|The 2015 Alcuin School Rezoning
|Alcuin School on Churchill Way requested a zoning change to increase the number allowed in grades
10, 11, and 12 from 35 to 135, to create a small high school within the school. This would be phased in
over 5 years, through 2020. They did not ask to increase the total number of students.
After extensive negotiations, an Agreement was reached between Alcuin School and (a) the Hillcrest
Forest Neighborhood Association, (b) the Preston Citadel Association, (c) Churchill Way Estates, (d)
the residents of Brittany Circle, and (e) Parc du Lac Association. The zoning change was approved by
the Dallas City Council on April 8, 2015.
The HFNA initially opposed this re-zoning, but Alcuin made many changes in response to our
concerns, and many new restrictions have been placed on the school to protect our neighborhood.
The final piece was a commitment by Alcuin to fund $100,000 a year for 10 years to provide Security
Patrols in the neighborhood near Alcuin. With these revisions, the Hillcrest Forest Neighborhood
Association supported the zoning change.
On our annual surveys, 27% state Crime as a concern.
Speeding on residential streets is the second most common concern, at 4%.
See Alcuin's offer.
|Answers to your questions
THE ZONING CHANGE
Q: Will this increase traffic? A: Alcuin was already allowed 700 students. In 2015, they were at
540, with a waiting list. The amended zoning will not increase allowed student count. The school
hours for high school will start and end 30 minutes later, and will not add to existing traffic peaks.
Q: How many Alcuin students will drive? A: The agreement allows for up to 70, versus the 35
previously allowed. This can actually reduce traffic somewhat, because a student will only be on
Churchill Way twice in a day: driving onto campus in the morning and driving off in the afternoon
(2 "trips"). A parent dropping off a student adds 4 "trips" a day to Churchill Way: entering and
leaving in the morning to drop off, and entering and leaving in the afternoon to pick up.
Q: Will we have teen drivers on our residential streets? A: No. Student drivers will be issued
parking stickers and must park in Alcuin's northwest parking lot. They can only enter directly from
Preston Road and exit directly to Preston Road. Students will never drive by a residence unless they
have an exception because they live in our neighborhood, or visit a classmate who lives here. Also,
Alcuin will add high school students slowly, over a period of years.
Q: How will this be enforced? A: A police officer or school staff member will be stationed at the
northwest parking entrance to assure that students only use Preston Road. The school will have a
"contract" that students & their parents must sign, agreeing to the rules. Any violation will be
reported to parents, and repeat violators may lose their driving privileges. Neighbors can alert the
school of suspected violators by contacting Alcuin's Community Liaison,
Jana Haigood, at 972-239-1745, or at her email.
Q: Will the campus change? A: You will not see a major change from the street, but some existing
buildings will be replaced with new construction. The square footage of floor space an increase up
to 16%. The allowed heights will not change. No changes to their small athletic fields. No changes to
their parking lots, except that a new 26-space lot is allowed at the back southeast corner, away from
Churchill Way, and 25 more spaces could be added, if needed, on the west side next to the Aerobics
Q: Can we expect the school to continue making zoning changes? A: The president of Alcuin's
board signed a Letter of Commitment to our Association that they will not request another zoning
change for at least 6 years, which is 2021. Our City Council member, Lee Kleinman, also signed it. In
addition, the school granted a private deed restriction to our Association that states they cannot
increase the enrollment cap of 700 on the current property or increase high school students in
grades 10-11-12 above the new limit of 135, for a period of at least 15 years.
Q: Will there be an expanded football field or bleachers? A: No. Their athletic fields will remain
pretty much the way they are, locked in by the new zoning. Their field is too small for regulation
football or soccer, and there is no room for bleachers. Additionally, bleachers and lights are
prohibited by the zoning. With a small high school enrollment and students primarily there for the
International Baccalaureate program, Alcuin does not expect to have major outdoor sports programs.
Q: Will Alcuin have enough parking? A: City code requires a certain number of parking spaces per
various grades. Alcuin will meet the city's parking code. Plus, they are adding 26 spaces, and an
extra 25 spaces can be added, if needed, on the west side next to the Aerobics Center. However,
they will not have as much excess parking as they did previously. During large events in recent
years, Alcuin has taken extra measures to prevent parking from overflowing into the neighborhood,
and they have stated in the Letter of Commitment that they will continue to do that.
