Battle Over Disney Streets Appears to Be Over

disneystreetsign.jpg
More than three years ago, some residents living in the Disney Streets in Northwest Dallas proposed turning the neighborhood into a Conservation District in an effort to protect some of its mid-century marvels. But as former City Plan Commissioner and Northwest Dallas lifer Robert Ekblad told Unfair Park back in the summer of '09, the conservation conversation turned "nasty" quickly, as evidenced by the websites from those pro and con and the signs that took root along Royal Lane. Said Ekblad, who has since been replaced by Michael Schwartz, "It's not very friendly." Which is why the CD discussion never reached the plan commission.

All these many years later, the brawl appears to have come to an end: On Thursday, Cinderella and Snow White and the rest of the Disneylanders will show up at the City Plan Commission's meeting, where city staff will recommend terminating a hearing on the subject and nixing the Conservation District Conceptual Plan (scroll down -- it's the final item). Even though the city considers the neighborhood "culturally and architecturally significant" -- in large part because the proposed CD is an "excellent example of the development that reflected the prosperity of Dallas in the post-war years" -- no one can agree on anything except that they disagree on everything. So that's that:
At the last meeting of the Disney Streets Conservation District Steering Committee on October 9, 2010, the majority recommendation of the committee was to terminate the authorized hearing process to consider a conservation district on the subject area.

While staff determined the proposed district was eligible for consideration of a conservation district, the survey results indicate that there is no broad support for even minimum standards in the neighborhood. In addition, while basic form and dimensional requirements were being considered, there was no proposal that would specifically require compliance and conservation of the California contemporary or ranch home architecture that dominates the neighborhood and helped determine the eligibility of the area for consideration of a conservation district. For these reasons staff is recommending the termination of consideration of a conservation district and denial of this conceptual plan.

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11 comments
c092174k
c092174k

The Dallas Planning Committee met Thursday, as scheduled. Eight property owners, against the CD proposal attended the meeting. The CD proposal was terminated "with prejudice", meaning, the proposal can't be brought up again, for two years. As an opponent of the CD proposal, I applaud both sides, for discussing the proposal, in dozens of meetings, of both sides, and many joint meetings & discussions. My neighborhood upheld the highest standards of public debate, on which this great country was built. We showed the world, that public debate and voting on a proposal, while time consuming, is what Iraq, Afghanistan,Lybia, Syria, and all the world need to have a truly successful, peaceful life It was a long three years, but our neighborhood is still a fabulous place to live in.

c092174k
c092174k

I live on one of the Disney Streets, and have for almost a decade. I can give you 436 reasons why I have been against the CD, from it's hideous inception. I made my first mortgage payment on my 1st house in March 1975; through good times & bad time, with my wife and I having 2nd & 3rd PT jobs, when necessary, to make ALL 436 mortgage payments on time, and to the penney. That give my wife and I, AND ONLY MY WIFE & I, the only right to tell me what I can do to my property. We read and approved of the Deed restrictions, in place, when we signed the Deed & the Note. No one has the power, except in cases of National or Extreme Emergency, to change the terms of the Deed, after the Deed has been signed. No third party has earned the right to have any control over my rights as a property owner, unless you buy my property first.

c092174k
c092174k

I live on one of the Disney Streets, and have for almost a decade. I can give you 436 reasons why I have been against the CD, from it's hideous inception. I made my first mortgage payment on my 1st house in March 1975; through good times & bad time, with my wife and I having 2nd & 3rd PT jobs, when necessary, we made ALL 436 mortgage payments on time, and to the penney. That gives my wife and I, AND ONLY MY WIFE & I, the only rights to decide what we can do to my property. We read and approved of the Deed restrictions, in place, when we signed the Deed & the Note. No one has the power, except in cases of National or Extreme Emergency, to change the terms of the Deed, after the Deed has been signed. No third party has earned the right to have any control over my rights as a property owner, unless you buy my property first.

freddie
freddie

I'm glad to live in East Dallas where we care about preserving what made the neighborhood great - it's essentially a small town in the big city with all sorts of homes from shotgun shacks to estate showplaces.. Unfortunately (IMO) unprotected Lakewood Heights is being taken over by new homes, but if that's what you want you can also find it here...

cynical old bastard
cynical old bastard

Unfortunately, we all sink or swim together. Property values have been rising due to the flipping of two empty lots. Each time the land value has been upwardly appraised the value of the improvements (house) has been lowered. It is no longer a prudent investment to put much money in upgrading and maintaining a house because the increase in value is tied to the lot. Eventually tear downs will proceed eliminating the "neighborhood" feel of the area.

Chevytexas
Chevytexas

They're well out of it. East Dallas has been plagued by "conservation' groups for years now, each of them either historically ignorant but of course primary in their sense of aesthetics, or actively in collusion with developers in destabilizing blocks so they could be bought cheaply. Thankfully with City Staff reductions, this has been mercifully cut off at the knees. A new ethic --actually an old Texan one-- has come of age again: I own my property, you own yours: STFU.

Big Bad Evil Developer
Big Bad Evil Developer

From a local Ad Valorem Tax Professional:

"The Appraisal District does not plan to make changes to the way they are currently assessing residential properties. You know they rarely assess them at the highest and best use anyway as Highland Park residents will testify where developers have purchased homes for exorbitant prices, tearing down the house to build “McMansions” as they are called. The Appraisal District then assesses all the land in the area based on the sale which they see as a vacant lot. It is not uncommon to see values for land three and four times higher than the previous year and a perfectly good house assessed at $10,000 so the land & building value will reflect the MARKET. The Appraisal District has and will base their assessments on sales and condition of the improvement. Bottom line is that the sales price and/or an appraisal of the property are going to hold the most weight when they assess properties. I can see the potential of a lot of inequity because of the downturn we have had in the market. The District has been forced to reduce values due to low sales, after all an arms-length transaction is what a willing buyer will pay a willing seller for the property."

Why don't you educate yourself COB - try going to the Appraisal district and asking them how they evaluate property values.

Two items that are of particular interest in the above is the last sentence and the word "MARKET"

It's a funny thing that everyone in favor of these things keeps talking about there taxes going up and "Equity" in their homes being lost due to a modern house going up next to you.(which is totally delusional)

Sounds to me like its not about saving a piece of Dallas History at all it's about your pocket book.

By the way...surely you would never do anything to the outside of your house that your neighbors don't like.

Yourlivingonwonderland
Yourlivingonwonderland

I will STFU until somebody drops a McMansion next to me, and screws with my equity.You own your property, I own mine, but you have no right to pollute the creek.

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