Sunnybrook Residents Oppose Kips Bay Return

The Kips Bay Decorator Show House will be returning to Sunnybrook Estates in Old Preston Hollow for the third consecutive year, but some neighbors have concerns about the traffic it’ll create.

The Nov. 3-15 event at 9446 Hathaway St. showcases work from designers from around the country while raising money for the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club, Dwell with Dignity, and Crystal Charity Ball.

Inwood-Northwest Homeowner’s Association president Leland Burk sent a statement to media asserting that he and some neighbors are opposed to the event happening in their neighborhood again. Last year’s house, located at 9250 Meadowbrook Drive, shortened its run from one month to one weekend following zoning and permit issues.

(READ: Kips Bay House Shortened, But Not Canceled)

“There are literally thousands of visitors expected in the neighborhood at the Kips Bay Show House daily for the duration of the proposed multi-week event,” Burk said.

Nazira Handal, Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club director of special events and corporate partnerships, said that the show house team approached the owners of 10 nearby houses, whose addresses were provided by the city, and nine of them expressed support of the event.

“As of right now, we’re working just directly with the city and just following all the other guidelines that they (have) given us,” Handal said. 

District 13 City Councilwoman Gay Donnell Willis wrote a letter of opposition of the event, raising concerns about traffic induced by a shuttle that will transport attendees from the required parking lot at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church to the house.

She cites that the streets are narrow, country lane-type that don’t have sidewalks, resulting in some neighbors walking their pets on the street.

“In fact, there are bar ditches along the lanes, so this makes adding a volume of traffic, and especially large vehicles like shuttles, very dangerous for neighborhood residents and vehicles alike,” Willis said.

Handal shared with People Newspapers that the shuttle will enter the property’s gate to drop off visitors and will not block street traffic.

Willis also has rideshare related concerns, as she estimates the house will have 300 visitors per day causing rideshare to exceed the norm for the neighborhood.

“Even if the rideshare companies use the ‘limited designated rideshare spots where attendees can pick up their rideshare,’ with this volume of people across four shifts daily, it is clear that traffic congestion will ensure,” Willis said.

Handal says that parking at the church and shuttling to the house will be required.

“We’re going to have enough traffic attendants to make sure that we’re following all the rules and parameters from the city so that we ensure that the neighbors don’t get affected by any of our guests,” Handal said.

This is the third year that the Kips Bay Decorator Show House will be in the neighborhood, and “there are many neighbors who oppose this two-week event again being held in their quiet neighborhood of single-family homes,” Willis said.

“There are other Dallas neighborhoods whose streets are wider and better suited to handle the traffic that this event generates,” she continued. “It seems like a far less disruptive plan to consider street structure and the concerns of neighbors before planning this event.”

Burk says the neighborhood association believes the event is a commercial one and prohibited from taking place in a residential neighborhood. But, Handal says the community should know that it’s a nonprofit event that benefits the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club and two local charities.

“I think it’s important that this is not only a design event where people can see the best of the interior design in the country but also are helping children around the country,” Handal said. “Just like last year, where we had absolutely no issues with parking or transit problems, we expect the same thing for this show to go (seamlessly) and for us to be in and out and just give the public exactly what they’re looking at.”

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