Ron Natinsky Unveils Five-Pronged Approach to Implement New Urban Plan For West Dallas

Ron_Natinsky_Belmont_Merten.jpg
Photos by Sam Merten
Left to right: West Dallas Chamber of Commerce vice chair Randall White, former Oak Cliff council member Ed Oakley, mayoral candidate Ron Natinsky and council member Delia Jasso
Standing near the pool at the Belmont Hotel in what 2007 mayoral race runner-up Ed Oakley called "the best part of the city of Dallas," mayoral candidate Ron Natinsky this morning announced his five-pronged approach to implement the West Dallas Urban Structure and Guidelines plan. He said the first step is to designate urban innovation zones, the first of which would include the area surrounded by Interstate-30 to the south, the Trinity River to the north and east and the Sylvan corridor to the west.

"We'll move into a small, specialized area where a completely new menu of incentives, programs and regulations not used elsewhere in the city will be tested, and the goal will be to bring this vision into fruition," said the current Far North Dallas council member.

Created by the Dallas CityDesign Studio and approved by the city council March 9, the plan aims to put a put a walkable, complete-street face on an area fast becoming one of the city's most desirable places to live. But Natinsky said while the city has "a big box of tools," it doesn't have all the right ones.

"We need new tools in our toolbox, and we need tools that are specifically aimed at small and medium sized businesses that will be the foundation of the businesses in this planned area," he said.

Ron_Natinsky_Belmont2_Merten.jpg
The process of creating the plan included several public meetings, and Natinsky said he will work to ensure that input from citizens is given to city staff.

Natinsky also said the city must revise its guidelines so that the plan can serve as a catalyst to "help move the city forward." He said the city should give the private sector "a helping hand" by providing "innovative financial incentives not currently being used," temporary use permits, along with new parking and landscape regulations.

"To burden the development community with regulations that are not applicable to their specific business and piece of property are things that we have to look at," he said.

Finally, Natinsky said he wants to create a concierge service for developers -- a destination where they can discuss the plan with a knowledgeable staffer.

"We may have some failures, but if we don't try, we're not going to be able to be successful as we move forward," he said.

Council member Delia Jasso, who has endorsed Natinsky's candidacy, said the plan needs a cheerleader, and Natinsky is best suited for that role because he knows the complexity of urban development and the problems developers face.

"We can't afford a learning curve," she said after complaining that the windy conditions messed up her hair. "We've got too much going on right now."

Natinsky's exact five points weren't clear during the announcement, but campaign spokesperson Becky Mayad was kind enough to send along the following.

1) DESIGNATE URBAN INNOVATION ZONE. The Council will work with City staff to designate the CityDesign Studio Plan area as an Urban Innovation Zone. This will be a small specialized area where a completely new menu of incentives and regulations not used elsewhere in the city get tested with the goal of bringing this vision to fruition.

2) CREATE A NEW BIZ TOOLKIT. The Council will charge City staff to come back in less than six months with a new toolkit for the area. The business community's document, Putting it All Together, provides a host of ideas for what could be in the toolkit. Those ideas stem from meetings conducted with area developers and research into best practices in cities around the world.

Examples of the tools might include:
  • A new temporary-use permit that is a hybrid between the city's current Special Events permit and a Long-Term Use permit. They would be used for interim, temporary or seasonal use businesses and events like art shows, pop-up cafes, and holiday decoration stores, etc.
  • Revised parking guidelines that will let the driver decide where to park when patronizing a business rather than forcing each business to offer a set amount of parking spaces regardless of whether they are open or not
  • More flexible landscaping requirements that encourage responsible use of our precious water resources and make sense for more compact urban neighborhoods like those that will become urban innovation zones.


3) OFFER CONCIERGE SERVICES. The Council will work with City staff to identify concierges whose job it will be to streamline the permitting and licensing processes for developers wanting to build or renovate in an Urban Innovation Zone.

4) ANALYZE WHAT WORKS. Once a set of tools have been approved by the Dallas City Council and applied to the Urban Innovation Zone, the City will watch to see which ones are effective and which are not (timeframe to be determined).

