April 11, 2014

  • Laura Miller is Not Pleased With Lee Kleinman

    In case you missed it, Laura Miller has asked Jennifer Staubach Gates to replace Lee Kleinman as her proxy in the Transwestern affair. At one point yesterday afternoon, this little ditty was the lead story on the Dallas Morning News‘ website. Oddly, there’s no mention of it in today’s paper.

    By Dan Koller Apr. 11, 2014 | 10:28 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • April 2, 2014

  • Neighborhood Leaders Call For Transwestern Forum

    A bevy of elected officials and neighborhood association leaders have joined the debate over Transwestern’s proposed multi-use project at Preston Road and Northwest Highway. In a letter first reported by Candy’s Dirt, former Mayor Laura Miller, former City Councilman Mitchell Rasansky, state Sen. John Carona, and others are asking Councilman Lee Kleinman to host a town-hall meeting to discuss the development.

    I’m glad they’re asking that the meeting be held at a larger venue, such as Lovers Lane United Methodist Church or Park Cities Baptist Church. We wouldn’t want a repeat of this fiasco.

    By Dan Koller Apr. 2, 2014 | 8:36 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • March 28, 2014

  • Big-Name Properties Go on Market

    Alan Peppard reports that Lisa Blue Baron is selling her Preston Hollow estate because she’s moving to Washington. This news comes one day after Candy Evans reported that Dallas Stars legend Mike Modano has two Preston Hollow properties on the market.

    By Dan Koller Mar. 28, 2014 | 12:15 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • February 21, 2014

  • Apartment Proposal Stirs Controversy

    Here's a preliminary landscape plan for Transwestern's proposed multifamily development at Preston Road and Northwest Highway.

    Here’s a preliminary landscape plan for Transwestern’s proposed multifamily development near Preston Center.

    Both sides agree that the northeast corner of Preston Road and Northwest Highway needs a new development.

    What developers and homeowners can’t agree on, however, is what that development should look like.

    Real-estate firm Transwestern is under contract to buy about three acres at the site, where the company hopes to build a high-end apartment complex to replace an aging collection of existing condominiums and townhomes.

    Yet the scope of the proposed project has upset members of the Preston Hollow East Homeowners Association, whose issues include a proposed height of six stories for one building in the development, as well as an increased density of units that would bring added traffic to an already congested area.

    Read More…

    By Todd Jorgenson Feb. 21, 2014 | 10:28 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • February 6, 2014

  • Kreditor Navigates Pitfalls For Landlords, Tenants

    Preston Hollow resident Mark Kreditor has plenty of these signs on the lawns of homes throughout the area. (Photo: Chris McGathey)

    Mark Kreditor has plenty of these signs on the lawns of homes throughout the Dallas area. (Photo: Chris McGathey)

    Editor’s note: This story also appears in the February edition of Preston Hollow People.

    When a large portion of your time is spent mediating disputes between landlords and tenants, it helps to have a lighthearted creative outlet.

    That’s part of what has provided sanity for Mark Kreditor for more than three decades in the often insane realm of property management.

    The Preston Hollow resident is president of Get There First Realty, which manages about 1,600 properties in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, acting as a go-between for owners of single-family rental properties ranging from condominiums to high-end homes.

    “We perform the job of being the referee,” Kreditor said. “We’re focused on having the battle less heated.”

    Read More…

    By Todd Jorgenson Feb. 6, 2014 | 10:00 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • January 20, 2014

  • City Staff Steamed About Sauna Plan

    The owners of a house on North Janmar Drive, who purchased the home last summer, would like to add a gym and sauna atop their detached garage/cabana. To do so, they need a permit from City Hall. The problem is, that garage/cabana is only 3 feet from the property line, and the zoning ordinance for their neighborhood requires a 10-foot setback. Consequently, city staffers are recommending that the Board of Adjustment deny their request. The board will be briefed at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow, and the public hearings begin at 1.

    By Dan Koller Jan. 20, 2014 | 9:14 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • January 8, 2014

  • Homes May be Built on Unity Church Land

    The agenda for Thursday’s City Plan Commission meeting includes an application from Preston Hollow resident Charles Hicks to rezone the east end of the property owned by the Unity of Dallas church. He plans to build a gated community of 18 single-family homes, with each one having an “excessive” lot size of 8,200 square feet.

    Rick Hawkins, president of Unity’s executive board, said there was a house on the land at one point, but it was torn down about 10 years ago.

    “We just really haven’t needed the land for parking or other needs,” Hawkins said. “We thought the best thing to do would be put it out on the market.”

    About a year ago, Hawkins and Hicks said, the church was discussing selling the land to a company that wanted to erect an assisted-living facility. Although I have no memory of that, both men said the idea wasn’t a popular one.

    “There was a lot of discontent about that — some concerns about various issues related to putting a facility like that in the neighborhood,” Hawkins said. “So we passed on that, and Charles came along with his plan, and we thought that would be something that would be palatable to the neighborhood and also satisfy our need to sell the property.”

    Hicks, who lives just west of the church on a street where the lots range from 5,100 to 8,000 square feet, said he’s developed several thousand lots in suburbs such as Frisco, Garland, and Little Elm; he was also involved in the development of Willow Lane, just south of the Cooper Aerobics Center, he said.

    “I saw this property floundering, and — being a neighbor — I felt like I would have a better chance of getting the support of the neighborhood,” Hicks said.

    Nonetheless, he said, he does expect some opposition at Thursday’s hearing: “Has there ever been a zoning case where there wasn’t?”

    By Dan Koller Jan. 8, 2014 | 11:22 am | 1 Comment | Comments RSS
  • November 19, 2013

  • Godwins Want Extended Fence on Expanded Lot

    10349 Strait Lane by Dan Koller

    If you have any thoughts on Donald and Carmen Godwin’s request to put a 9-foot fence on their expanded Strait Lane property, the Board of Adjustment’s public hearing begins at 1 o’clock this afternoon.

    By Dan Koller Nov. 19, 2013 | 9:53 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • July 10, 2013

  • What’s Going on at Walnut Hill Lane and Central?

    Drivers are familiar with the big, empty field in the northwest corner of Walnut Hill and Central Expressway. But an item on tomorrow’s City Plan Commission meeting may lead to some changes. One item (#11, if you’re following along) proposes creating “nine nonresidential lots” from the 42+ acres.

    The briefing starts at 11 a.m., and the hearing starts at 1:30 p.m., both in Council Chambers. Come hang out with me to find out what happens, if that’s your thing. But bring a sweater — I always get cold in there.

    By Sarah Bennett Jul. 10, 2013 | 2:35 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • June 17, 2013

  • Beware Contractor Without Permit; He May Vanish

    I like to peruse the agendas for Board of Adjustment meetings, looking for potential drama. (How would you like to see that as an interest on a match.com profile?) That’s how I came across the Case of the Vanishing Contractor.

    The owner of a house at the corner of Meadowcrest Drive and Jamestown Road needs a variance to the side-yard setback regulations. This variance would be related to an already-built pavilion, and the homeowner is putting the blame on the aforementioned contractor. From the application:

    After he bought the house, the current property owner hired a contractor to construct an open-air pavilion next to the existing pool, which would connect with the house. The owner was unaware that the contractor failed to get a building permit and proceeded to construct the pavilion into the side yard setback along Jamestown Road. The contractor has vanished, and the owner has not been able to contact him.

    If you’re bored/curious, the public hearing will begin no earlier than 1 o’clock tomorrow.

    5810 Meadowcrest

    By Dan Koller Jun. 17, 2013 | 12:59 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
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