Park Cities YMCA Project Trudges On, Ad Infinitum

Between the idea
and the reality
Between the motion
and the act
Falls the Shadow

I’ve been thinking a lot about T.S. Eliot’s “The Hollow Men” lately, thinking about its applications to pretty much every event in life. It’s sad and desperate, yes, but also (I think) a call to action.

Last night, during the Park Cities YMCA’s Planning and Zoning Commission hearing, I couldn’t get the above passage out of my head. On most projects like this, there are two sides: the applicant and everyone who hates the project. In this project, though, there are at least four distinct groups: the Park Cities YMCA, the neighbors west of Preston Road, the neighbors east of Preston Road, and the Rise School.

Each has their own agenda; some overlap, most do not. What’s good for the westside neighbors is bad for the eastside neighbors. No one likes the Rise School’s inclusion in the project except for the school and the Y, but it’s not because it’s a school.

This project has more shadows than any other zoning case I’ve covered here or in D.C., ones that might not ever be resolved.

That said, Planning and Zoning delayed voting on the project for another month, and may take July to hear the case as well. Thanks for putting up with this roundabout way of telling you to pick up Friday’s paper for more information.

17 thoughts on “Park Cities YMCA Project Trudges On, Ad Infinitum

  • May 9, 2012 at 2:14 pm
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    “The wearer knows best where the shoe pinches.”

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  • May 9, 2012 at 3:47 pm
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    For every solution there is a problem.

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  • May 9, 2012 at 4:07 pm
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    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few

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  • May 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm
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    To everything (turn, turn, turn)
    There is a season (turn, turn, turn….just not onto San Carlos, Normandy, Shenandoah or Connerly).

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  • May 9, 2012 at 10:59 pm
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    Honestly, driving down Hillcrest and seeing Hotel Lumen, it struck me that the PC Y is a great building, not deserving of the demo man, but rather a touch of the artistry that revived the little hotel between SMU and the middle school. That was a tired building that many would tear down, but with a little creative energy it is now fantastic. Why does PC want to tear it up? Just remodel and call it a day. There are plenty of gyms around – just keep it simple, sister. And no school – unless you want to house a 5th elem for the park cities.

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  • May 10, 2012 at 12:33 am
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    “This project has more shadows than any other zoning case I’ve covered here or in D.C., ones that might not ever be resolved.”

    No, the never-ending Chase Building redevelopment beats the Y. Nothing else comes close to the Chase Building horror story and nothing ever will.

    I know you’ve now been here for a few years, but that’s not nearly long enough to fully understand that Jarndyce and Jarndyce saga or the periodic spectacles of community-wide freakouts and mass hysteria that erupt each time the owners put forward a new plan for the site. I’ve been here my whole life and I still don’t get it.

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  • May 10, 2012 at 8:48 am
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    Neal-

    That’s a good point. I think the discord among neighborhood groups with the Y adds a new wrinkle to the mix.

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  • May 10, 2012 at 9:14 pm
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    Plenty of gyms, my hiney! Spoken like a true empty-nester.

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  • May 10, 2012 at 10:11 pm
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    hata: definitely NOT an empty nester. Far from it. Go look at Hotel Lumen and tell me it’s not trans formative. They could do the same thing at the Y. As for gyms, you’ve got the churches , the university, the schools and then Equinox, Golds, Preston Gym, Lifetime, Dallas Country Club, BP, Pilates with a twist or whatever, etc….Not exactly hurting for treadmills per capita. Could use some bagel shops, actually.

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  • May 11, 2012 at 1:10 pm
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    Our new city marketing campaign.
    Dallas: Banks, Gyms, Yogurt Shops, Taco Stands, and Some Houses

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  • May 12, 2012 at 9:52 am
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    I have been a member of the Y for more than 10 years and a resident of Highland Park/University Park for nearly 20. I’ve never heard anyone who uses the Y say it is too big as they deal with the frustration of circling the Y looking for a parking place in order to get to a class or other function at the Park Cities Y. I have never parked in front of someone’s residence…ever. The Y is too small right now. I can hardly wait to see if the powers that be will allow for the proposed underground parking garage. It is needed so much.