5) ROLL OUT NEW URBAN INNOVATION ZONES ACROSS DALLAS. Natinsky will work with fellow Council members and business/community and neighborhood leaders to replicate the CityDesign Studio process in similar neighborhoods around the city. The goal is to apply the successful tools there and perhaps test other innovative tools as well, based on other neighborhoods' specific goals and objectives.

Follow the author on Twitter @SamMerten.



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107 comments
MikeRollingsPizzaMan
MikeRollingsPizzaMan

Ron needs to go - I !am very wealthy and I have friends like Roger staubach (even though he runs like a sissy) so I am smarter than Ron and David Kunkle.

I like Kunkle's 5th wife, I cant wait to meet hotties number 6,7,8 and 9!!

I own DHA and proved it when my biatchh Maryann ruse dumped 100 bums into cliff manor.

The PrestonHollowBillionaires like me, Mayor Tom, Tommy Karol, Roger the Sissy Staubach, Terdema the Oreo Cookie shoe shine boy for cubes now run this City.

The rest of you peeps mean well, but obviously you aren't as smart as me since I live on Lennox Lane -

Get out of my way and life will be good.

Tool
Tool

I could swear that Natinsky says we need new tools in the toolbox every time he runs for office.

IQ
IQ

West Dallas has been "on the drawing board" for more than twenty years. Check your history! Unfortunately, West Dallas, although a popular subject for political campaigns, is no further along. Thanks (very much) to pols like Natinsky and others. In order to really make a difference, you have to care (and not just when you're running for office)

gabbahey
gabbahey

Can't say that I ever gave a hoot about Ron, but reading his plan, sounds like a good start at circumventing the ridiculous hoops that small business owners must go thru to run their businesses in the CoD. I still don't trust him, he's just Leppert, in a different suit.

Sadly, I see this is most likely a start at the gentrification of West Dallas, much like what happened on Knox/Henderson, N. Oak Cliff, East Dallas, et al. Won't take long for some corporation pays off a council-person to invoke Eminent Domain...

ReALity Chick
ReALity Chick

So nice to see that HATErs have a blog of their own.

Tad Banyon
Tad Banyon

I'm sensing a disturbing pattern:

We can't afford a learning curve, we've got too much going on right now..." - Delia Jasso"We don't have time to try to learn about anybody else..." - Dwaine Caraway

Pray for West Dallas
Pray for West Dallas

WTF! So now that the CityDesign Studio appears to be a mouthpiece for the Ron Natinsky campaign, we can't trust either. Sucks when a once good group turns into a bunch of political tools.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

There are people still living West Dallas....Has there been a Wannsee Conference to discuss A Final Solution ?

I think the folks who live there need to get life rafts and john boats in case one or two of the flood pumps in the area fails ( NUDGE NUDGE WINK WINK )during one of our many spring Down pours .

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

@ Urbanista

Be careful not to fall off while you're coat tail ridding and once again take your blinders off. Read the caption... Ed Oakley is presented as a former Council Member of District 3, not Oak Cliff Chamber, WE ARE TALKING ABOUT WEST DALLAS HERE NOT OAK CLIFF. And yes Chamber's of Commerce can support any ordinance, PD, etc at City Hall, but the problem is this was not at City Hall, not on the agenda and was clearly a political move by "Mayoral Longshot Hopeful" Ron Natinsky. Put lipstick on a pig, its still a pig. Randall White, the candidate's website designer who also sits on WDCOC and was at this press conference on behalf of WDCOC but also is getting paid is a direct violation and an outright shame. Its easy for anyone to nod your head when your pocket is full...

Also, I actually do live in Oak Cliff, couldn't find Preston Hollow with a Garmin on my best day. And to further the point, it's not that I'm against the development or any redevlopment. But Ron Natinsky has been in office for 6 years now, and brags that he has been in public service through various boards and commissions for over 20 years and it finally takes him to run for Mayor to give a d*mn about anything but his nice neighborhood in North Dallas.

And on the Wal-Mart comment. That was not Natinsky's doing. That was the voters opening up Dallas for alcohol sales. No ALCOHOL = No WALMART. Take off the blinders...

abuckley1970
abuckley1970

1) DESIGNATE URBAN INNOVATION ZONE. Lord...who's going to write the code to implement this?

