By Jennifer Lindgren

DALLAS (CBS 11 News) – Hundreds of people gathered in Preston Hollow Park this Saturday, for a rally in opposition to a new apartment development plan.

Developer Transwestern is proposing to build a multi-story luxury apartment building at the northeast corner of Northwest Highway and Preston Road.

Condos and apartments are currently located at the busy intersection.

The 12 people who own the Town House Row community that faces Preston have decided to sell, and picked Transwestern as the potential buyer and developer.

“We went through many, many developers and think we picked the best one for the property,” said Pamela Smith.

Transwestern has drawn up plans for a complex that would include more than 200 apartment units and stand six stories at the tallest level.

When neighbors in the Preston Hollow East neighborhood got word of the project, Homeowners Association President Ashley Parks says,they became concerned with the scope of the development.

“It’s the traffic. When Preston and Northwest Highway are clogged, people will cut through the streets where we live, where we walk our dogs, take our strollers,” Parks Said. “We’re really concerned about that because there are times when it is already backed up that someone will go 50 mph through our neighborhood.”

Parks’ home backs up directly to the property in the proposal.

“Balconies would be looking out into my backyard… into my pool,” she said.

The Preston Hollow East Homeowners Association started an online petition objecting to the development, which has already garnered over 1,100 signatures.

The current zoning for the property is MF1, which stipulates multifamily housing that allows for three stories, or thirty-six feet tall. That could accommodate approximately 120-140 units on the property.

Transwestern’s original plan was for an eight-story project, with 295 units.  After hearing concerns from residents, the developer scaled back the size, making most of the building three to four story with some six story units.  Transwestern also cut the number of units down to 220.

The project is estimated to cost $80-$100 million and include underground parking.

To get zoning approval, the developer would first have to submit an application for the City of Dallas to vet. It would then go to the planning and zoning commission, and then to a public hearing before the council would vote.

Even with the changes, the neighbors who started the petition still feel the adjusted proposal from Transwestern would not fit the neighborhood.

“Our goal is to have them say, ‘You know, we’ve looked at this, the neighborhood is not supportive of it. We’ll do something within current zoning. That’s the goal,” said Parks.

Smith says the homeowners currently on the property are selling, no matter what.

“Anybody that drives by the property sees the property is very tired. Very old. We are only twelve households trying to sustain three acres of infrastructure.  Our property will be developed, and apartments will be built there. We’re hoping it will be luxury and will enhance with nice apartments,” said Smith.

Dallas City Council District 13 representative Jennifer Gates has asked another council member to step in on the matter in her place, citing a conflict of interest.

District 11 Councilman Lee Kleinman was at Preston Hollow Park Saturday, to hear residents’ concerns.  He says the council puts the burden in the hands of the developer to come up with a proposal for zoning that neighbors will like.

“If they come up with a plan they feel like the neighborhood likes and they don’t feel like they’re going to get fought at council, then they can come forward pretty quickly. If there’s continuous opposition, sometimes developers even abandon plans,” Kleinman said.

Kleinman says he does not yet know if an agreement can be reached here.

“I think [Transwestern] is interested in working with the neighborhood.  I think the neighborhood has said pretty clearly they do not want to see any zoning change,” said Kleinman.

A spokesperson for Transwestern says there is currently no timeline for submitting an application for zoning.

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