The News
Meet New District 3 Councilmember Casey Thomas
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Written by Michael Amonett
Tuesday, 07 July 2015 10:35
On July 14th at Hampton Illinois Library from 6:30 - 8:00.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 July 2015 10:38
Tier II Grants are here
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Written by Lybo Buchanan
Monday, 22 June 2015 14:03
Tier II Grants are now available for download.

Please go to the 2015 OOCCL Non-Profit Grant Application under the "Neighborhood" drop down menu above for grant information & the application.

Thank you.

El Tivoli wins Essay Contest
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Written by Lybo Buchanan
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 16:08

(To Left: Officer Brian Martinez, Elva Friesenhahn - El Tivoli Place Neighborhood Association President, Chris Ray - Crime Watch Chairperson for El Tivoli Place and neighbors attending a recent meeting.)

Dallas Police Officer Cyrus Zafrani has helped the historical El Tivoli Place community grow into a safe and thriving neighborhood in Oak Cliff.  He recently alerted Crime Watch Chairperson & Old Oak Cliff Conservation League Neighborhood Representative, Chris Ray, about an essay competition sponsored by the Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity & Epic Dallas.  Chris' essay was selected as a winner along with a handful of others, and El Tivoli Place N.A. was awarded a $500 check for neighborhood beautification.  
Essay by Chris Ray:

My wife and I shared the typical experience people have when they come to Dallas; suburbs with the same stores repeated over and over, cookie cutter homes & apartments made of basic cheap materials and neighbors we never met.  That was before Oak Cliff.

We found a wonderful looking house available for rent, and at the last second, decided to risk it.  It was located in a historic neighborhood Southwest of downtown Dallas called El Tivoli Place.  You hear stories about this part of town, and while there may be more diversity and points of view, there is also life; real life.  We quickly fell in love with our neighbors, with the chickens being raised next door and the hard working families that have made a home here.

At first, Oak Cliff takes some getting used to.  You may go to a small shop to get farm-raised groceries instead of going to a supermarket; you may have to try each small unique restaurant to find what you like instead of trusting in chains and you may hear the occasional gunshot at night.

We weren't sure what to think of the gunshots and the loud bass-booming cars zooming by.  We could either move or not let people like that ruin such a wonderful chance for real community.  We chose to confront it, and thankfully so did the rest of the neighborhood.

Within a year of moving here, I became Chairperson for Crime Watch, and my wife and I host meetings in our home every month.  We have coffee and conversations with Officers who actually care about us and know us.  Through face-to-face interaction and technology like Nextdoor, we have seen drastic changes in Crime.

Up-to-the-minute information has helped Police stop many crimes while they were being perpetrated, or have allowed them to identify trends in order to address issues.  Utilizing intelligence shared through Nextdoor, email and frequent calls to 911, Dallas Police have responded quickly and appropriately.  Our Nextdoor has now grown to 65 households, and we have a strong presence on every street.

Pride in our neighborhood has increased noticeably, to the point that our chief concerns have turned from crime prevention to code violations.  With such a diverse community on the verge of seeing true revitalization in our immediate area, more effective sharing of information when it comes to codes and laws pertaining to having a safe and more attractive neighborhood would change everything.

We are currently raising funds to purchase land and build a community gathering place at one of the landmarks in the heart of El Tivoli Place.  This will be a symbol of what has been achieved by the city and its people working together to make Dallas a better place.  Effective information and communication platforms have allowed El Tivoli to remain and continue to grow as an oasis from the mundane, and a place where people truly live.
Last Updated on Thursday, 04 June 2015 15:40
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Written by Michael Amonett
Thursday, 21 May 2015 21:45


We, the citizens of the City of Dallas, petition the City Council of Dallas to adopt the recommendations put forth by the Downtown Dallas Historic Preservation Task Force.

The Downtown Dallas Historic Preservation Task Force derived their recommendations by carefully studying current preservation practices in Dallas, along with the best practices from other cities. The result is a set of well-balanced recommendations using a phased approach.

We ask that all of the recommendations be adopted in their entirety to have the maximum effect in preserving the historic fabric of our city with potential to become a catalyst for new development.


Downtown Dallas Preservation Task Force Recommendations
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Written by Michael Amonett
Thursday, 21 May 2015 21:40

Late last year, several significant historic structures were demolished in downtown Dallas along Main and Elm.  One dated back to 1885 and was one of the oldest buildings downtown.  Landmark Commission Chair and former director of Preservation Dallas Katherine Seale was chosen to head a Task Force to explore ways to keep this from happening again.  

The task force has released their final recommendations on ways to better address the issue of the lack of protections for non-designated historic buildings in downtown Dallas. In January 2015, a task force comprised of downtown developers, property owners and representatives from local organizations within the preservation, planning and architecture community began meeting weekly to look at the current programs and policies of Dallas’ preservation program. Their charge was to evaluate current preservation programs for their effectiveness protecting Dallas’ heritage while allowing for new development to take place downtown and in surrounding areas. During their meetings they heard from local experts, researched best practices from other cities around the country, and developed a set of recommendations for the City of Dallas to better protect its historic resources. During the task force’s April 1 meeting, the group voted unanimously to approve a three-phase set of recommendations that will result in benefits to all downtown stakeholders. The recommendations include:

Phase 1: Immediate Solutions (0-12 months)

1. Advocacy: Establish broad‐based Preservation Solutions Committee to advocate for historic fabric and be its voice as the City grows and evolves. Its first order of business is to help implement the following recommendations.

2. Simplify Designation: Streamline the landmark designation application and process.

3. Assess Staffing: Broaden staff capabilities to include planning and provide a new focus on public education. Review staff priorities to expedite landmark designations, file certificates of appropriateness, field inquiries, and assist owners with incentives. Fund two additional planners.

4. Demolition Delay: Enhance notification and expand staff review time for proposed demolition of historic buildings in Greater Downtown to foster dialogue and consider alternatives.

Phase 2: Near Term Solutions (1 to 3 years)

5. Education: Educate the public about the goals and accomplishments of preservation.

6. Downtown Survey: Conduct a new, state of‐the‐art survey of Greater Downtown as a base layer for direction, to establish reservation priorities, and to provide a tool for existing and future planning. Explore funding sources such as Community Development Block Grants, Certified Local Government money, and private foundations.

7. Incentives: Identify strategies and incentives that address market conditions and barriers to redevelopment to re‐animate vacant and underutilized buildings, such as: more flexibility in preservation criteria, parking requirements, permitting, and code requirements.

Phase 3: Long Term Solutions (3 to 5 years)

8. Preservation Plan: Prepare and adopt a new Preservation Plan for Dallas to address the programs and policies that impact the City’s historic urban fabric. Explore funding sources such as public/private partnerships, private foundations, and private sector money.

9. Planning: Create a forum for strategic interdepartmental partnerships where a common interest is being pursued such as Capital Improvements, Tax Increment Finance Districts, and Use/Zoning, and certain aspects of Economic Development.

The executive summary of the recommendations and the full report, with more detailed information for each recommendation, are available by clicking on the links below:

Downtown Historic Preservation Task Force Final Report Executive Summary 4-1-15

Downtown Historic Preservation Task Force Final Report 4-1-15
Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 May 2015 13:30
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