2) CREATE A NEW BIZ TOOLKIT. temporary use permits - who's going to enforce? the city is short staffed as it is...

More flexible landscaping requirements that encourage responsible use of our precious water resources and make sense for more compact urban neighborhoods like those that will become urban innovation zones. (what should've been done already maybe?)

3) OFFER CONCIERGE SERVICES. if they can streamline it here, they can streamline it in the other areas where "plans" have already been adopted.

4) ANALYZE WHAT WORKS. Absolutely no comment

5) ROLL OUT NEW URBAN INNOVATION ZONES ACROSS DALLAS. it will take at least 3 years to get this to a point where it can be "duplicated" due to those pesky zoning code bugs...to call them "successful tools" is a bit premature.

parking is an area that needed to be addressed long ago - in all areas of Dallas. How can a city reduce emissions and go "green" while still having provisions for a sea of parking for each use?

I'm sure I'll get bashed for this...have at it. :)

Urbanista
Urbanista

That's it. It's obvious now. OakCliff Res, ElBueno, et. al. are all PrestonHollow Billionaires, dissin on the West Dallas plan cause they want to keep it as they private little homeless shelter. Like those private tennis courts and private bocce courts they have, they never intend to actually see or use the place but it looks good on their resume.

NO NO don't bring well-thought-out development to West Dallas that keeps the middle income people in their homes but brings cafes and galleries and theater spaces to the area!! That will COMPLETELY DESTROY our ability to put another lead smelter there! And projects. No not art projects, real projects like the ones people in West Dallas used to live in. NO!!! Keep it like it is. Forever. YOU WILL RUIN OUR PLAN!!!!

PrestonHollowBillionaire, you are a genius...

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

Ron you are part of the problem. Give us a break and go back to the private sector

PrestonHollowBillionaire
PrestonHollowBillionaire

These are stupid plans - all you oak cliffies need to move along now and let us Preston Hollow Billionaires like me, Roger Runs Like A Sissy Staubach, Mr Pizza Hut Mike Rawlings, Tom Karol and Tom Leppert will decide what's best for Oak Cliff and West Dallas

We hate dealing with the homeless in downtown so the Preston Hollow DHA Board (Tom Karol, Roger's Son In Law John Gates, Mark Cuban's baggage handler Terdema Ussery) told Maryann Russ to move em all to Cliff Manor. Now that's a great plan!

Nothing to see here, move along now...

Mikeylikesit
Mikeylikesit

Ed Oakley loves Oak Cliff so much, he moved to East Dallas. He's a gay Leppert.

Thelisma Partridge
Thelisma Partridge

Urbanista, I can't decide if you're a Natinsky campaign plant or a CityDesign Studio plant.

Wow! A light bulb just went off! They're one in the same !!!

Makes sense you'd (claim to) back a candidate who would (claim to) back your plan.

elbueno
elbueno

Where was ol' Ronnie boy when Walmart came in and grabbed up the land for a walkable URBAN development on FW Ave?

Oh yeah, he was selling it to them...

Urbanista
Urbanista

Belmont Hotel, Jack's Backyard, Homes above the Belmont Hotel, widening of Singleton, Calatrava Bridge, Hely-Henman Art Gallery, construction of new intersection at Beckley and Commerce with bike lanes (starting now), new Sylvan Bridge (starting now). Sylvan/Thirty development with Cox Farms Market as anchor. Etc etc.

No further along, eh? In order to really use the handle IQ, you have to have one.

Urbanista
Urbanista

Why is that disturbing? Lots of programs have been in place over the past 3-5 years to help lure people back to the urban core. Kunkel and Rawlings understand nothing of these plans while Natinsky is fully versed on them. They're just saying with all that's going on with the Trinity project and the Federal Government, with the slow but happening renaissance of downtown etc., now is not the time to throw a complete newbit into leading things.

I tend to agree. Doesn't mean Kunkel and Caraway are incompetent people. But they have no experience at all with the programs deep into development. That's all.

