The Planning and Zoning Commission voted on Thursday night to recommend that the City Council approve an amended version of a rezoning proposal for a 110-acre property on Clark Lane, east of Ballenger Place.
Plans for the property include an 18-hole golf course, swimming pool, fitness center with hot tub and tanning beds as well as 700 apartment units and up to 1,400 parking spaces. The commission’s amendments called for upping the minimum green space requirement from 15 percent to 50 percent and requiring a traffic study.
Several residents spoke at the hearing, arguing that local road and environmental problems would get worse if the development plan was implemented.
“The traffic is really bad right now, and this could really make it horrendous,” Keith Klepper said.
The city staff report recommended approval of the plan but also expressed concern about traffic, particularly at the Clark Lane and U.S. 63 intersection which has significant traffic problems already.
The commission also wanted assurances that a public trail would be built along Hominy Branch creek, which runs through the property.
“We are open to the idea of a walking trail through the property,” Lindsey Management representative Kim Fugitt said, but added that there are liability issues involved in having a public trail run through a golf course.
The commission went back and forth during the hearing with Fugitt and Allstate Consulting representative Brian Herrington. Both representatives were pushing the commissioners for a vote.
“I think it’s important to remember that this is a land-use issue and not a planning issue,” Herrington said. He said the planning issues would be addressed later in the approval process.
Commissioner Jeff Barrow said another concern was the lack of variety in housing types.
“The thing I don’t like about this is that it’s one big monoculture of apartments,” he said. “I think there’s a lot to be said for mixed types of housing.”
But in the end, all but one of the commissioners supported the amended plan.
“I think this is an opportunity to build an innovative golf course and preserve the creek,” Commissioner Charles Lamb said.
Commissioner Michael Holden agreed.
“I think this will make a wonderful addition to our community,” he said.
The development company is Lindsey Management Company, which manages a total of 24,000 apartment units and 28 golf courses in seven states, including three other locations in Missouri.
The proposal will be passed on to the City Council, who will make the final decision on the zoning request.