Dallas Plan Commission Punts CityPlace Sam's Club Decision to July

Categories: Development

SamsClubPlanCOmmission.jpg
A Sam's Club opponent talks to TV cameras after the City Plan Commission's vote to delay a decision by two months.
Sam's Club will have to wait an extra couple of months before it plants a 140,000-square-foot outpost next to CityPlace. So decided the City Plan Commission, which this afternoon moved consideration of the development plan until July 22.

It was a victory for neighbors, albeit a tiny one. As we mentioned yesterday, the zoning was quietly slipped into place a year ago. The main focus of the Plan Commission's deliberations today was whether public comments could be accepted when it was serving a "ministerial function," i.e. approving a development plan that complies with existing zoning.

The answer from city legal staff and Plan Commission Chair Gloria Tarpley was no. Instead, Tarpley called on the several dozen neighbors in the audience -- about half wearing the day's uniform of a red T-shirt, more wearing "No Mega Store" stickers," one clad in a bike helmet -- to stand in a show of opposition.

Three business types at the back stood in support.

In the lobby afterward, Councilman Adam Medrano declined to take a stance on the Sam's project but said the delay was a good move. Talk among the neighbors, meanwhile, focused on strategy. How to jiu jitsu their way into a position of leverage now that they have 60 days to organize? There's no clear way to do that, but there were lots of mention of the phrase "bait and switch."

That's how the president of the nearby Belmont Park Neighborhood Association described the process. He was among the neighbors whom developers courted when they were going through the rezoning process more than a year ago. Then, they were promised East Village, a walkable, urban complement to West Village on the other side of Central. Had they read the fine print and and understood that East Village would include a Sam's Club, they wouldn't have told Pauline Medrano to approve the zoning.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.

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28 comments
MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

At least someone at City Hall found a use for a bike helmet besides its role in single handedly blocking progress towards the vision of new urban Dallas.


Bait and switch sounds dubious.  Most of these people sound like college students that did not read the black & white contracts they signed for student loans and then start whining after graduation on what a mess they accepted.  It may even be the same people.  Learn your lesson.  To quote Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross:  it only matters when connected to signature on the line that is dotted.  Talk is just talk.


Do your homework.  Stop putting your leaders (and parents) in impossible situations where black & white law ties their hands preventing them from fixing your inability to read Noah Webster's English and extrapolate the possibilities of businesspeople looking to make a legal profit.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

Good for them

quietly slipped into place

That's how you lose your freedoms.

James_the_P3
James_the_P3

Legal processes aside, after the Timbercreek imbroglio it would behoove the plan commissioners and council members to look at future proposals from Trammel Crow with a jaundiced eye.  Right now, that's the strongest leverage the neighborhood has--letting it be known that Trammel Crow is going to be persona non grata inside Loop 12.

WylieH
WylieH

I just looked at the conceptual plan... it shows most of the entrances & exits to the Sam's Club being via Carroll Ave.   This, combined with the fact that access to Southbound 75/Central from the site is very complicated is going to absolutely murder the neighborhood to the east--- they are going to be overwhelmed with cut-through traffic.


This looks to be an unmitigated disaster... the fact that city staff gave them a massive parking variance, based on the project's "walkability" is going to make this thing a mess from day one.  The Sam's Club, alone, could easily generate over 10,000 car trips per day, plus several semi-truck deliveries.  Discount general merchandise stores such as this are among the highest traffic generating uses possible.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

So let's say Sam's Club walks the Crow deal.

How's about a Costco?

becoolerifyoudid
becoolerifyoudid

Maybe I am missing something, but looking at the Main Uses permitted in  PD 889 the ordinance specifically has a section for additional permitted uses:


Sec 51P-889.107(b) General merchandise or food store 100,000 square feet or more.


A Sam's would be consistent with that use, furthermore that use is not listed in section c which lists prohibited uses. 


Trammel Crow may have done a bait and switch in talking to people, but they are staying consistent with the uses they sought a year ago.  Besides do you people not remember the whole TimberCreek thing with Trammel Crow?  How is any of this a surprise?

kduble
kduble

@MikeWestEast  Marketing tobacco products returns a legal profit, but that doesn't make it any less reprehensible.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

@James_the_P3 You don't understand the way things work. Take a look across the street from the Observer HQ at the walled fortress Crow is building at Old Parkland. 

