Dallas Sets Public Hearing for Final PD-15 Plans

Dallas residents will have a final chance to voice concerns over the much-discussed area on Northwest Highway that includes Preston Tower and Royal Orleans before building plans are turned over to city council members.

A public hearing is scheduled Sept. 11 at a location yet to be determined.

Residents packed Walnut Hill Recreation Center on Aug. 7 to hear staff comments and final recommendations on Planned Development 15, with an actual building plan inching closer towards fruition.

Dallas City council members will vote on final building plans at a date following the hearing.

The “Tall Plan”

One popular plan idea for the new Preston Center is called the “Tall Plan,” which includes specifications centered on a building standing at 310 feet.

If that plan is approved, the building will be within 240 feet of Northwest Highway, ten percent mixed-income housing, a maximum dwelling unit density of 125 units per acre, an underground structure for parking, a 15,000-square foot floor plan, and 12.5 percent useable open space.

Ruegg added that adding mixed-income and multifamily units was a priority for the staff, especially if the new Preston Tower reaches a certain height.

“Staff commented on requiring a 15 percent mixed-income percentage and clarified open space language, which must be in addition to the base requirement of an extra five percent open space,” Dallas senior planner Andrew Ruegg. “Because you’re getting a taller height, we want that 15 percent instead of ten.”

Landscaping and open space was a key recommendation by the CDC and staff, including open space for recreation, groundwater recharge, landscaping, and pedestrian amenities.

“We really wanted to consolidate everything,” said council member Jennifer Staubach-Gates. “This is about sharing information, and we are still taking public input.”

Building Points

The City Planning Commission presented several points to staff that was relayed to the public, including final thoughts on tower height, mixed-income units, and a points-based system for construction.

The points-based system allows builders to earn up to 18 “points” for development within PD-15.

Builders can, for instance, earn points by locating useable open space along interior property lines to create centralized open space; for providing ground units with individual entries; and for specific building design details, such as facade.

Points can then be exchanged for “rewards” such as a ten percent increase in lot coverage, a reduction of interior east and west setbacks by up to ten feet, an elimination of tower spacing, and urban form setbacks.

If all 18 points are earned, up to 14 can be “spent.”

“There’s definitely incentives for additional tree plantings and outdoor improvements, as well as other situations that you might want some flexibility in,” said Ruegg.

Other CDC points included adding a  parking structure with access to Northwest Highway, 90 dwelling units per acre with a density bonus for more open space, and certain setbacks that include a minimum of 70 feet from the aforementioned Northwest Highway.

 

Timothy Glaze

A journalism graduate of the University of North Texas, Tim has called Dallas home his entire life. He has covered news, schools, sports, and politics in Lake Dallas, Denton, Plano, Allen, Little Elm, and Dallas since 2009 for several publications - The Lake Cities Sun, The Plano Star Courier, the Denton Record Chronicle, and now, People Newspapers. He lives in Denton County with his wife and three dogs.

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