Christian Chernock is petitioning the City of Dallas to change multiple adjacent single-family parcels on N. Hampton Rd and North Boulevard Terrace to a multi-family planned development (Zoning Request #Z134-291). In his marketing materials, the developer claims to be emulating the work of renown architect and author Ross Chapin who is considered the pioneer of “Pocket Neighborhoods“. After reviewing the site plan and marketing materials for us, Chapin called the marketing material misleading and said that the developer was only giving lip service to the concept of pocket neighborhoods. So let’s not be fooled by the catchy name used by the developer. This development, plain and simple, is high density multi-family (MF-1) right in the middle of a well-established single-family neighborhood. It will have 42 units on 3.8 acres comprised of town homes, efficiency apartments and zero lot line homes.
It is important to understand, that this is not a debate about the merits of pocket neighborhoods. The real issue is whether six parcels in a sea of single-family homes should be rezoned to benefit one single person. One glance at this color-coded map above and it becomes clear that that this rezoning request is contrary to a greater comprehensive land use plan. Moreover, the rezoning request disregards established buffer zones that exist between multi and single-family districts within the area.
The power bestowed to local municipalities to regulate land use comes directly from our State Constitution. Home owners whose home frequently represent their single largest asset, commit to 15, 20 or 30 year mortgages to procure their homes. These home owners have a reasonable expectation that the single-family district into which they have invested will not be drastically rezoned such that it would unduly impose on the use and enjoyment of their property. In fact, Texas statute says that zoning should be “in accordance with a comprehensive plan” designed to “lessen congestion”, promote safety, health and welfare, provide “light and air, “prevent overcrowding,” avoid “undue concentration of population,” and facilitate transportation, utilities and other facilities. (TEX. LOC. GOV’T CODE §211.004)