After nearly two years of work, plans for an Oak Cliff Sprouts Farmers Market at the corner of Fort Worth Avenue and Hampton Road were approved. This came after initial refusals by the Planning Commission on zoning issues.
This Sprouts building will take the place of Elrod’s Cost Plus Supermarket and a Crown Buffet, both of which will be demolished.
To build, Sprouts and North Oak Cliff District 1 City Councilman Chad West, who supported this position, worked with neighborhood leaders to work out the grants needed to get final approval from the city council.
According to the results of a survey of community stakeholders shared with the Observer59% of residents and community members rated themselves very dissatisfied with grocery store options in North Oak Cliff and another 24% rated themselves as somewhat dissatisfied.
One of the sticking points related to the initial denial was a zoning overlay that required parking spaces to be located to the rear of the store sites. This would not have worked for Sprouts due to the slope and elevation of the land.
The grants that enabled Council’s March 8 go-ahead included shopping carts equipped with anti-theft wheel-lock technology to prevent them from being taken off the property. In addition, there will be a contiguous 3,500-square-foot open green space along Fort Worth Avenue.
Also, if a drive-through restaurant enters the additional lot space, it cannot have a drive-through speaker within 150 feet of the property line along Hampton Road and must also be oriented away from residential lots. Finally, external lighting should be directed towards neighboring residential properties.
West says that with current grocery options, this area of Oak Cliff doesn’t fall into the category of a food desert, but this new store will help fill the gap for organic, farm-to-table options. West says the community wanted the land kept out of the hands of developers to prevent another drive-through fast food-type restaurant.
To get final approval last week, the board required an absolute majority vote, which means extra work for West.
“I don’t love them because sometimes I have to ask favors from my colleagues,” she said. “I have to be very sensitive to political winds and things up there at the city council because I want to make sure everyone is happy and everyone is brought along. It takes a lot more work on my part to get a case done, which I don’t mind doing. It’s just unnerving.