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Meeting Date: 04/19/2022  
Contact: Amy Mathews
File Number: Z-1470-22  
Date Filed: 02/15/2022  
Location: 340 S. Parks Drive, east of Parks Drive, at the terminus of Sycamore
Size of Request: 4.35 acres  
Number of Lots: 1  
Current Zoning: SF-10
Applicant: S. Gabriel Epko  
Owner: S. Gabriel Epko

Conduct a Public Hearing and consider an Ordinance for Zoning Case Z-1470-22 to change the zoning from Single Family 10 (SF-10) to a Planned Development-187 (PD-187) with a base zoning of Single Family-9 (SF-9) and Single Family-8 (SF-8), with deviations. The property in question is located at 340 South Parks Drive; consisting of one (1) lot and 4.35 acres. Applicant: S. Gabriel Epko and Property Owner: S. Gabriel Epko.
The property address is 340 S. Parks Drive per the Dallas County Appraisal District (DCAD); however, the property is located at the end of Sycamore Drive and does not have access to S. Parks Drive. When the adjacent subdivision (Oakmont) was developed, Sycamore Drive was constructed to the eastern boundary of the subject property (see aerial map attached). The proposed extension of Sycamore will have a 50-foot right-of-way (matching the existing right-of-way of Sycamore Drive) ending in a cul-de-sac that has a minimum right-of-way radius of 50 feet per the City’s requirements. The Fire Marshal has stated that emergency vehicles will be able to access the homes without any interference caused by traffic or vehicles.
The subject property is undeveloped and zoned Single Family 10 (SF-10). The zoning and land use for the surrounding properties is as follows:
  • North: Single Family-10 (SF-10); developed with the City of DeSoto Police Station and First Christian Church of DeSoto
  • East: Planned Development-18 (PD-18); developed with single-family homes with a minimum lot size of 7,500 square feet
  • South: Single Family-10 (SF-10); undeveloped
  • West: Single Family-10 (SF-10); developed with single-family homes

The Oakmont subdivision is governed by a Planned Development, PD-18, which granted a reduction in the minimum lot size from 9,000 square feet to 7,500 square feet, and authorized a reduction of the minimum lot width requirement from 75-feet to 65-feet. Looking at the City's Zoning map (see attached), many of the City's planned residential neighborhoods are governed by planned developments. 
The subject property’s current zoning requires a minimum lot width of 80 feet, a minimum lot depth of 120 feet, and alley access. The current plan shows Sycamore Drive extended across the subject property, dividing it into southern and northern sections. The southern side is roughly 170-feet deep, which would result in 145-feet deep lots taking into account a 15-foot alley. The northern lots are only 115-feet deep taking into account a 15-foot alley, which does not meet the minimum lot depth requirement. The alignment of Sycamore Drive would have to be altered to provide the depth required per the SF-10 zoning on the north side, which is not supported by the City Engineer. Additionally, the City requires a cul-de-sac at the end of the street, which further limits the lot widths and depths adjacent to the cul-de-sac.
In August 2021, the applicant brought a similar zoning case (Z-1442-21) before the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) and City Council. The previous project contained 20 single-family lots (see attached) and had a density of 4.6 units per acre, with lots ranging from 5,863-square to 9,336-square feet, with no alley access provided. P&Z unanimously (5-0) recommend approval; however, the City Council denied the case with a vote of 6-1. Concerns included density, the lack of alley access, front-facing garages, open space, and traffic.
The current project proposes 18 single-family lots ranging from 6,105 square feet (northern side, SF-8 base) to 10,030 square feet (southern side, Sf-9 base), which is a reduction in density from the previous layout of 4.5 units per acre to 4.1 units per acre. Alley access is provided for the northern lots, which was one of the concerns mentioned during the previous zoning case. The southern lots will not have alley access, but are approximately 55 feet deeper than the northern lots and will all have either J-swing or side-facing garages. The proposed project does not include any front-facing garages. In addition, a detention pond and open space lots are provided on the west end of the property, which will have additional landscaping and screening.
Traffic studies are not required at the time of zoning but can be requested at the next phase of development by the Engineering Division if deemed needed. The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) publishes a Trip Generation Manual which provides trip generation estimates information based on land use type.  According to the Trip Generation Manual, the single-family detached housing use generates roughly 9.44 average daily trips per unit, which would be roughly 170 trips per day for the current request. Based on a very preliminary sketch, the subject property could produce up to 12 lots based on the SF-10 zoning regulations, resulting in approximately 114 trips per day.  
The table below shows the lot requirements for the current SF-10 zoning, SF-8 zoning, SF-9 zoning and what is being proposed by the applicant.  

To summarize, the applicant has requested the following deviations:
  • Lot size
  • Lot width
  • Lot Depth (lot 10 only)
  • Side yard
  • Alley waiver (only for the SF-9 lots)
Appeal: The Planning and Zoning Commission denied the applicant's request at their March 22, 2022 meeting. The applicant subsequently appealed the Commission's decision within the ten (10) day appeal period. Because of this, approval of the project requires a supermajority vote by the City Council.
Per Section 211.006 of the Texas Local Government Code, staff published the “Notice of Public Hearing” in the official newspaper of general circulation in the municipality, the Focus Daily News and mailed notices to all property owners within 200 feet off the subject property. The notice was published on Sunday, March 6, as Sunday is the only day the Focus Daily News comes out in printed. On March 8, 2022, thirty-one notices were mailed to adjoining property owners and thirteen courtesy notices were sent to property owners located between 200 feet and 300 feet of the subject property.

Staff received four letters in opposition from property owners located within 200-feet of the subject property (see attached opposition map) and six letters from four property owners located outside of the 200-foot boundary (i.e. staff received multiple letters from the same people). The concerns mentioned in the letters are traffic, decrease in property value, and concern with conformance with the adjacent neighborhood.
Planning & Zoning Commission: At their March 22, 2022 meeting, the Planning & Zoning Commission, voted 5 to 2 to recommend denial of Zoning Case Z-1470-22. [MA1] Applications that are recommended for denial by the Planning and Zoning Commission may be appealed to the City Council by the applicant within ten days of such action. The applicant did file a written appeal (see attached). A favorable vote of three fourths of all members of the City Council is required to approve any change in zoning when such zoning change is recommended for denial by the protested by Planning & Zoning Commission. Therefore, approval of this request requires a minimum of six votes in favor by the City Council.
Staff: The Comprehensive Plan identifies the subject area as Low Density residential of which single-family detached residential structures are an example. Density is calculated by taking the total lot area divided by the number of units. Low density residential land uses generally include homes located on 8,000 square foot lots and greater and densities of five dwelling units per acre or less. Over half of the proposed lots are over 8,000 square feet, with the largest lot size of 10,030 square feet and the smallest lot size of 6,105 square feet. Additionally, the project’s density is 4.1 units per acre. Staff believes the proposed project is more in conformance with the neighboring development than the current zoning of SF-10 and that the proposed development would be beneficial to the City; therefore, staff recommends approval of the proposal.
Motion by Councilmember Crystal Chism with a second by Councilmember Nicole Raphiel to deny as presented, Motion passes 7-0.
Z-1470-22 Ordinance
Z-1470-22 Attachments


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