District Restrictions in Lakewood – Removing the mystery

With an intent of keeping the charm of East Dallas neighborhoods intact, several pockets in the area developed serious preservation restrictions. Where are they? What do they mean? And how could they affect your sale?

Historic, Conservation, Overlay and Deed Districts..oh, my!
You may call the area Lakewood, or East Dallas, but in actuality, it’s a patchwork of small official neighborhoods. Several voted to adopt a type of protective district to preserve unique attributes. Sometimes, only certain streets within are restricted. The following is just an overview. Ask us for specifics.

Historic Districts (Swiss Avenue, Junius Heights, Munger Place, Peaks Addition) are the strictest and encompass the whole house and every inch of land in the designated area. Every change must be approved. New homeowners often appreciate knowing the look and feel of the neighborhood will not change in the future.

Conservation Districts (Lakewood, Hollywood Heights, M-streets, Belmont Addition, Vickery Place and others) are a bit less restrictive, and instead protect certain characteristics prominent in the neighborhood. For example, the M-Streets (two separate districts) are fiercely protective of their Tudors. While Belmont Addition seeks to preserve Craftsman details. The City Planning Commission reviews code when homeowners apply for building permits. Buyers can be assured that while the houses may change, the overall character of the neighborhood will remain.

Overlays (University Terrace, Lakewood North) and deed restrictions (Lakewood Boulevard and Lakeshore Drive) are more flexible. They affect aspects like house height and property line set-back. Still, it is crucial to know details for renovation or rebuild projects.

Regardless of the type, each separate district has different rules, and they are highly enforced. Ask the gentleman who built a story too high and had to donate an entire lot for park space as a result.

Don’t worry. We make it our business to understand the addresses affected, the exact ordinances attached and how it could alter a build out.

Why Buyers Need to Be Aware
People buying from outside the area may have visions of expanding the cute little 2/1 cottage you are selling. But will their plans pass code? The difference of one block could determine feasibility. Even if designs comply, they should expect to build in extra time and expense to accommodate the process. The more you can convey to potential buyers the less intimidating it will seem. Thankfully, we know which neighborhood streets have which requirements in place and how to handle compliance.

How Code Restrictions Could Affect Renovation
Thinking of doing a little reno before putting your house on the market? Consult a realtor who knows the ins and outs of your block requirements. For example, want to put less expensive vinyl windows in the home? Not so fast… some areas won’t allow this. Think your garage would have more value with a little apartment above? Better not put a stove in or it won’t pass inspection. These little details are easy to account for as long as you know them upfront. Need a realtor like that? We can help you.

The Rhodes Group knows restriction details in East Dallas. Let us advise you on how to navigate each pocket.

Understanding the block-by-block differences of city codes in Lakewood, M-streets and the surrounding East Dallas neighborhoods? It’s a Rhodes Group specialty. Because, it’s not just a slogan, WE KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD.