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Battle Over Disney Streets Appears to Be Over

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More than three years ago, some residents living in the Disney Streets in Northwest Dallas proposed turning the neighborhood into a Conservation District in an effort to protect some of its mid-century marvels. But as former City Plan Commissioner and Northwest Dallas lifer Robert Ekblad told Unfair Park back in the summer of '09, the conservation conversation turned "nasty" quickly, as evidenced by the websites from those pro and con and the signs that took root along Royal Lane. Said Ekblad, who has since been replaced by Michael Schwartz, "It's not very friendly." Which is why the CD discussion never reached the plan commission.

All these many years later, the brawl appears to have come to an end: On Thursday, Cinderella and Snow White and the rest of the Disneylanders will show up at the City Plan Commission's meeting, where city staff will recommend terminating a hearing on the subject and nixing the Conservation District Conceptual Plan (scroll down -- it's the final item). Even though the city considers the neighborhood "culturally and architecturally significant" -- in large part because the proposed CD is an "excellent example of the development that reflected the prosperity of Dallas in the post-war years" -- no one can agree on anything except that they disagree on everything. So that's that:

At the last meeting of the Disney Streets Conservation District Steering Committee on October 9, 2010, the majority recommendation of the committee was to terminate the authorized hearing process to consider a conservation district on the subject area.

While staff determined the proposed district was eligible for consideration of a conservation district, the survey results indicate that there is no broad support for even minimum standards in the neighborhood. In addition, while basic form and dimensional requirements were being considered, there was no proposal that would specifically require compliance and conservation of the California contemporary or ranch home architecture that dominates the neighborhood and helped determine the eligibility of the area for consideration of a conservation district. For these reasons staff is recommending the termination of consideration of a conservation district and denial of this conceptual plan.

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