Zoning change approved for potential Mooty Bridge Rd. development

Published 8:19 am Wednesday, September 28, 2022

After much discussion, the LaGrange City Council has approved a controversial rezoning request that will allow for a large mixed-use development on off of Mooty Bridge Rd. adjacent to the current Wisteria Ridge subdivision.

During a public hearing held at the previous council meeting, several residents raised concerns over the request to rezone a portion of the former Newman property to allow for an 835-unit development.

Residents from the nearby Wisteria Ridge raised safety concerns about the inevitable increase to traffic in the area, but they primarily took issue with the lack of a sufficient buffer from the new development and their existing homes, particularly the commercial portion of the plans.

Plans for the development were made with 10-foot buffer between the proposed development and Wisteria Ridge, which is the minimum required by the city’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO).

After discussion with City Planner Mark Kostial, residents asked that the city require a buffer of at least 20 feet between the properties on the western side of the development before approving the zoning change, which the developers tentatively accepted.

Mayor Jim Thornton noted in an earlier work session that plans for the development include a detention pond on a large portion of the western edge of the property, which would serve as an adequate buffer for that section. Thornton suggested that conditions placed on the rezoning could be written so that the detention pond would be acceptable as the buffer.

Thornton also pointed out that the developers planned for a large buffer between the commercial and residential sections of their development, but not between the commercial section and Wisteria Ridge homes.

“I find it interesting that the developer is showing a buffer between the commercial and their residential, but not showing a buffer between the commercial and the existing residential,” Thornton said. “That seems hypocritical to me.”

After much discussion of whether requiring a 20, 25 or 30-foot buffer would be appropriate, the council introduced and approved a substitute ordinance that will require a 30-foot buffer on the property adjacent to Wisteria Ridge, with the detention ponds as an acceptable buffer, as a condition of the zoning change.

The zoning change was unanimously approved.

The zoning change modifies three parcels from Suburban Single Family Residential (SU-R) to Traditional Neighborhood Residential (TN-R); Suburban Single Family Residential (SU-R) to Traditional Neighborhood Medium Density Residential (TN-MR); and Suburban Single Family Residential (SU-R) to Traditional Neighborhood Mixed Use (TN-MX).

In other business, the council approved:

  • a request to rezone property located on Lukken Industrial Dr. from CP-GI (Campus General Industrial & Agribusiness) to CR-MX (Corridor Mixed Use)
  • a request to rezone 2457 Whitesville Rd. from AC-MX (Activity Center Mixed Use) to AC-MX (Activity Center Mixed Use) to remove conditional requirements that were originally placed on the property over a decade ago that are now part of city’s UDO.