Urbanista
Urbanista

You mean like the way Good Street church is now a mouthpiece for the Mike Rawlings campaign? is that what you are saying?

Urbanista
Urbanista

Nudge nudge, wink, wink. Be sure to redeem your chips in the casino and come back next week when I'll be on the bill with my sister accordionist.

Harvey
Harvey

To my main concern: I'm sure the people currently living in the area next to this wonderfully designed Shangri-La will love it until they get their new appraised tax bill and no longer have a roof over their head because they can barely afford to live there now. Until the condos and mixed use moves in, most of the patrons will be crossing I30 or Large Marge to get there. I hope development moves quickly and they pay these people handsomely for their lots (well above appraised values) so they can start over in someplace they can afford.

Nice dream....difficult realities.

Urbanista
Urbanista

OakCliff Res -- Take off YOUR blinders dude.

The CAPTION IN THE PAPER may say he is a former city councilman but he was there as a representative of the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce -- he sits on their board and was their executive chair just a year ago or so.

A chamber of commerce is NOT a taxpayer funded organization or a 501 c-3. It is a 501 C -6, whose organizations include, according to Wikipedia, "Business Leagues, Home Builders Association, Chambers of Commerce, Real Estate Boards, etc. such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce political action committee and the National Football League."An officer of a chamber of commerce can support a political candidate the same way the officer of a home builders assn can or an executive with the NFL can, whether it's at City Hall, at NorthPark or on the moon. The event was his, put on by his campaign -- there was no AGENDA it was supposed to be on, comprende?

Nice to now you own a Garmin. I cant afford one.

Urbanista
Urbanista

No need to bash - you raise worthwhile questions, I think.

1. Code? Designate means the area will be called the Urban Innovation Zone. City already has power to apply certain tools in some parts of the city and others in others. Nothing special needed there.

2. Temporary Use Permits -- City doesnt have staff to enforce all stop signs, does that mean you don't put in any more where needed. More important, not sure what you mean about enforcing? Right now I got a building and I want to let somebody do an art installation there for a month. I probably have to pay someone from Fire Code to sit outside my building for 2 weeks cause city code says I got to have full fire regalia as if I'm opening a permanent gallery. Stupid. Or I get a special event permit but that's just for an event and for one weekend. Temp lets me get something in between the two and when it's done, so is the show, restaurant whatever.

3. Not sure what you mean by "other areas where plans have been adopted". ??? The point is that places like West Dallas, Oak Cliff, South Dallas have very hard time getting development. So let someone interested in doing something cool there have a person who can help make the process move faster. Other areas (Uptown, Knox Henderson, etc) dont have the problem, dont need the concierge.

4. Yup not all the tools put in place will work. Review what does, throw out what doesnt and bring that toolkit to Urban Innovation Zone 2.0.

5. Its not a sea of parking for each use. Its saying a restaurant open only for breakfast and lunch shouldnt be required to provide the same number of spaces as one open all day. But they do now. So let them provide 1/3 as many and if someone parks around the corner and walks there because the 1/3 as many are filled up, so be it. Fewer spaces required = greener.

Most important, why must people in Dallas always try to say something wont work when it already has in places like Denver, San Diego, Portland etc. What is it like the air molecules here that make Dallas unable to do what others already have?

And the CityDesign Studio has city staff as part of the team. They wouldn't produce a plan they know the city wont somehow allow. They ran it through the traps before it ever went to council. Not saying it absolutely will work. But it has elsewhere. Where people said it never would.

Urbanista
Urbanista

And I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.

I'm crying....

Urbanista
Urbanista

Thelisma.

I can't decide if you're a David Kunkle campaign plant or a Mike Rawlings campaign plant.

Wow! A light bulb just went off. You could be either one. Makes sense you'd dis' a plan your guy didn't come up with (yet was unanimously supported by both the city plan commission and city council).

Urbanista
Urbanista

elbueno:

I wont be shopping at WalMart. But I also don't want people saying who has a right to open a store in any neighborhood and who does not. I think that sort of Nazism wouldnt be good for the USof A. Maybe you dont want gay people opening businesses in your neighrborhood? Or Muslims? What exactly is the "appropriate category" for a business in your neighborhood these days? And who gets to decide that?

