Masterplan “From Start to Satisfaction”

June 8, 2020

The project located at 2929 Oak Lawn in Dallas, Texas is a perfect example of how Masterplan is able to provide our services “From Start to Satisfaction”. 

This project started for Masterplan in February of 2018 with discussions with the Oden Hughes development team concerning the desire to change the zoning in Planned Development District No. 193 (the Oak Lawn Special Purpose Plan) to allow a mixed-use project at 2929 Oak Lawn. The project is being joint ventured with North American Development, who will operate the retail and office components of the project.

 The first step was to prepare this proposal for the Oak Lawn Committee. The Oak Lawn Committee brings together neighborhood residents, business people, and developers to identify problems, achieve consensus, and provide a process to refine projects. All projects, whether allowed by right or not, are encouraged to be presented to and obtain approval from the Oak Lawn Committee. The Oak Lawn Committee has no legislative authority, but their voice is respected throughout the City of Dallas.

Upon obtaining approval from the Oak Lawn Committee, Masterplan then submitted a zoning application for the property and created a new Special Purpose Subdistrict within Planned Development District No. 193. The variance requests that were made included: an increase in floor area ratio to 4 to 1 from 2.5 to 1, increase the maximum building area to 341,400 square feet, obtain relief from the urban form setback for structures over 36 feet in height, and landscaping per the proposed landscape plan. 

The items Masterplan proposed were front yard setbacks of 25 feet, creation of new streetscape design that will enhance the pedestrian experience, façade details and requirements that complement and enhance the adjacent historic structures, preservation of many of the existing trees on the site, and reduced the allowable height from 120 feet to 100 feet maximum height. Masterplan worked with the neighbors, City staff, City Plan Commission, and City Council to get this ordinance approved to provide these developable rights to the developer. In September of 2018, the Special Purpose Subdistrict No. 143 within PD 193 was approved by City Council.

In April of 2019, additional revisions were made to the proposed structure requiring a minor amendment be made and approved to the development plan detailed in PDS 143. This minor amendment was approved by the City Plan Commission to allow the placement of additional units on a portion of the ground floor previously identified for parking, reconfigure the parking garage, the addition of a fire sprinkler pump room, and minor revisions to the landscape plan. The minor amendment was approved by the City Plan Commission in the summer of 2019.  (Minor amendments in the City of Dallas do not require the approval of the Dallas City Council.)

Masterplan then submitted the project for building permits with the Building Inspection division of Sustainable Development and Construction Department.  This group is located at the Oak Cliff Municipal Center, which is located at 320 E. Jefferson Street.

This was almost immediately following the minor amendment approval. Many roadblocks were overcome during plan review. This can happen with the creation of such a detailed ordinance for a project of this scale. Masterplan met with multiple City staff members to manage the project and ensure efficiency and accuracy was always a top priority of the City staff members reviewing the building permits. Plan review interpretations and zoning challenges is a common situation for development in the City of Dallas, more specifically in the Uptown/Oak Lawn area. By being dedicated to the project, and working with City staff, Masterplan was able to successfully obtain building permits for the project located at 2929 Oak Lawn. This is going to be a fabulous addition to this area. 

Masterplan (www.masterplantexas.com) is a privately held nearly 40 year old business based in Dallas, TX that specializes in assisting businesses, individuals, utilities, and government agencies regarding all matters of land use.  Our firm specializes in zoning changes in Dallas, TX; Houston, TX; and Austin, TX.  We routinely handle Planned Development Districts, Conditional Use Permits, Special Use Permits, and all zoning matters.  Likewise, we assist in expediting building permits across the state of Texas as well as assist with building code issues.  Let our experience be your success.  Masterplan’s related company, LaBarba Permit Service (www.labarbapermitservice.com), is celebrating its 55th year in business and specializes in obtaining approvals from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC).

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