Kips Bay House Shortened, But Not Canceled

Zoning, permitting problems limit decorator event to 4 days

This year’s Kips Bay Decorator Show House will last four days instead of the traditional and originally planned one-month run.

The event’s website attributes this change to “unforeseen circumstances,” but neighbors call it a permitting and zoning issue, including Leland Burk, president of the Inwood Northwest Homeowners Association.

“With thousands of visitors expected in the neighborhood at the Kips Bay show house daily for more than four weeks, strong partnership and alignment with both the neighborhood and the city would have been crucial,” Burk said.

Andrew Espinoza, director/chief building official for the city, confirmed that a permit request was not submitted initially nor was there any record of a city-issued permit at the time of their initial investigation into the Kips Bay Decorator Show House event in early August. After a city-issued, “stop work order” sign notified the homeowners to halt construction, they submitted a permit and were granted one within a day since it is a simple remodel.

The permit didn’t solve the special event permission side of it, though. Espinoza said Aug. 22 that “based on the latest information, a special show house event at this location is not supported by the current zoning (land use). The Development Services Department does not issue special events permits.”

Neighbors contacted Dallas City Councilwoman Gay Donnell Willis soon after the 2022 show house location was announced because the 2021 house experienced a high volume of traffic along with street blockages. Preston Hollow resident Steven Woles said it was “impossible for traffic, including emergency vehicles, to pass.”

“This year, the neighbors reached out to me in advance so we could work to modify the event and traffic plan to something that would be more workable for the neighborhood,” Willis said. “There have been multiple calls with the neighborhood association, Dallas’ City Attorney’s Office, and Special Events as well as the Kips Bay team to gain agreement on a much shorter timeframe for this year’s event.”

This year, attendees must park in the Lovers Lane United Methodist Church parking lot and then walk to the property for the event.

Representatives from the Kips Bay Decorator Show House have not commented, beyond a notice on the website: “The entire Kips Bay team values and appreciates the amount of time, energy, and work that’s been put into the show house and looks forward to giving the community a chance to partake in the beauty and talent from these amazing designers.”

Nazira Handal, director of special events and corporate partnerships, said on Sept. 7 that “right now, we’re not talking to press.”

Those who already purchased tickets for $40 will have theirs honored to visit the property Sept. 25 during a designated time slot. If this doesn’t work, ticket holders are urged to contact [email protected] to request a refund or make their ticket purchase a donation. For Sept. 23 and 24, tickets are on sale now for $125 per person, and opening day tickets for Sept. 22 remain on sale for $300 each.

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