With the passage of the Stevens Park Estates Conservation District (CD) plan on September 28, 2011, by the Dallas City Council and the passage of an amended plan on August 22, 2018, many of you may have questions about the actual impact of the CD on potential renovations or construction. As you may know, a Conservation District is a zoning tool used to help neighborhoods protect certain characteristics such as architecture styles, heights of structures and setback guidelines.
Other CDs in North Oak Cliff include Kessler Park and King’s Highway, which was the very first one in Dallas. Conservation districts should not be confused with Historic Districts, which seek to preserve the original structures in a neighborhood exactly as when it was first built. The City of Dallas has an excellent website with more general information on Conservation Districts: www.dallascityhall.com/development_services/conservation_districts.html
For a copy of our current Conservation District Plan, amended in 2018, click here. The Conservation District includes a sub-district for properties on Plymouth Road, and also includes the Christian Science Church and Annie Stevens Park. Many committed neighbors spent close to 7 years working on the original CD, which was approved by 76% of home owners, which is one the highest approval rates of any in the City of Dallas.
For questions regarding Conservation District regulations, contact William (Bill) Hersch, Conservation District Chief Planner, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (214) 948-4458. He is a wealth of information concerning the details of our CD as well as others across the city.
What do I have to do if want to renovate or make other additions to my home?
Homeowners will need to obtain a Work Review Form (WRF) from the City of Dallas, regardless of whether a building permit is required. This is then used by City Staff to make sure that any proposed renovations or additions are consistent with the Conservation District Plan. Here is the link to the WRF: www.dallascityhall.com/pdf/planning/ConservationDistrictReviewForm.pdf
- Applicant or contractor must obtain a WRF prior to making application for a building permit.
- Application process can be handled by fax or email unless the proposal is particularly complicated, e.g. new construction or major remodel.
- City Staff will review the WRF as expeditiously as possible. Once approved, a building permit (if necessary) can be obtained and then work initiated.
- If an applicant disagrees with the decision of City Staff, they may appeal to the Board of Adjustments.
- For additional questions about the process, contact the City of Dallas Department of Development Services at 214 670 4209 (fax 214 670 4210).
What should I do if I think a neighbor might not be complying with the terms of the CD?
Should concerns arise about a neighbor’s construction, the SPENA Board recommends that you make an effort to speak to your neighbor directly before contacting the city’s Conservation District office.
If work is clearly being done without approval and/or permits, however, you can lodge a “historic/conservation district” complaint using the 311 system. This will trigger a zoning inspector to visit the site, investigate, and provide a notice if there is indeed a violation.