Q: What else has the school agreed to? A: Numerous items, including improvements to the wall
they installed next to the Brittany Circle homes; more traffic control at the morning peak; fixing
drainage issues to the south; and restrictions on things like dumpsters, portable toilets, outdoor PA
systems, signage, construction traffic, and use of their athletic fields by non-Alcuin teams.
Q: How will these be enforced? A: Many are spelled out in the zoning, and the City would enforce
those. Others are guaranteed by legal agreements with the HFNA or by the Letters of Commitment.
Q: Can we view the site plan? A: Yes, here.
Other items: Alcuin school would love to have more neighborhood students and stated that they
will give preferential admission to nearby students. They will continue their community liaison
position (currently Jana Haigood) for residents to contact with questions, concerns, or complaints.
She will also send email updates to neighbors who add their name to her list.
Q: How did we get the Security Patrol offer? A: Alcuin already has many measures in place that
help "somewhat" with the traffic. And much of the traffic is not due to Alcuin, but to Dallas
International School, the Aerobics Center, and also neighbors in the 400+ nearby homes coming and
going at peak hours. After a year of discussions, it became clear that Alcuin cannot do much more to
fix the traffic. "It is what it is." But our association continued to press Alcuin, and with some
involvement by our City Council member Lee Kleinman, Alcuin came back with the Security Patrol
offer as an offsetting benefit of significant value to the neighborhood. Hillcrest Forest members
south of Forest Lane (east of Hillcrest Road) pay $160-$200 a year for a security patrol, which in the
first 3 years reduced crime by over 45%. The equivalent 10-year value of Alcuin's offer could therefore
be $2,000-$2,500 per household in the patrol area.
Q: How can we be sure Alcuin will follow through? A: Alcuin signed a binding legal agreement
with the Hillcrest Forest Neighborhood Association.
Q: Explain the Security Patrols. A: Alcuin is providing up to $100,000 per year for 10 years for
Security Patrols. The patrols will cover the streets on this map. Patrols will not include gated
communities for obvious reasons, and will not include non-residential properties. However, some
synagogues and churches that are within or adjacent to the patrol area will benefit from the same
patrol watchfulness as residents, so the patrols will benefit the entire community. The patrols will
not include Alcuin. Alcuin will just pay the invoices.
Q: Who will manage the Patrol service? A: The legal agreement appoints our Hillcrest Forest
Neighborhood Association. The HFNA has formed a Patrol Committee which includes members from
across the patrol area, including other, smaller associations named in the agreement.
Q: Will the Patrols be by police or a private security service? A: Patrols will be by a uniformed,
armed officer from Smith Protective Services 5 nights a week. Additional patrols will be by
uniformed, off-duty Dallas Police officers in city police cars at random times during the week.
Q: What are the Patrol hours? A: For security reasons, the days and times of patrols are not
published here. However, our studies south of Forest Lane showed that about 30% of crime
occurred during the day, primarily burglaries when homes were unoccupied while people were away
at work. About 50% of crime took place after midnight, primarily motor vehicle break-ins.
Q: Can the Dallas Police patrols control speeding? A: Yes. Although the primary function of the
Police patrols will be for security, they will occasionally watch traffic on streets such as Willow Lane
and Churchill Way. Everyone needs to drive courteously, and the Police are stopping speeders. In
addition, the sight of a Dallas police car on our streets will slow people down and increase security
be showing a "police presence" that tends to scare away potential thieves.
We have never heard of a school making such a significant offer to its neighbors. It took months of
hard work on both sides to achieve this.
We want to thank Carol Scott of the Citadel; Garrett Sherman on Churchill Way; Walter & Hinke
Schroen on Churchill Way; Jack Wilson and Joel Maten on Brittany Circle; John de Shazo of Parc du
Lac; our own HFNA President, Bruce Wilke; City Plan Commissioner Jaynie Schultz; and our City
Council member, Lee Kleinman – each of whom was key in getting these agreements for Alcuin and
this benefit for Alcuin's neighbors.
Many other people also attended meetings and made suggestions.
Our thanks to them, as well!
And finally, the Hillcrest Forest Neighborhood Association would like to thank
Alcuin School. The outcome of these negotiations is a compromise, but our board believes that
overall, this will be beneficial for both the school and the neighborhood.
Alcuin Zoning Ordinance, approved April 8, 2015
(includes the Traffic Management Plan)
PATROL AREA MAP BELOW