Apartments request gets OK

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By John Barnhart

    A request by developer Bob Conner to rezone a parcel of land in Forest to build apartments got a 6-0 thumbs up from the Planning Commission Monday night.
    The five acre parcel is located off U. S. 221 and is currently part of a larger parcel zoned PID (planned industrial development), across the highway from its intersection with Perrowville Road. Conner needed it rezoned High Density Multifamily Residential in order to build the apartments. Conner proposes to build seven apartment buildings containing 54 units.
    Some members of the Planning Commission reluctantly voted to recommend the rezoning out of concern with Conner’s track record as a developer.
    “Are we left with the same issue of broken promises along with broken pavement?” asked District 4 Planning Commissioner Frederick Fralic?
    District 3 Planning Commissioner Steve Wilkerson replied that he was unwilling to make a decision on considerations that are not part of land use.
    “It is infill development, which is desirable from my perspective,” Wilkerson said.
    “It is a land use decision,” Fralic agreed.
    The Planning Commission also voted 6-0 to approve a waiver from a requirement of the subdivision ordinance for the Harmony development, which George Aznavorian is seeking to build off  the south side of U. S. 460. The proposed development would straddle the city/county line with most of the development in the county.
    A proposed layout for the development includes a stub of a road protruding from the south side of Harmony. The road goes nowhere but the subdivision ordinance requires it in order to provide connectivity with an adjoining parcel, should a future owner seek to subdivide it.
    According to Perkins & Orrison, the engineering firm that will do the work on Harmony, the topography of the southern border of Harmony, which includes steep slopes and “a significant stream” at the base of one slope makes constructing this road impractical.
    Harmony will have three actual connections. It will have a main entrance on U. S. 460 and Woodhaven Road will be routed through it on the east side. On the west side, it connects to an existing road.