Zoning plan’s rejection a symptom of obstacles to growth

Sunday, October 19, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 9:58 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 14, 2008

Traffic. Safety. Privacy.

Boone County residents echoed the typical concerns about urban growth during Thursday night’s four-hour meeting of the Boone County Planning and Zoning Commission. Neighbors worried about the increased of traffic, the decrease of safety, the loss of privacy, utility capacity and conservation of green space.

In front of a standing-room-only crowd of more than 100 people, about 15 residents spoke against a 47-acre rezoning request — part of a larger 200-acre development plan on the county’s urban fringe — that was eventually denied by the commission. Most members of the crowd raised their hands to signify opposition of the plan when invited by Bourbon Township Commissioner Mike Morgan to do so.

Prime Development Corp. had planned to build 250 homes and 70 townhouses on the 200-acre property east of El Chaparral and surrounding Concorde Estates subdivision. Twenty acres were to be set aside for commercial development, including office space, an Elk’s Lodge and neighborhood types of businesses.

John Dwyer, who lives in Concorde Estates, said he was worried about the impact of increased traffic from the proposed development. “To ensure no one loses their life over development, I’d like to see a traffic study,” Dwyer said.

Don Day of El Chaparral said he has “near misses frequently” when turning on Route WW, even when traffic is light.

Many residents worried about changing 26 acres from single-family to multi-family residential area.

“It only takes one duplex lot behind single-family homes to be one too many,” Fred Giesler of El Chaparral subdivision said.

Commissioners agreed.

Three Creeks Township representative Larry Oetting said it was not the best area for multi-family housing, while Carl Freiling, commissioner for Cedar Township, said he found the size of the proposed duplex development “troublesome.”

Residents said that the increased population accompanying the development would strain utilities.

County planning staff recommended rejection of the proposal, citing an insufficient plan for sewer service and the fact that commercial property already in the area is under-used.

Chad Sayre, vice president of Allstate Consultants, spoke for Prime Development. He emphasized that the rezoning request would provide 20 percent less density and triple the green space of El Chaparral.

Commissioners, however, felt there were too many inadequacies in the plan and followed the opinions of residents and staff.

Kristen Heitkamp, Katy Township Commissioner, said the proposal was strong but lacked adequate plans for sewer service.

“I can’t make a decision based on what you presented us,” Heitkamp told Sayre.

Prime Development Corp. has three working days to appeal the rejection and have the request heard by the Boone County Commission.

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