For the second time in as many months, the Dallas Plan Commission has tabled consideration of a project that would replace the two-story Saltillo Apartments with an eight-story apartment building on Cole Avenue behind Abbott Park.
On Thursday, the commission tabled the matter without discussion, and set a new date for Jan. 23 to consider it again.
The developer and new property owner, Travis Cole Apartments LP, is asking for a zoning change on the 2.4-acre site to allow for a building that would be 89 feet tall and accommodate 258 luxury apartments, along with a parking garage and fitness center. The existing complex is 36 feet tall with 78 units, and would be demolished under the proposal.
So what’s the big deal about all of this? The site is next to a segment of the Katy Trail that separates Dallas from the town of Highland Park. The latter has been opposed to the project from the get-go, and has openly encouraged its residents to lobby against it.
Highland Park officials are being supported by Dallas city staff, which has recommended the plan commission deny the rezoning in part because the proposed development won’t be compatible in scale with surrounding structures, such as an adjacent two-building office complex in which the building height likewise is restricted to 36 feet.
The application was filed with the city in February, and in September, the town council passed a resolution against the development that stated in part:
- The proposed development infringes on the use, enjoyment, and privacy of the Town’s residents in and around the Town’s public property known as Abbott Park.
- The proposed building’s height would obstruct and / or reflect the sun light at any such location.
- The increased height is incompatible with the adjacent zoning (i.e. much higher) than residential/office structures which are limited to 36 feet.
- A density of more than 200 units is also incompatible with the surrounding properties.
- The additional traffic generated by such a dense development is problematic, especially given the street configuration of the area.
- Key intersections at Mockingbird/Central and Knox/Central are already congested, thus approval of development may force additional traffic through adjoining neighborhoods.
The item first appeared on the plan commission agenda on Nov. 11, but was deferred at the town’s request.
If this sounds familiar, let’s flash back to 2005, when a different developer lobbied to build an eight-story apartment complex on the same site, but was denied by both the plan commission and the Dallas City Council.
Stay tuned next month to see if the latest effort will meet the same fate.