The rezoning request was met with some opposition from residents of the adjacently-located Windward community. The chief complaint was that building 15 homes on just 6.65 acres would be a higher density than what is outlined in the city’s 2030 Comprehensive Plan.
However, at Monday’s council meeting, the developers presented a new nine-home plan after unsuccessfully asking for a 12-home compromise last month.
Chris Sprague, a Windward homeowner, voiced his concerns about the plan, saying the elevation of land will create a “huge structure” behind homes in the community.
“We need more screening to protect our property value,” he said.
The landowner, Marjorie Harris, represented at the meeting by Brumbelow-Reese & Associates' Scott Reece, agreed to meet a dozen conditions issued by city staff and council members, making the proposal compliant with the comprehensive plan.
Though council approved the rezoning for the nine-home subdivision 7-0, members were reluctant because they didn’t want to set a precedent for future proposed developments in the city.
Councilman DC Aiken said he was not happy with the way this agreement came about, saying it reminded him of seven or eight years ago when developers would use the planning commission hearing “as basically a dress rehearsal” by bringing forth plans they know won’t pass.
Councilman Jim Gilvin agreed, saying the city code was designed to “prevent frivolous applications by having consequences for those.”
Gilvin said developers in the future should know that if they present a proposal that does not meet the comprehensive plan’s requirements and doesn’t bode well with surrounding communities, the plans will be sent back to planning commission or just denied — meaning the applicant could not present a new plan for a year.