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Rock Quarry Road residents oppose development proposal

The proposal goes before City Council again Monday.
Sunday, February 18, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 8:13 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

Plans to construct multi-family housing units on the west side of Rock Quarry Road has residents fighting to preserve the area’s scenic quality.

The rezoning application, which was tabled for two weeks, will be brought up again at Monday’s City Council meeting.

If the 10.9-acre area of land is rezoned, it will become a planned unit development constructed by Delta Roads Development LLC.

At a Dec. 7, 2006, meeting, the Planning and Zoning Commission voted 4-2 against the proposed rezoning.

But Mark Farnen, spokesman for Delta Roads, said Monday night’s presentation to the City Council will be different from the one that was struck down by the commission.

“What was lacking in the initial presentation to Planning and Zoning was a conceptual plan,” Farnen said. Groups are not required to present a detailed plan for land development to the Planning and Zoning Commission. “But we said, we’ll go ahead and tell you what we’re going to put there, even though we’re not required to do that, so you have a better sense of it,” Farnen said.

Rather than the initially proposed 32 units, Farnen’s group now has plans to construct 26 units.

“It’s not the typical definition of multi-family housing,” Farnen said. “Those 26 single family dwelling units would be housed in nine buildings.”

The new housing units would also be operated under a single association to bring conformity to the neighborhood, Farnen said.

Since Dec. 7, Delta Roads has met with the Rock Quarry Neighborhood Association.

“They better understood what we want to do, and they like a lot of the things we’ve proposed,” Farnen said. “But, they still don’t particularly like the development.”

Residents such as Julie Youmans, president of the neighborhood association, don’t want to see Rock Quarry Road lose its natural qualities.

“It’s disappointing to see the scenic roadway get chipped away, lot by lot,” Youmans said.

Rock Quarry Road is protected by a scenic road overlay, Youmans said, that “preserves the natural geography of the region.”

“Part of the protection of the scenic road is to allow change and development but to preserve the tree buffer and natural regions near the road,” she said.

The southern area of Rock Quarry Road is already home to multi-family residences. Some residents fear that future developments will cause similar problems.

“The existing apartments are almost exclusively students, and they have been a source of noise and parties and trash, like any high-density housing area,” said Marty Riback, who lives in the Rock Quarry Road area.

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