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Tuesday, September 27, 2022
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6600 Snider Plaza: Rule-Skirting Parking Nightmare, or Flagship Example of the Plaza’s Future?

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The University Park Planning and Zoning Commission supports a site plan from Jim Strode for Snider Plaza. | Image from Snider Plaza

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After a contentious court battle, it appears 6600 Snider Plaza will likely be the new home of an office tower developed by Strode.

In September, the City of University Park approved these building plans, but the Park Plaza Alliance quickly followed the decision with a lawsuit filed in district court. The latest decision by Judge Sheryl McFarlin dismissed the suit which had been blocking the build.  

Her decision came after having heard arguments from both the attorneys for the city and city officials and attorneys for the Snider Plaza Alliance.

In their original complaint, Snider Plaza Alliance claimed, “The City of University Park passed a zoning change on false pretenses and without proper notice.” This “zoning change,” they claimed, had been necessary to allow the redevelopment of 6600 Snider Plaza due to parking restraints.

The Alliance thinks this problem should have disqualified the office tower from being built. They claimed that this zoning change came without proper notice, making it “void from the start.”

The Alliance filed their lawsuit, hoping that the courts would block the building project.  

Defense attorneys argued in court that the relief of parking requirements had not been a change to the zoning ordinance because “The City Council had existing authority under the zoning ordinance to reduce the required parking in approving the detailed site plan,” according to People Newspapers.

Ultimately, however, a court pleading filed by the defense claimed that the lawsuit should be dismissed regardless of the debate over parking or the hesitation over the office tower’s impact on the “village feel.”

The Snider Plaza Alliance told the Dallas Express it hoped to protect the neighborhood ambiance with this lawsuit. The pleading claimed that the individual who verified the suit in the first place, Jane Rejedian, did not have the legal jurisdiction to bring the case before the court.

According to their response to the lawsuit, “Even if Rejedian has a proprietary interest in an establishment within Snider Plaza itself, Rejedian can show no injury of personalized and specific nature, a necessity to establishing an individual’s standing. That injury must be concrete, particularized and actual or imminent; it cannot be hypothetical.”  

All legal jargon aside, this lawsuit is now at an impasse. The Park Plaza Alliance could continue the fight by either appealing Judge McFarlin’s dismissal at the district court or taking it directly to the supreme court. Otherwise, the City Council’s decision to approve the redevelopment of the old location of Peggy Sue BBQ will stand.

Snider Plaza may need to get ready for the three-story building housing restaurant, retail, and office space to reside at 6600 Snider Plaza. The community can hope, as  Councilmember Farley said on the day that they approved the site plan, “that the proposed building is a flagship and example of the future of Snider Plaza.”

This hope stands in contrast to the “parking nightmare” and rule-skirting development that the Snider Plaza Alliance fears.

The Alliance told Dallas Express that they hope to make a decision soon on the direction they will take next and how to proceed with appeals, saying, “At this time, SPA is reviewing all our options.”  

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