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Despite some initial concerns from Old Lake Highlands neighbors, 1.4 acres of vacant land located on the southeast corner of Northwest Highway and Solta will be developed into a 65,900-square-foot Advantage Self Storage facility.

Although the Texas-based storage company was under contract to purchase the lot over a year ago, construction has yet to begin on the 557-unit facility. That’s because the land was originally zoned as a limited office/parking district — not for a storage facility. Before construction began, a zoning application would need to be approved by the Dallas City Council.

And that’s when neighbors got involved. If we’ve learned anything from the protest of Boy Scout Hill development, it’s that White Rock-area neighbors want a say about development that is close to home.

Charles Wicker, president of the Old Lake Highlands Neighborhood Association, has helped field much of that  feedback about development, both positive and negative.

Wicker took the helm of the neighborhood association only a year ago. Since then he’s helped advocate for his fellow neighbors regarding the details of the site plan. He says between this development and the proposed development of Boy Scout Hill, it’s certainly been a busy year.

“There’s a lot going on in our neighborhood, and Old Lake Highlands is on the forefront,” Wicker says.

He also says that in the case of the proposed storage facility, representatives from Advantage Self Storage are nice guys.

“They’ve held several meetings over the past year, addressing concerns and modifying site plans,” Wicker says. “Neighbors thought the first plans looked like something that you’d see in Frisco, so we worked with an architect to design the facility with a mid-century modern look that is more complimentary to the businesses nearby.”

“There’s a lot going on in our neighborhood, and Old Lake Highlands is on the forefront,” Wicker says.

Other concerns ranged from dumpster location to noise and security. Most of the concern originating from the storage facility’s location right next to a residential street. In response, the latest proposed development (PD) includes limiting harsh exterior lighting, keeps ingress/egress at Northwest Highway (away from the residences,) and preserves the Live Oak trees along the perimeter of the property.

The city planning commission had its own concerns about the development as well. On Jan. 4, the commission required that the building be built ten feet closer to Northwest Highway and ten feet further away from the residences to provide an additional buffer for neighbors.

At a Feb. 26 city council meeting, District 9 councilman Sheffie Kadane commended Advantage.

“The developers have done a great job of building a facility that the neighborhood can be proud of. They’ve done many things there that they didn’t have to do,”

On March 26, the city council finally removed the zoning restriction for the Solta and Northwest Highway property. Now all that’s left for Advantage to do is acquire building permits from the city.

“Plans have been submitted to the city of Dallas for permit, and we expect approval by early/mid-September,” says Rick Jones, Advantage president. “We’ll start construction then and expect to be open for business in 2015.”

Check out the full PD here to see what the storage facility will look like when complete.

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