Didn't crow just try to get his house declared a museum?

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@WylieH

Quick! Knock down I-345!

that'll cut off East and South Dallas all the way to Garland and Mesquite.

becoolerifyoudid
becoolerifyoudid

@WylieH I see 9 points of ingress/egress, 3 of which are on Carroll and 3 on Central.  Besides everyone in the area is already at this intersection anyway(and Henderson and 75)


kduble
kduble

@holmantx  The payrolls would be higher. More of the staff would be full-time, and the benefits would be better; associates could support a family. But, the traffic impact would be similar. Have you ever tried to make a left turn out of the parking lot of that Sam's in northeast Dallas? Hope you've brought along a book to read.


Be it Sam's or Costco, the payrolls would be less than those of the two existing buildings and their environs, so the economic impact of either store would be a net loss even over what's there now. In summary, we'd have the negative impact of lower property tax collections, fewer jobs, lower wages, yet the traffic would be worse. And we would have still squandered the asset of the Cityplace subway station with incompatible development.


Light rail transit has the potential to maximize economic impact with minimum traffic impact, but only if surrounding development is appropriately planned and suitable.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@becoolerifyoudid 

PD 889 has no bearing on this property, that ordinance governs property that is several miles away from Haskell/US 75.

d-may
d-may

@becoolerifyoudid  The zoning change was not performed in good faith. The neighbors were directly lied to about what they should expect.  It is very reasonable to believe that if the site plan as designed was presented to the board at the time of the zoning change, the change would not have occurred. 


There is room here for the commission to reject the site plan on those terms. 

WylieH
WylieH

Technically, you are correct, but the two other points I''m counting both feed into Atoka, a short dead end street that feeds only into Carroll. The challenge is going to be managing the several thousand cars per day that will now be using Carroll between Sam's & I-30.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@kduble @holmantx

The hundreds of restaurants, retailers, c-stores, caterers, event organizers . . . and many, many more businesses who do not have the corporate purchasing power to buy in bulk rely upon Sam's and other Big Box discounters to buy food and supplies to resell.

If you like those neighborhood businesses in and around the central core area, then we also need a neighborhood location where they can replenish.

becoolerifyoudid
becoolerifyoudid

@d-may @becoolerifyoudid

Trammel Crow very well may have lied, but that is nothing new or surprising from them.  Which is why those concerned with this should have stayed vigilant through the entire process.  Sure it's a damn shame, but Trammel Crow timed this just right- a neighborhood in the middle of gentrification without a lot of organization. 


At least this time they got the use approved beforehand, with TimberCreek they got assurances from Council that the residential property they were buying would be allowed to be commercial once the purchase was complete.

kduble
kduble

@WylieH  Carroll isn't designed for this level of traffic. It was never conceived as an arterial boulevard.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@kduble @holmantx

then if you want neighborhood services, then go north to where people understand what a neighborhood is - a living organism, not a static display of what one should look like.

some parts look yucky.  but needed.  

Want restaurants and neat places where  people hang?  You need utilities and services to facilitate those functions.  Stop trying to ad hoc drive the situation.

kduble
kduble

@holmantx @kduble  I realize that, but it's stupid to build one over a rail stop. That isn't an appropriate use for this land.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@becoolerifyoudid 

not correct on my part, the northern portion of the Crow property on which they propose to develop the Sam's is in the PD 889 section.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@becoolerifyoudid

I believe PD 889 is on the property to the north of the proposed Sam's. The proposed Sam's tract has straight CS zoning.

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

@stevenray @becoolerifyoudid @d-may  They are in office to administer the law and create new law for future situations.  The Constitution does not allow them to disregard the existing law for some other agenda.  Following the law protects everyone.  Bait and switch is signing a contract for X and getting Y.  You complaint is hearing X, signing for Y and getting Y.  That is stupidity, not bait and switch.

stevenray
stevenray

@becoolerifyoudid @d-may  so should Trammel Crow be allowed to lie and use bait and switch tactics? The renderings they showed when getting support from the community were very similar to the West Village. 


You're right not all of the citizens of this community have law degrees that's why our elected officials really should be intervening and listening to the residents that this will be directly impacting. They're in office specifically to be the voice of the people.

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