Proposed Ordinance Would Rework Dallas’ Conservation Districts

Dallas is mulling changes to the process by which neighborhoods can seek and obtain conservation district status. As city staff considers the changes, one former councilwoman for the city asks, “if it ain’t broke…”
February 28, 2014, 10am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Dallas is considering a proposed ordinance amending its development code with regard to overlay and conservation district regulations.

Angela Hunt, a former Dallas City Councilmember, has written a pointed criticism of the new ordinance. “Some of the suggested revisions would make it much more difficult to obtain conservation district status. One proposed change would significantly increase the percentage of property owners required to initiate the process (from a simple majority to a super-majority). Another would introduce a new standard prohibiting the City Council from voting on any proposed conservation district unless a super-majority of property owners returned their ballots in favor,” write Hunt.

Hunt also asks the rhetorical question of why the rezoning process would be so much easier for commercial developers than for residents: “Commercial developers (and their paid consultants and teams of attorneys) who seek rezoning aren’t required to meet these restrictive standards. So why should neighborhood volunteers seeking conservation district protection be faced with additional obstacles when the process is already challenging?”

Following the editorial, Angela Hunt posted a separate article in which she enlists Melissa Kingston, a member of a Dallas council district’s Ordinance Review Committee, to provide the salient details of the proposed ordinance.

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Published on Monday, February 24, 2014 in Lakewood/East Dallas Advocate
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