DALLAS — Ahead of its afternoon meeting, the Dallas City Plan Commission took a bus tour of West Oak Cliff to discuss and review the "West Oak Cliff Area Plan."
The 94-page development plan's been in the works for more than two years. The city says it'll draw new residents and businesses to the area by improving sidewalks, parks, and bike paths, and by encouraging development in neighborhoods close to transportation.
Several neighbors voiced their concerns about that development Thursday, following the city's bus tour displaying signs expressing opposition.
"Up-zoning would mean someone might be able to build something really large right next to me without regard for a small home," Yolanda Alameda told WFAA.
Alameda said she supports parts of the plan.
"Improved sidewalks, green spaces, the neighbors that are here have been asking for for years," she said.
She's not the only neighbor concerned about development. Jerry Figueroa owns J&E express auto.
"We would love to see new businesses," he told WFAA. "We just don't want to see the old Oak Cliff that we love destroyed."
Figueroa said he's got neighbors worried they'll be priced out of the area.
"'They obviously don't want their taxes to go up, if someone builds a million-dollar complex next to their house they may not be able to live here," he said.
But City Councilman Chad West, who represents the Oak Lawn neighborhood, said the plan will protect the zoning for existing single-family home neighborhoods.
"We do have to protect our single-family neighborhoods," West told WFAA. "But we also have to be thoughtful about what are we gonna do with all these people who are moving in to the city of Dallas."
West said he believes making more housing available for people moving to the area will actually help ease the cost burden on existing homeowners.
He said the city took thousands of comments from neighbors into consideration.
"Ultimately, this is a neighborhood-driven plan," he said. "It's a concern a lot of us have is, you know, how do we keep Oak Cliff cool. Alright, how do we keep it diverse and culturally significant?"
West and the rest of the council won't vote on the plan until after it reviews a final draft proposal from the city plan commission.