What will happen to the homes along Illinois Avenue?

Zoning change requested

On Thursday, December 6, ENA president Susan Lee informed Elmwood neighbors that Council Member Griggs’ office requested a meeting between neighborhood representatives and Mr. Agustín Peralta, owner of 2219 W. Illinois Ave.

Mr. Peralta has requested a zoning change for his property from Single Family Residential to Neighborhood Service – Case No. Z178-351(CY) – so that he may lease the home to a business, preferably an attorney’s office.

A group of about 10 neighbors attended the meeting on Tuesday, December 11 and learned from Mr. Peralta that while he doesn’t yet have a letter of interest from an attorney, he is seeking the zoning change first and would not guarantee that other types of businesses could lease the space such as a tax office or bail bondsman. However, based on city requirements and a promise to add deed restrictions, make significant improvements to the building, build an 8-foot privacy fence and add landscaping, the group was narrowly convinced to support Mr. Peralta’s request. The case proceeds to the City Plan Commission and could receive City Council approval in early 2019 despite City of Dallas staff recommending denial of the zoning change as of Monday, December 10. Neighborhood approval is not required, but strong opposition or support could have a significant influence.

Homes along Illinois Avenue

If 2219 W. Illinois Ave becomes a commercial property, does it mean other homeowners will want the same designation and flood City Plan Commission with similar requests? The answer depends on whether the home is on a corner lot like 2219 W. Illinois, as the city has strict parking and entrance/exit requirements for commercial properties.

Some in the group wondered whether the homes along Illinois Ave are undesirable for residential and simply destined for other uses in the long term. Noise and pollution from a busy arterial road like this one can certainly be a nonstarter for certain homebuyers, but we have seen examples of homes renovated or rebuilt along busy streets that are better adapted to this environment.

We’ll need to be cautiously optimistic about any changes to our neighborhood and ensure that business owners like CVS, Hugo’s and Mr. Peralta keep any promises made to the people of Elmwood.

Do you live on Illinois Ave, next to a commercial property or have any thoughts on the zoning request? Tell us what you think in the comments. And if you’d like to be included in important meetings like this one, please consider joining the Elmwood Neighborhood Association today.