Rich people, we learn time and time again, do not like living near tall buildings or lowlifes who rent their homes, even if those tall buildings are fancy condos, occupied by lowlife renters who are also rich. Of course, the well-to-do usually come up with a better excuse for why they're fighting the tall building rental project. In Highland Park's case, town officials have claimed that Dallas can't allow the construction of a luxury high-rise on the Dallas side of the Katy Trail because it will make Highland Park's traffic worse and block Highland Park's sunlight.
Dallas approved a zoning change this summer to allow the building anyway, so now Highland Park is going full Highland Park on Dallas, in the form of a lawsuit. Did Dallas elect Highland Park as our new president? Because the complaint that Highland Park filed last week sure has a lot of Highland Park trying to tell Dallas what to do.
According to Highland Park's petition, Dallas in 2006 adopted an ordinance introducing a new thing called the Forward Dallas! Comprehensive Plan and now Dallas shall obey everything within that plan, for eternity. The lawsuit explains:
The Comprehensive Plan shall serve as a guide to all future city council action concerning development regulations. Comprehensive Plan, p. II-i-2.
The Comprehensive Plan was adopted to provide predictability for developers and consistency for residents. Comprehensive Plan, p. II-i-3.
The Comprehensive Plan's self-proscribed intent is to provide "a policy framework that the City, the development community and residents can rely on to continually guide planning efforts." Comprehensive Plan, p. II-i-3
Highland Park also mentions that the low-rise homes near the proposed tall-apartment-building (84 feet, to be exact) would suffer "negative impacts" as a result. But mostly, this lawsuit is about Dallas, and how Dallas must make all of its buildings follow a predictable plan. "All zoning regulations adopted by Dallas must be in accordance with its comprehensive plan," the suit says.
Highland Park is asking for a temporary injunction against the zoning change on the property in question, located at what is now an old apartment building at 4719 Cole Ave.
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Meanwhile the actual Forward Dallas! Comprehensive Plan website makes itself sound more welcoming and a lot less dictator-ish: "It presents a cohesive vision for Dallas's future and depicts the dreams and desires of Dallasites about what we want for our community's future."
Send your story tips to the author, Amy Silverstein.