The Dallas City Council has cleared the way for more high-rise construction in Preston Hollow.
“I believe it’s in the best interest of the neighborhood,” District 13 council member Jennifer Staubach Gates said. “It was obvious to my colleagues there was large support for change.”
The council voted unanimously in September to rezone the much-discussed Planned Development 15, an area affectionately known as “behind The Pink Wall” because of the brick fence installed by its original developers.
It encompasses 14 acres just north of Northwest Highway between Baltimore Drive and Pickwick Lane. Height and density restrictions there have been much discussed since 2017 when a fire destroyed the Preston Place condominiums and questions emerged about whether existing height and density limits would allow for redevelopment.
The zoning change will allow for towers up to 240 feet or about 22 stories – not as high as the 310 feet discussed in June – but still way taller than many vocal neighbors said they wanted.
“Any plan should be good for current owners within The Pink Wall and surrounding neighborhoods.” -Susan Cox
“Already, many condos on the north side of The Athena are listed, and prices are soft,” said Susan Cox, one of many residents who opposed the zone change. “The height and close proximity of the proposed high rise buildings to the low-rises will affect their properties, as well.”
She and other members of C.A.R.D. – a Preston Hollow group that stands for Citizens Advocating Responsible Development – had hoped to stop the zone change so property owners could work directly with developers to come up with a redevelopment plan for PD-15.
“Any plan should be good for current owners within The Pink Wall and surrounding neighborhoods,” she said.
This new zoning doubles the number of units allowed in the entire parcel, a fact that has worried neighbors who believe the subsequent traffic increase will cause headaches.
But supporters of the zoning change – and in the end, the council – were excited by the new housing possibilities the towers will bring, as well as the restaurant, business, and green-space potential.
Gates, who has held numerous public meetings on the parcel leading up to the Sept. 11 decision, said the two-year journey surrounding PD-15 has been “a difficult and challenging journey,” but added she feels “confident” in the council’s decision.
Plans can now move forward on a recommended live-work-play tower in the parcel that already houses two condominium towers and several low-rise buildings.
Addressing the traffic concerns, Gates said development impact reviews would be used in the future to help address vehicle impact on the neighborhood, and she also plans to push for a residential proximity slope that will prevent any tower height issues brought up by the opposition.
“The revised conditions approved will result in quality redevelopment that increases green space, encourages underground parking, and provides for a walkable and vibrant neighborhood,” she said.