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.
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.”
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.
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?”
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.
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.
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.
Allie Beth Allman & Associates recently listed Preston Hollow’s 6645 Northaven Road for $9,995,000. Architect Lionel Morrison designed this modern home with natural light in mind. The property spans 1.77 acres and includes 7 bedrooms, 8.4 baths. The 14,795 st/ft. home was previously listed for $11.5 million in 2011.
They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and this treehouse certainly proves the adage. Bluffview couple Jimmy and Sandy Maddox recently built a 20-ton treehouse near Mart (just outside of Waco). I’m not sure how/why the weight was measured, but the figure is definitely impressive.
The treehouse made its debut on Animal Planet’s new “Treehouse Masters” premiere on Friday, but if you missed it, there’s a rerun at 10 p.m. tomorrow.
This time-lapse video shows the building process condensed to about 90 seconds.
So what do you think? Is this treehouse totally awesome, or do its size, amenities, and additional support beams preclude it from being considered a treehouse?
Naomi Aberly hosted a $10,000-a-plate fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee last night at her house on Strait Lane. (I would have been there, but my budget for Wednesday dinners is only $8,500, and the Dems are really strict about these things.) Because President Obama was there, so were a gaggle of White House reporters, including Todd J. Gillman, chief of The Dallas Morning News‘ Washington bureau. Here’s how he (sort of) described the property:
The president arrived at the Aberly home — a hard to describe mansion that looks something like a concert hall or catering facility, with lots of modern columns lit dramatically — about 7:17. Some 90 minutes later, the traveling entourage of reporters and photographers, staff and security rolled out behind the presidential limo.
The Dallas Central Appraisal District values Aberly’s estate at $10.9 million. For comparison’s sake, Toni Brinker’s place across the street is valued at a measley $4.5 million.
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