May 27, 2008

From the desk of Rep. Allen Vaught

Zoning – Part III: Commercial & Mixed Use

In this final article in a series on Dallas Zoning, I will briefly cover the commercial and mixed use developments that are currently being considered in the northeastern area of Texas State House District 107.

Forward Dallas

Forward Dallas is the long range comprehensive development plan adopted by the city two years ago. It allows residents and developers to cultivate areas focusing on land use, transportation, and economic development. These plans are reviewed by a city council committee, the city plan commission, and finally the city council and form the basis for the issuance of bond money. Neighborhoods are encouraged to work within the framework provided by Forward Dallas to bring positive changes to their neighborhoods. More information on the program can be found on the Forward Dallas website (

Garland Road Vision

Specific community driven plans developed under the framework of Forward Dallas are called “Small Area Plans”. The Garland Road Vision project is the major small area plan for Dallas City Council District 9. Former Place 9 Council member, Gary Griffith, formed an advisory committee made up of stakeholders including representatives from neighborhood associations, the Arboretum, Casa Linda Plaza, Doctor’s Hospital, and others.

The goal of the Garland Road Vision project is to examine the corridor from Interstate 635 to the south of White Rock Lake. Plans for future development in the area will be drawn considering the residential, commercial, and transportation needs and desires of those who use Garland Road the most. Some ideas already under discussion for development of the intersection of East Grand Avenue, Garland Road, and Gaston Avenue include expanding green spaces and attracting new businesses.

Currently, the advisory committee is raising funds to hire private planning consultants. These consultants will create the master plan so that the project may apply for grants and bond money from the City of Dallas. Be on the lookout for town hall meetings concerning this development, along with a project kick off later this year. More information on the Garland Road Vision project can be obtained by contacting one of the co-chairs, Susan Enarson, at

Northwest Terrace

After several years of attempting to find a suitable developer, the Northwest Terrace Apartments at Lullwater Drive and Northwest Highway are under demolition and a senior living facility begins construction this fall. The developer, Churchill Residential, Inc., worked with area residents to plan a solution suitable for everyone. Despite an initial rejection from the City Plan Commission, the City Council ultimately approved the necessary zoning changes for this project. Churchill will demolish all of the existing apartments and build senior housing on the 13 acres of land that face Northwest Highway. The other seven acres, located behind the shopping center and the Elks Lodge, are currently up for sale. The L Streets neighborhood association ( has worked tirelessly to facilitate this much needed improvement for their neighborhood.


The contentious Ferndale/Shoreview project was recently approved by the City Council at a meeting packed with community members. This dilapidated shopping center needs revitalization and has been rezoned for mixed-use with up to five stories and 150 units.

Dallas City Council District 10

A small portion of District 107 lies within City Council District 10, where most of the major mixed use developments are happening. Although most of these developments do not lie within the boundaries of District 107, I thought it was important to mention them as they affect our neighborhoods. District 10’s Strategic Plan ( calls for development in two focus areas. The first area is geared toward urban multi-family development. The second, Skillman Corridor, is slated as a mixed-use area which includes the Lake Highlands Town Center and the DART rail station.


I hope that the series of articles on zoning has enlightened you and encouraged you to get involved in one of the many projects that might be going on in your own back yard. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact my district office at 214-370-8305.