Neighbors said they didn’t want to lose the character of their community.
DALLAS – Prior to its afternoon meeting, the Dallas City Plan Commission took a bus tour of West Oak Cliff to discuss and review the “West Oak Cliff Area Plan.”
The 94 pages development plan has been in preparation for more than two years. The city says it’s okay attract new residents and businesses to the area by improving sidewalks, parks and bike paths and encouraging development in neighborhoods close to transportation.
Several neighbors expressed concern about the development on Thursday, following the city bus tour displaying signs expressing their opposition.
“Zoning would mean someone could build something really big right next to me without considering a small house,” Yolanda Alameda told WFAA.
Alameda said she supported parts of the plan.
“Improved sidewalks, green spaces, the neighbors who have been here have been asking for years,” she said.
She is not the only neighbor concerned about development. Jerry Figueroa is the owner of J&E express auto.
“We would like to see new businesses,” he told the WFAA. “We just don’t want to see the old Oak Cliff that we love destroyed.”
Figueroa said his neighbors feared they were overpriced.
“‘They obviously don’t want their taxes going up, if somebody builds a million dollar complex next to their house, they might not be able to live here,” he said.
But Councilman Chad West, who represents the Oak Lawn neighborhood, said the plan will protect the zoning of existing single-family neighborhoods.
“We need to protect our single-family neighborhoods,” West told the WFAA. “But we also have to think about what we’re going to do with all these people moving into the city of Dallas.”
West said he thinks making more homes available for people moving to the area will actually help ease the cost burden on existing homeowners.
He said the city considered thousands of comments from neighbors.
“At the end of the day, this is a neighborhood-focused plan,” he said. “That’s a concern for a lot of us, you know, how do we keep Oak Cliff cool. Okay, how do we keep it diverse and culturally meaningful?”
West and the rest of council will not vote on the plan until they consider a final draft proposal from the city plan commission.