After a judge’s order temporarily blocked work on the redevelopment of the southeast corner of Snider Plaza — where Peggy Sue BBQ used to be, and where Lane Florist, Logos Bookstore, and Arman Jewelry used to be before moving to new locations in the plaza — recently, the future of the project remains unclear for now.
Strode’s plan calls for taking down the existing structures at the site to make way for a new three-story building to house retail, restaurant, and office space. The plan also calls for a two-level underground parking garage with 48 spaces accessed from Daniel Avenue.
Dallas County District Judge Aiesha Redmond granted a request for a temporary restraining order earlier this month from Snider Plaza Alliance, a community organization opposed to the redevelopment plan for the site, at least temporarily blocking University Park officials and developer Jim Strode from issuing permits or any certificates of occupancy for any building at 6600 Snider Plaza that doesn’t provide parking in compliance with the city’s zoning requirements for the site that were in place before the city council approved Strode’s plan Sept. 21.
“The Snider Plaza Alliance seeks Court intervention to prevent the development of an office tower in Snider Plaza that would shatter the area’s village character and impose a substantial traffic and parking burden, disrupting long-standing local businesses,” the group alleged in a court filing. “The City of University Park passed a zoning change on false pretenses and without proper notice, allowing the developer to avoid having to comply with zoning that would require dozens of additional parking spaces for a development of this size.”
That order was continued through Nov. 5, when the issue came up for a hearing in front of Judge Sheryl McFarlin.
The Snider Plaza Alliance sought a temporary injunction, arguing the “City failed to give sufficient notice of a zoning change and the resulting development threatens imminent, irreparable harm if not enjoined,” according to court documents.
Lawyers for city officials and Strode, however, asked McFarlin to dismiss the Snider Plaza Alliance’s claims for “lack of jurisdiction,” according to court records filed shortly before the Nov. 5 hearing.
Rejebian, who owns the building that houses For Heavens Sake at 6619 Snider Plaza near the site of the project, spoke in opposition to Strode’s plan for the site at a July University Park planning and zoning commission meeting, was called to speak again at Friday’s hearing.
Lawyers for city officials and Strode argued in court documents that since she owns the property as a trustee, not as an individual, she “could show no injury of a personalized or specific nature, a necessity to establishing an individual’s standing.”
“The council decided based on the uses Mr. Strode was proposing, the fact there was additional parking in the other building he had across the street, and the type of office use that was there that they felt in their legislative discretion that reducing (the number of off-street parking spaces required to be provided per the city’s zoning ordinance) by 13 spaces was warranted,” said attorney James Harris, who represented city officials. “So there was no change, and there was no hiding the ball. There was no conspiracy. The actions that were taken here were taken in accordance with the zoning ordinance, so there was no need to identify any change because nothing was being changed in the zoning ordinance.”