The proposed Lakeside Ashland development took another step forward Tuesday, as the City of Ashland Planning and Zoning Committee gave 4-3 approval to the site plan for the project.
The action puts final site plan approval back before the Ashland Board of Aldermen.
Commissioners Jerrod Bryan, Cynthia Wills, Cory Bergthold and Scott Dooley voted to approve the Lakeside Ashland site plan. Commissioners Ken Bishop, Luke Baker and Nicki Rinehart opposed.
Lakeside Ashland is planned to be an outdoor, multiattraction entertainment facility. The project is being developed by Nic Parks, CEO of The Pinball Company and Parks Amusements.
Parks has previously told the Missourian he hopes Lakeside Ashland can be an eat, play and stay property.
Phase one of the project, the part approved Tuesday, would include an outdoor movie theater and amphitheater on 20 acres. Parks has plans to add restaurants and a hotel to the site in the future.
One wrinkle remains for the developer: His request for an amendment to the Ashland City code to allow him to exceed a 45-foot height limit on structures was defeated, also on a 4-3 vote. Lakeside Ashland’s site plan includes a 53-foot-high outdoor movie screen.
Before approving the site plan, the commission once again heard concerns from local residents about traffic congestion they say would impact safety of the neighborhood.
Tim Crockett from Crockett Engineering Consultants spoke on behalf of the development. He said the developer’s team had taken the recommendations put forth by a traffic study to add a turn lane and another entrance to the property to mitigate traffic concerns.
A group of over 40 area residents have voiced their opposition to the project for months, citing negative impacts on safety, noise, property values and quality of life among their concerns.
Attorney Caleb Colbert, representing two residents of the Log Providence community near the development, said the project does not comply with the Boone County fire code and other local ordinances.
“I really don’t think you have any choice tonight but to either table this request or vote to deny it,” Colbert said.
East Log Providence Road is the only way in or out of a community made up of about 57 homes. The city and developer have clashed with residents in the area over whether Southern Boone County fire code requires two access roads for the development.
City Administrator Tony St. Romaine and Ashland lawyer Nathan Nickolaus said during Tuesday’s meeting that a second access road to the neighborhood is the county and fire commission’s responsibility. A fire department official disputed their interpretation.