Project area map, via

Project area map, via

The Preston Center Task Force hosted its fourth meeting October 19. Mark Bowers, the Kimley-Horn consultant hired to assess the developmental needs and limits of Northwest Highway and Preston Road, presented his most recent findings. After interviewing 73 stakeholders from surrounding neighborhoods, he determined “there is an overall desire to improve Preston Center (Zone 1).”

Most of the people he interviewed agree the complex would benefit from wider sidewalks, better landscaping, upgraded parking and more green space. However, many of our neighbors — especially those in Zones 6 and 7 — still have concerns about traffic. They feel it’s necessary “to look at a phased approach to new development that requires solutions to traffic issues prior to approval of any new development.”

The developer interested in building a skybridge in Preston Center apparently took these concerns to heart. On October 20, the morning after the Task Force meeting, Councilwoman Jennifer Staubach Gates sent out an email saying, “the [skybridge] applicant has requested for the hearing to be deferred until the completion of the Preston and Northwest Highway Area Plan. At the scheduled hearing in November, my plan is to make a motion to defer this item to a Council Agenda meeting in August 2016.”

In her email, Gates also announced that the Task Force will continue to “solicit feedback from the community through a survey and a community workshop.”

The survey should be available sometime next week at this link — we’ll keep you updated.

The Community Workshop, which is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on November 3, will take place at the Walnut Hill Recreation Center.

To learn more about the October 19 meeting, click here. You’ll find an agenda, slides from the presentation given by Mark Bowers and a “handout packet” with information about the parking study, etc.