Not everyone is as affluent as you and I and able to pay the prices at the Whole Foods, Central Market or other smaller market youAnd from what I was told by someone on the FW Ave board, the lot is in an area that will require them to follow pretty stringent guidelines for the walkability you talk about. That was what was smart about what the FW Avenue people did - they put the zoning in place and said, follow the zoning and you are welcome rather than say - we dont like who you are so stay out. Like the way every Hispanic business that wa sin Bishop Arts 7 years ago has been forced out by the yuppies.

IQ
IQ

That's not very much based on twenty years worth of planning and "promises"......and I noticed you said "starting now" on several of the items in your (not so) "lengthy" list...........the City has been "starting" on the Trinity project for about as long (and has made about as much progress........in fact, some would argue they have lost ground) ......twenty years and counting........I stand corrected. BTW.....I wouldn't include the Calatrava Bridge on your list until we can see the connections/ramps being built on both sides of the river........it may end up being a very expensive "bridge sculpture".

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

Unlike you Urbanista, when I see something that is true I recognize it and say it. Your statements about new development above are indeed true and accurate. Thats about all that you have said that is true on this entire blog though...

IQ
IQ

With all the time Natinsky has spent in China, Spain, etc., he doesn't have any experience with these things either!

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

@ Tad

You're never gonna get anything across to Urbanista. I've heard of carrying water, but this guy/girl is carrying the entire water plant for Natinshky... And by the way, how is Good Street Baptist Church the mouthpiece for Rawlings. He did a church visitation there just like I'm sure he will go to dozens of others just as Natinsky and Kunkle will also. Not one time in the video did you hear that church endorse or make any kind of statement of support for Rawlings... As I continue to say.... TAKE OFF YOUR BLINDERS. Guess I shut you up on the conflict of interest thing above...

Tad Banyon
Tad Banyon

There are always lots of programs in place at any given time. City officials are promoting the idea to voters that there isn't time to investigate other candidates, and even if we could, there isn't time for another candidate to do a good job. In other words, just vote for Natinsky. Yeah, I find that a little disturbing. Here's a weird, wacky idea. How about, "do your homework and make an informed choice. I like this guy and I think you'll agree, but either way, be a responsible voter- its good for Dallas". Yeah. I kinda like that. A lot better than "Just vote for Natinsky before its too late!"

Gangy
Gangy

Urbanista - one word, "Zoloft"

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

and another thing Urbanista.... why don't you check out the Oak Cliff COC websitehttp://www.oakcliffchamber.org...

Ed Oakley is not on the OCCOC board anymore... member problably yes. But not at this press conference on behalf of the Board of Directors of the OCCOC. Now look at Ron Natinsky's websitehttp://www.ronnatinsky.com/end... Oakley, Jasso and White all endorse him. Proof is in the pudding...

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

I dont care if it is a 501(c)1, (c)3, (c)6 or (c)28 "National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust". Randall White as Natinsky's web desingner should not be representing the entire views of the Chamber with his biased view of Natinsky period. It just goes to show you the low's that politician's will stoop to, to get a vote. I'm not buying it, especially if you can't even be held accountable if you don't win as Mayor. You get to go back to your nice far North Dallas house, while West Dallas continues to suffer. Do you think he will still come down to City Hall on Wednesday's in support of this plan as a concerned citizen if it were on the agenda???

Got my Garmin at the pawn shop... BTW

abuckley1970
abuckley1970

actually codes will be required to carry out many of these items.

Temp permits will require some monitoring for expiration dates. Much like temporary CO's, somebody's going to have to stand watch. not everybody will comply with the temp' permits exp date and then fines will come into play, etc. You might adhere to the exp date but many won't.

The sea of parking was in reference to all of Dallas, not just here. As far as the reduction in parking for a restaurant open part-time and one open all day, what happens when the owner of the part-time establishment decides to open all day to increase his/her bottom line? Then what? and who's monitoring that and what controls are in place. It's human nature to try and get away with as much as possible without being caught. Better would be a simplified reduced parking schedule for uses allowed in the area - period. I smell a PD a brewin'.

