNA officer election:
President: Patrick Lynch
Vice President: Anne Hagan
Treasurer: Candace Bossay
Secretary/Historian: Jennifer Galloway
There will complimentary wine, so come early, hang out with your neighbors, get the latest news on neighborhood happenings and cast your vote!
Bites_Invite_OL

Menu for Bites in the Heights – SOLD OUT

Bites in the Heights is Saturday, May 14 starting at 7:30 p.m. If you haven’t purchased your tickets, you still have a few days.

SOLD OUT

 

More than 20 neighbors have agreed to whip up savory and sweet bites in a Top Chef-style challenge to be judged by Daniele Puleo, the owner and chef of Cibo Divino, and his wife Christine. We’ll be serving Puleo Wines, a line of wines created by Daniele. The wines are produced in Italy to his specifications and are truly wonderful to drink.

Here’s a sneak peek at the menu:

Lamb Tagines with Minted Couscous

Mexican Hot Chocolate Ice Cream

Onion Tart

Ceviche

Smoked Chicken Salad

Shrimp Salad

Braised Lamb Shank on a Blue Corn Cake with Pickled Ramp

Shephard’s Pie

Salsa di Parmigiana

White Gazpacho

Tune Poke

Chinese-style Ribs

Empanadas

Banana Pudding Shots

Cornbread Salad

Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies

Snickerdoodle Cake

Curried Chicken Salad Tartlets

Cherry Chipotle Gazpacho

Puff Pastry Portabello, Vidalia Onion and Blue Cheese Bites