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Forward Dallas Concerns

The  Facts:

“Placetypes”:

  • What was presented to neighborhoods last year at community meetings is not what is currently in the document.  “Placetypes”, which are being used to identify kinds of neighborhoods, have been changed since those meetings with zero public input to those changes. 

  • There is an emphasis on “placetypes” rather than on sound and established planning strategies.  Much of our current development code is being ignored.

  • Single-family zoning, is being replaced by multi-family zoning.  This eliminates the possibility of building generational wealth and it incentivizes institutionally owned rental properties.  In fact, Dallas is being bought by investors.

“Just a Concept”:

  • City Staff continuously state that this is “just a concept” or a “conversation”, and that Forward Dallas this “vision” is not a zoning document.  This is untrue!  State law mandates that a municipal comprehensive plan is linked to subsequent rezoning.  "Texas Local Government Code: The Texas Local Government Code, Section 213.005, states that municipalities may have comprehensive plans. Section 211 provides that zoning regulations must be adopted in accordance with the comprehensive plan."

“It’s About Density”

  • While Forward Dallas is designed to increase density in existing neighborhoods, it does not take into account that the infrastructure does not exist to support this density, including streets, sidewalks, water utilities, sewer, drainage, sanitation services, etc.  Additionally, the elimination of parking minimums in a car-centric culture is absurd until the city provides bike-lanes truly protected from traffic and free of broken glass, as well as a public transportation system that is truly connected.

  • Dallas’ City Council signed CECAP( Comprehensive Environmental Climate Action Plan) in 2020.  This document includes initiatives for increasing green space and mitigating water runoff and flooding.  Increasing density in existing neighborhoods would immediately reduce the number of trees as well as increase the risks of flooding.

  • We have been here before.  Old East Dallas lost many single family homes in the early part of the last century.  Once trendy apartment buildings came in their place, only to eventually fuel the decline of the neighborhoods once they were no longer in vogue.

“Affordable Housing”

  • The City’s Staff clearly understand that this is not about affordability.  In fact they’ve said as much.

  • However, there are “new urbanists” who will claim that this will solve the affordability issue.  The fact is that it is expensive to build.  Developers aren’t going to take a loss out of a philanthropic itch.  The newly constructed townhomes in the area are not inexpensive, and certainly have only driven up the cost of land as speculators purchase properties for redevelopment.

  • Austin is in the midst of these changes.  See the video that explains this. Note that CodeNext= Forward Dallas and HOME = City Council's parrallel plans for rezoning 

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