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Wednesday, December 7, 2022
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Neighbors Oppose Multi-Family Housing on Former Church Site

City, Featured

Shoreline City Church (previous location) | Image by MapQuest

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Residents in a Dallas neighborhood oppose a proposal to build a new multi-family development on the site of Shoreline City Church on Garland Road.

Shoreline City Church, which owned the building for the last six years, moved to a larger Highland Oaks Church of Christ campus, just 3 miles north.

Dallas-based developer Ojala Partners, one of several prospective buyers approached by the church, won the City’s initial approval for a public-private partnership deal.

Under the agreement, Ojala will lease 49% of the apartment units at the highest market rate, while 51% — rental range between $1,250 to $1,750 — will be for residents who make up 80% of the Area Median Income.

The deal will see Ojala operate tax-free for the next 75 years on the 7.25-acre lot if the proposal for the multi-family apartment building passes all other hurdles.

One such hurdle is convincing the City Plan Commission and City Council to change the property’s zoning to multi-family. A date for the zoning request has not been set.

However, some neighbors are against the proposal, which they made evident during the April 12 town hall community meeting, attended by around 125 residents.

President of the Lochwood Neighborhood Association, Scott Robson, tried to persuade the church against selling to Ojala by appealing to its “sense of Christian conscience and duty to live peaceably with everyone.”

Stephanie Ruibal, who lives with her husband and four children in the Lochwood neighborhood, spoke at the town hall to present her opposition to the proposal.

Ruibal said while she liked the idea of the plan, she was not comfortable with the details, such as windows and balconies looming over her backyard.

“People will be able to see right into my backyard and right into my bedroom,” Ruibal added.

However, some attendees supported the proposal. Among them was Daniel Poku, a staff at Shoreline and a real estate worker.

Poku said the church could no longer make the current site work and needed to move out.

“We thought about this, we prayed about this, and we considered the best decision,” said Poku, before being met with cries of “you sold us out” and “do you really believe this is a high-quality project?”

Ojala has not purchased the property yet.

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