I know the director for the CDS at the city. A plan is just a plan and they know it but it is a start. An adopted plan is required before the codes for it are adopted. The city can't issue temp permits or issue any parking reductions/special exceptions unless the code allows it. CDS knows it will take some doing to implement it. Not saying it can't be done - but rather, much work will go into making it happen.

Thelisma Partridge
Thelisma Partridge

Urb, I'm vehemently apolitical. I think they're all crooks.

And I'm not dissing the plan, I'm dissing you - or more specifically, your motives.

rubbercow
rubbercow

I was right there with you until your last sentence. If that is your beef, then you are a racist dick-weed.

IQ
IQ

Urbanista must be Ron Natinsky, or a very close supporter.

Urbanista
Urbanista

No you didn't shut me up I just don't want to interact with imbeciles who can't find Ed Oakley on the Oak Cliff Chamber web site, that's all.

Tad Banyon
Tad Banyon

I'll take Urbanista at his word that he's not Natinsky and doesn't work for him in any capacity. But it wouldn't be hard to suspect that he might be, given the vigor and tenacity (not to mention the quantity) of his defense of everything Natinsky.

IQ
IQ

It's "too late" because alot of people voted for Natinsky, and those like him, before.

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

BLINDERS BLINDERS BLINDERS. I gave you Natinsky's website to check out the guys web desinger for yourself. But keep the blinders on and don't look at it. So I guess Kunkle, Rawlings and Okpa should go talk to Suhm and ask her what else the City of Dallas is considering and hold a press conference and say if I'm elected as Mayor I will champion this effort... Go check out West Dallas Chamber website, (I'm going to venture and say Randall White designed that one too.) Nice picture there of Natinsky on the front page... Give me a break. Can we get Carolyn Davis on the front page of the North Dallas Chamber, I don't think so. Politics is not your game Urbanista, coat tail ridding at best, but politics no...

Urbanista
Urbanista

Res: Why dont YOU check out the site yourself:

http://oakcliffchamber.org/ind...

He is a member of the Executive Committee, which they list separately from the board.

And no one ever said Oakley and Jasso (don't know about White) don't endorse Natinsky. It was a campaign produced event. But not everyone in the AUDIENCE (do you understand the difference between an audience and speakers, dude) were supporters of Natinsky. So impelementing the citydesign studio plan has support beyond the Natinsky camp. That is the point you seem to be missing.

Urbanista
Urbanista

Nice you feel you have the right to withhold people their First Amendment right to freedom of speech, Res. White can support publicly whoever he wants to for mayor or dog catcher, whether you like it or not. We didnt' elect you king/kommandant.

Garmin from the pawn shop. Aw that would explain why it is so on the fritz...

Urbanista
Urbanista

Thanks. Yes code would need to be written for some of the tools under consideration ... just as the code for them has been written in scores of cities all over the world. From your post it looked like you meant code would have to be written JUST to desginate the place an Urban Innovation Zone.

Yep again temp permits will need to be monitored...as they are in scores of other cities all over the world that have already adopted them successfully.

You are right. Much work will have to go into making it happen. And that it is a start. Better than none. Which is what West Dallas has had until now.

Urbanista
Urbanista

I am 45, I make 38,000 a year as a writer and I am tired of living in a city that is 15 years behind the rest of the world when it come to urban planning. The stuff being proposed isn't perfect and neither is Ron Natinsky but tired of living in a place where everybody is always shooting down the next idea for Dallas to be more prgoressive and everybody ALWAYS is suspicious of everyone else's motives.

Urbanista
Urbanista

Rubbercow: I think you (understandably) misread my comment. It should have read, "they put the zoning in place and said, follow the zoning and you are welcome than say -- we don't like who you are so stay out ... like the way every Hispanic business that was in Bishop Arts 7 years ago has been forced out by the Yuppies."

Like me now? ;-)

Urbanista
Urbanista

Yep I was there about 3 weeks ago. Shopped at La Familia recently? Oh that's right you cant can you now that it has been replaced with that hip and cool Cafe Brazil chain, and that serious urban gym Anytime Fitness.

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