Tension was apparent at the Nov. 5 Cabot Planning Commission meeting with the council chamber filled by Glenwood Estate residents battling plans for 40-plus-unit subdivision adjacent to their properties.
Although the meeting was calmer than the rancorous October meeting, the outcome was not welcomed by the residents as the commissioners voted to approve the plans.
The proposed project will now be considered at the Nov. 18 city council meeting. If approved, the construction, estimated to take five years, will be cleared to begin.
Interim chairman James Reid opened the public hearing on the plans by telling Crestwood subdivision residents that there is no plan to re-zone their properties.
"What we are trying to do here has nothing to do with Crestwood. Absolutely, nothing," Reid said.
Residents had been rallied to the meeting by a flyer claiming that the proposed plans included rezoning their subdivision to match the planned development, connecting the two subdivisions, and would include multi-family homes.
Development of the area next to Glenwood Estates includes rezoning from residential to planned unit development (PUD).
According to various sources, a planned unit development (PUD) controls a large or complex development as single continuing project.
Building requirements within a PUD are pre-determined according to the purpose of the project, whether commercial, residential, and single or multi-use.
Reid assured Crestwood residents that connecting the areas is not in the plans, and that only single-family homes would be built.
Tim Lemons, of Lemons Engineering Consultants, the engineer for the project, said a meeting with Glenwood residents had been held at the mayor’s office a week earlier.
As a result of the meeting, the developer had adopted a series of concessions to residents’ concerns, Lemons said.
A brick-column, wood fence will be added in areas currently not planned to be fenced, Lemons said.
The property-owners association will be responsible for maintaining the fence.
The entrance gateway will be bricked and recessed an additional 30 feet to prevent traffic backups, Lemons said.
A curve in Woodhaven Drive will be widened for maneuverability.
Before construction begins, Glenwood and Woodhaven drives will be assessed for existing damage, and any damage caused later by construction equipment will be repaired by the developer, Lemons said.
Lemons called for the rezoning to PUD. Restrictions on R-1 construction are "minimal" while the self-imposed requirements under the site plan, as a PUD, are "quite stringent," he said.
Billy McCarroll again acted as the main spokesman for the Glenwood residents as he had for the Oct. 1 meeting.
"Of course, we do oppose the 42 garden-style homes," McCarroll said.
The contrast between 42, 1,400-square-foot homes planned for six acres, and the 43 2,500-square-foot homes on 25 acres of Glenwood is apparent, McCarroll said.
"We do not want to see the character and the uniqueness of our neighborhood changed by putting 42 small homes on the backside of our subdivision," McCarroll said.
Quality of life, property values and children’s safety will all be hurt, he said.
McCarroll emphasized that under city codes, city planning is to protect and preserve the value of buildings and improvements and minimize adverse impact on adjoining properties; and to protect and provide for the health, safety and general welfare of the public,
There are no sidewalks in Glenwood and children walk to Northside Elementary School a few blocks away on East Mountain Springs Road, he said.
Reid countered that there was one walker, and that Mayor Bill Cypert had assured that sidewalks would be built should there be walkers found.
McCarroll replied that "One child is important to us." Single road access to the subdivision, heavy construction traffic are all threats, he said.
Also, the three to five years planned for construction means the problems would exist for years, he said.
McCarroll called for written assurance that the homes built in the plan would meet specific requirements.
Reid replied that a PUD specifies the requirements. "We prefer looking at a PUD … anything that goes in there has to be exactly what is on that plan … Otherwise, any building that meets R-1 requirements could be built," Reid said.
Other residents took about 90 minutes to voice their opposition based on safety, property values and esthetics.
At the end of discussion, the commissioners voted unanimously to approve the re-zoning, and to send the matter to the city council for final approval.
The commission also approved the proposed Cabot master street plan, for city council approval.
Also, the sitting commissioners elected Reid as commission chairman to fill the vacancy made by the resignation of former chairman Ron Craig.
Mayor Bill Cypert asked Craig to resign following the Oct. 1 commission meeting.