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  • May 12, 2012 at 2:40 pm
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    OK, I’m probably going to start WW III, but I don’t get the need for a bigger Y. There are numerous other options in the area, so why is the Y needed as a workout facility? Also, why does this Y deserve a 501(c)3 exemption? It provides little in the way of charitable services, but it does seem to provide a cheap, nice workout facility in a community with other options. Yes, it does provide kids with a way to participate in soccer, volleyball, et al, and it does so in a very economical way. Bet the participants could kick in a bit more to make those sports happen though. Seems as though the convenience for some will be paid by the property values of those who surround the Y (and, no, I am not an adjacent property owner). Too bad the Y can’t move into the Chase building. Now there would be a solution for everybody.

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  • May 12, 2012 at 3:18 pm
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    I just drove by the Y and took a good look at it. It’s neither architecturally significant nor attractive. I really don’t think a remodel (as in the Lumen) would be transformative. The Y needs more space desperately. It’s not just a gym, not by a long shot. They provide so much more for the community. They also provide a sliding scale fee for those who cannot afford the monthly dues. It’s really ridiculous to think that one of the most affluent neighborhoods in Dallas has a rundown semi crummy Y facility. It’s an eyesore. A new building could only help property values and the underground parking will resolve a lot of the traffic problems. There are lots of signs now across the street saying “Y too Big”. It’s not too big, rather its way too small to support the area. I wholeheartedly support the Y and hope the expansion passes.

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  • May 12, 2012 at 3:28 pm
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    OK NFW: you are so smart. What great out of the box thinking…. a use for Chase Bank? Brilliant. Then landscape the Y field as a park. Or put our 5th elementary school there. HPISD sure could use the land with the increasing enrollment. Most parents drive to Plano or Frisco or even Arlington for sports every weekend anyway…..

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  • May 12, 2012 at 9:21 pm
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    Another Mother, OK, but how many actually use that sliding fee scale because they can’t afford the monthly dues? If we are one of the most affluent neighborhoods in Dallas, do we really need a not-for-profit gym? If they provide so much more for the community, what are those services? If you want to convince the community that you’re needed and provide critical services that meet the Y’s mottos of “Empowering Young People”, how about a campaign that informs everyone about those critical services that we can’t do without? Churches provide much needed services, and HPPC didn’t get their parking lot after a lot of squawking. Why is this different? Didn’t agree with the church expansion either, but it seems that property owners are getting the short end of this deal, too.

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  • May 22, 2012 at 4:05 pm
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    I am a victim – of my own stupidity. My husband and i failed to drive by our prospective new home on normandy at different times of the day before we bought it. We whine the same way as the folks who bought homes on lower greenville and were shocked, shocked to discover there is drinking and late night activities. We did not realize that we would be unable to park in front of our home or that people would circle, stop short and flail into parking places because they are late for yoga…i agree, that part is our fault. We have wonderful friends who grew up playing y soccer. Its a wonderful organization – so are the churches and businesses in the park cities that outgrow their facilities and do not have sufficient parking and land mass, but somehow, keep getting the okay to build-build-build! That’s where the p&z commission should step into to protect the residents. Why should we have to yell and stomp to get their attention? Why does it always have to turn into a neighbor against neighbor (yeah, we have been there before. We almost lost our home on lovers when they threatened to take all those homes for another elementary school). Here’s my question. When walmart did not proceed with the old sym’s location as a building site, why didn’t they ymca and their benefactors buy up that land? The current spot has not had enough fields for many,many years. The location on mockingbird would have had enough space to build a slamming building, pools and green areas – so start looking around. No one wants the ymca to go away – no one wants to have to get mad to be heard. No one wants to beg a lady in a leotard not to park in front of their house so the delivery truck can bring our new mattress (i digress…). P&z – do your job and represent!!! And, by the way, where can i get a yard sign while i wait for them do help us?

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