David Weekley homes at the Lake Highlands Town Center

David Weekley Homes’ plan to build 33 new homes east of the Urban Reserve near Stults Road and Forest Lane received approval Thursday from the city plan commission and now will go to the city council for a final vote. The wooded land, to be purchased from Dallas Lutheran School and Urban Reserve developer Diane Cheatham, would contain single family detached homes on 3,500 square foot lots. Home prices are expected to be about $500,000-600,000.

Developers touted their efforts to work with members of the community to amend the project, originally planned to hold 48, then 44 homes on the parcel. The zoning will be changed from 22.

“There’s a great deal of open space in the plan,” said architect Robert Meckfessel. “None of the alleys connect to existing alleys and all homes connect to pocket parks.”

A shift of the development was made to preserve a grove of 60-year-old trees, and a 30-foot height limit will keep homes from towering over the existing neighborhood. The community will not be gated.

“I started working with the development early on because I care deeply about the Urban Reserve,” said Cheatham. “This is good for Urban Reserve – it’s not a competitor but an enhancement.”

Neighbors, though, were not convinced.

“We are a backyard community,” argued Kristi Caplan. “I did not meet a single resident of Urban Reserve until today because they stay to themselves, and so will these residents.”

Others, including retired officer Ernell Smith, were concerned about additional crime and traffic.

“You have to take consideration of crime when you develop a neighborhood,” said Smith, worried that the DART rail and nearby station cut off police access to only two incoming routes. “A criminal would know,” he said.

In the end, commissioners commended developers for their urban, walkable plan, and rejected the idea that so few homes would bring a significant uptick in crime or traffic, particularly in a neighborhood busy with a Buddhist temple and private school.

The proposal goes to the city council for approval Aug. 8.

Proposed Site Plan

David Weekley Homes has the area in blue under contract