Leader Blues

Monday, August 13, 2007

TOP STORY >>Upsetting plans being revamped

Leader staff writer

Two development plans that Jacksonville residents stalled last month are back on the planning commission agenda. Both plans have been revamped.

The commission will meet at 7 p.m. Monday at city hall.

The first stalled plan is a rezoning request by Jack Wilson to have Foxwood Gardens, near Loop Road and Northeastern Avenue rezoned from R-0 (single family homes) to R-1 (single family homes with smaller lots). The change would allow the developer to add about 15 more homes to the subdivision.

The second stalled plan was for the Edinburgh Subdivision.

Developer Jim Peacock presented a sketch plat that included plans to build about 10 single homes and 30 duplexes in the subdivision.

Both were tabled in July after residents voiced opposition.

More than half the crowd at the July planning commission meeting was there to oppose the rezoning of the 19.5-acre Foxwood Gardens subdivision.

The original request was to rezone the property to R-2 (duplexes), but Tommy Bond, of Bond Consulting Engineers, quickly amended it to R-1, but that still didn’t satisfy the crowd. “We have no intentions of building multi-family units in this subdivision. Plans are to build a gated community of garden homes and the homes would range from 1,500 square feet to 2,500 square,” he explained to the riled crowd.

Plans called for about 80 garden-style homes on the acreage.

The largest concern of the residents was the only one street would be used to enter and exit the gated subdivision. “That’s a lot of traffic to be turning in and out that close to a school,” said Charles Evans, of 1801 Steeplechase.

The planned exits and entrances to the subdivision are at the dead end of Steeplechase Drive, and where Foxwood turns east and west, close to Pinewood Elementary. According to Bond, only residents would use one of the entrances, the other would be for emergency vehicles.

Don Hall of 1513 Foxwood said “Kids congregate in that area for school buses and the only sidewalk is on that side. The extra traffic would create a very dangerous situation.”

Even though the subdivision design was a separate issue from the rezoning, the commissioners asked Bond to bring the request to the August meeting with a more complete plan to help determine whether the subdivision would be a good fit for the area or not.

The remaining residents at the July meeting were upset about plans for the Edinburgh Subdivision and again traffic was a major concern.

Residents didn’t want the duplexes and were concerned that all the traffic would feed off Edinburgh. Because of Splash Zone, the area already gets a large amount of traffic and children are everywhere, residents told the commissioners.

“This goes in and a lot of us are moving. I understand it’s about the developer making money, and he has that right, but don’t stick the knife in my back to make your dollar,” said John Williams, a Jacksonville police officer.

Also on the commission agenda:

The New Testament Holiness Church is seeking permission to operate a daycare facility at 2311 Green Acres, which is in a residential area.

The commission will look at approving a sketch plat for the Besancon property off Red Fox.

Commissioners will review a sketch plat for Delaney Heights Subdivision near Cherry and Laurel streets.

The commission will review the final plat of Wendi’s Corner near the intersection of Bailey and Gregory.

Commissioners will look at approving the final plat of the Northlake Subdivision.

The commissioners will decide on the final plats of lots 1 and 2 of the Jacksonville Commerce Subdivision, which could lead to more commercial or industrial development in the city.

Commissioners will look at approving a building permit for the Marshall Road Pharmacy.