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    Frequently Asked Questions
What is a conservation district?
A conservation district is a change in zoning that preserves an area's distinctive atmosphere or character through architectural guidelines, development standards, and special zoning provisions including land uses and setbacks.
Unlike historic district designation, which is highly restrictive, each conservation district ordinance is tailor-made to the neighborhood and what it collectively wants to conserve.
The ordinance can be as rigorous as preserving specific elements such as stained glass windows, or it can just simply define the setbacks and height for new construction.
 
What are the benefits of becoming a conservation district?
The primary benefit is preserving the beauty and history of the neighborhood, and keeping people from coming into our community and destroying that beauty with inappropriate architecture.
New homes and renovations can be designed to fit in with the character of our neighborhood.
 
Did I sign off on a particular set of regulations by signing the petition?
No. By signing the petition, you were simply asking the City of Dallas to consider our area for conservation status.
Later, we as a neighborhood will decide exactly what regulations to include in the ordinance.
 
How will the Conservation District affect current homeowners?
First, the conservation district requirements only apply when you make changes to the parts of your property that are visible from the street.
Residents of most conservation districts must apply for changes to the exterior of their home: demolition, new construction and remodeling. In partnership with the applicant, the Planning Department staff reviews applications for remodeling. This ensures that all proposals are consistent with the neighborhood and its ordinance.
Again, we as a neighborhood can make the ordinance as strict or as lenient as we want.
 
Will I still be able to add on to my house?
Yes! The conservation district ordinance will only apply to parts of your house that are visible from the street. Otherwise, you can do whatever you want. For instance, you can build up and back, adding an upstairs.
 
Are we against new houses being built in the Kessler area?
Absolutely not.
Our goal is not to stop new construction, but to require that new homes blend in with the rest of the neighborhood. Some of the homes in our neighborhood are in such poor condition that they cannot be rehabilitated, so razing them and starting anew may be the only option. However, builders can be sensitive to the area's architectural character, and create homes that augment, rather than detract, from our neighborhood's charm.
 
There are many diverse architectural styles in the Kessler area. How will we set designations?
We will divide the Kessler area into five different sub-districts that have similar architectural styles. If we choose to include style elements in our ordinance, each area could have its own set of conservation guidelines.
 
What are the sub-districts to be set out within the Conservation District of Kessler Neighbors United?
Kessler Park
Kessler Square & Kessler Highlands
Sam Dealey Estates
Timbergrove
 
Will a conservation district increase or decrease my property values?
We believe that becoming a conservation district can protect and possibly increase property values.
In a 1999 study done by Rutgers University and the University of Texas , the property values of homes in historic districts in Texas increased by 5% to 20% compared to similar homes in non-protected areas.
 
Must we pay dues to maintain the Conservation District?
No. This is not a homeowners' association. This is a zoning designation by the City of Dallas to protect our neighborhood.
You will not be required to pay dues, nor any other fees to support the conservation district.
 
What's the procedure for declaring the Kessler area a conservation district?
First, a petition was signed by a significant majority of the Kessler area property owners in favor of creating a conservation district. This was completed August, 2002.
Next, the City of Dallas conducted a review of our neighborhood to ensure enough houses are of cultural and historic significance to protect with conservation status.  That review determined that the Kessler Park area contained ample houses of that significance.
The City then worked with us to draft a specific conservation district ordinance.  When that was completed, all homeowners were sent a first ballot in April 2005 to vote for or against the ordinance.  The ballot showed a large majority was in favor of the proposed conservation district.  Then on April 14, 2005, the Dallas Plan Commission reviewed and unanimously approved the ordiance (another required step in the process). In mid-May the affected neighbors will be given a second opportunity to return ballots to the city either supporting or opposing the conservation district. On May 25, 2005, the City Council will consider and vote on the proposal. 
 

Links to More Information About the
Kessler Conservation District Project:

Frequently Asked Questions
Conservation District vs Historic District
Project Timeline
Conservation District News
Conservation District Map


 
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Kessler Neighbors United " PO Box 225947 " Dallas, Texas 75222-5947

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