Work on the redevelopment of the southeast corner of Snider Plaza — where Peggy Sue BBQ used to be, and where Lane Florist, Logos Bookstore, and Arman Jewelry used to be before moving to new locations in the plaza — is blocked for now after a judge’s order.
Dallas County District Judge Aiesha Redmond recently granted a request for a temporary restraining order from Snider Plaza Alliance, a community organization opposed to the redevelopment plan for the site, at least temporarily blocking University Park officials and developer Jim Strode from issuing permits or any certificates of occupancy for any building at 6600 Snider Plaza that doesn’t provide parking in compliance with the city’s zoning requirements for the site that were in place before the city council approved Strode’s plan Sept. 21.
University Park Director of Communications and Marketing Steve Mace said no permits had been issued for that site as of Oct. 20, including during the time before Redmond’s order.
Strode’s plan calls for taking down the existing structures at the site to make way for a new three-story building to house retail, restaurant, and office space. The plan also calls for a two-level underground parking garage with 48 spaces accessed from Daniel Avenue.
“The Snider Plaza Alliance seeks Court intervention to prevent the development of an office tower in Snider Plaza that would shatter the area’s village character and impose a substantial traffic and parking burden, disrupting long-standing local businesses,” the group alleged in a court filing. “The City of University Park passed a zoning change on false pretenses and without proper notice, allowing the developer to avoid having to comply with zoning that would require dozens of additional parking spaces for a development of this size.”
The plan unanimously passed the University Park planning and zoning commission on July 13, and the city council approved the plan by a 4-1 vote Sept. 21 with the caveats that the first floor of the building would be retail and the storefronts would be differentiated from the rest of the space perhaps with a different color scheme on the top floor. The issue had been tabled at the Aug. 17 city council meeting to allow more time for city council members to study the parking implications.
University Park Community Development Director Patrick Baugh noted at the Aug. 17 city council meeting that the plan was about 13 parking spaces short of the number of off-street parking spaces required to be provided per the city’s zoning ordinance.
“I’m asking for a site plan approval here,” Strode said at the Sept. 21 city council meeting. The way that the city … counts the parking requirements versus the way our architects did — that’s the discrepancy. I didn’t come in here wanting to underbuild.”
“I think the building is acceptable, I think the parking is acceptable. Yes we’re short — we’re working long-term to solve the short on the parking,” councilman Gage Prichard said at the Sept. 21 meeting.
A hearing in the case is set for Friday.