Archive for Thursday, September 25, 2003

New Arbor Ridge rezoning application filed

September 25, 2003

A developer will meet with De Soto residents next month in an effort to open communication before a second attempt to secure rezoning of the 90-acre parcel of land southeast of the 83rd Street/Kill Creek Road intersection.
Last spring, a group of developers led by Jim Lambie requested rezoning the property from its current single-family residential designation of R-1 to R-2, which allows smaller lot single-family homes and duplexes. The rezoning was needed before the developers could go ahead with its proposed Arbor Ridge subdivision, which would have built 187 homes and 61 duplexes.
The De Soto Planning Commission, however, voted in May to recommend denial of the rezoning, saying there was no way to ensure the entire property wouldn't be developed as duplexes, spurring the developers to withdraw their application.
The new proposal would take advantage of a new R-1A zoning classification approved subsequent to the withdrawal of the first rezoning request. The developers are seeking to rezone 56 acres to the new classification, which allows smaller lots than the property's current R-1, and 20 to the multi-family R-2.
The number of homes and duplexes were slightly reduced in the new application. Also changed is the location of the duplexes. The first application placed the duplexes in the southwest corner of the site, while the new plan would build the duplexes in the middle of the development.
The developers' attorney, Chase Simmons, said the meeting was an attempt to share the details of the plans with neighboring property owners and to listen to their concerns.
"We just want to let them walk through our plan with us and offer up suggestions," he said. "I've had a lot of neighborhood meetings with this particular developer. If we hear something useful or important, we can change our design. That's what we're doing here."
Although Simmons said he would let the project's designers speak to the details of the plan at the Oct. 7 meeting, he said the change in location of the duplexes stemmed from comments about the lack of buffering in the first plan.
A roomful of neighbors denounced the first rezoning request at the May public hearing before the Planning Commission. Many repeated their concerns at Planning Commission and City Council meetings when the new R-1A classification was discussed, expressing concern about where the new zoning would be applied.
Neighbor Marie Caldwell said she expected opposition to be just as strong the second time around.
"I don't see any difference other than they moved the duplexes," she said. "They still want the duplexes and the smaller lots."
The duplexes location wasn't the issue, Caldwell said.
"It's not the aesthetics, it's the numbers. It just puts too much traffic on 83rd Street and Kill Creek Road.
"We already have the senior citizen apartments (Valley Spring Homes) in there. I would rather see an elementary school there. I would rather see something you don't have a constant 24 hours coming in and out."
Simmons said the developer anticipated some opposition to the project.
"It is slightly different in terms of density for DeSoto, so we knew it would have some opposition," he said. "This developer has a track record of high quality development. That's what we have planned for De Soto. We think this type of development will increase property of everybody around."
The Planning Commission will consider the newest rezoning requests Oct. 28.

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