Residents voice concerns about rezoning request on Springdale Drive

Published 9:45 am Friday, October 14, 2022

Several residents voiced concerns at a public hearing on Tuesday over a rezoning request that would modify property located at 510 Springdale Dr. from suburban single-family residential (SU-R) to traditional neighborhood residential (TN-R).

The change would allow developer BC Stone Homes to subdivide the approximately 1-acre property into lots for five houses rather than the current zoning, which would only allow for three lots.

The property is located at the corner of Springdale Dr. and Saynor Cir. Several residents opposed or raised concerns about the potential zoning change, citing issues with the lot sizes and potential traffic problems.

BC Stone Homes is proposing five single-family lots on the property with lot frontages of 65 to 72 feet. The minimum for the zoning would be 40 feet.

The proposed lot sizes are between the current minimum for the property and the smaller size that would be allowed under the change to TN-R. The Unified Development Ordinance only requires a minimum lot size of 3,000 square feet in TN-R, but the applicant is proposing an average of about 9,500 square feet, significantly larger than the required size. The current zoning of the parcel would require a 12,000-square-foot lot.

Brian Stone with BC Stone Homes said they want to build five homes on lot sizes ranging from .17 to .27 acres. The lots are of similar size to others in the area, according to Stone.

“Everything around here was developed way prior to the zoning ordinance. I think all the lots, pretty much all around, wouldn’t meet the current zoning ordinances,” Stone said. “To get it to fit in the box, in order to be able to be similar to the lot sizes with everything adjacent, it requires this rezoning.”

Stone is proposing five 1920s to 1950s Craftsman-style houses on the lots that are similar to other homes in the area.

The homes are planned to be 1 to 1.5-story houses with rear parking. Stone said the rear parking would allow for vehicles to turn around behind the homes, so they won’t have to back out into the street.

Stone also advised that they plan to sell the homes in the $325,000 to $400,000 range. Stone also answered some concerns saying they fully don’t intend to rent out the homes.

“The intention is to sell. I’ve built a lot of houses in my career, and I don’t own one single rental house. I’m not in the rental home business,” Stone said.

Multiple residents in the area questioned allowing five houses in the small parcel due to traffic along Springdale Dr. They said the curve there is already dangerous.

Mayor Jim Thornton acknowledged the issue, but pointed out the current zoning would allow for three driveways on Springdale anyway.

The fourth and fifth driveways would have to exit onto Saynor Cir. because of the proposed layout.

City Planner Mark Kostial explained that any new driveways would still have to follow current sight-distance requirements, which are separate from the zoning code.

Stone provided the council and members of the audience with drawings of what the homes could potentially look like, which seemed to allay some concerns.

A first reading was held for the proposed zoning change. The council discussed potentially introducing a substitute ordinance to add a condition for the rezoning that would prevent duplexes from being built on the property, which is currently allowed in TN-R zones.

Stone said he has zero intention of building duplexes on the property, but the condition would prevent other developers from doing so in the future.

Kostial took contact information from residents to work out their concerns before a final vote on the issue, which could occur as early as Oct. 25.

In other business:

  • The council voted to declare .23 acres of city-owned property on S.L. White Blvd. as surplus to sell it at auction. A minimum bid was set at $13,000.
  • The council appointed Susan Bowie and Nicole Smith to four-year terms on the Board of Planning and Zoning Appeals.
  • The council recommended Joel Upchurch, Lou Dekmar and John Brant for an appointment for a three-year term on the LaGrange/Troup County Hospital Authority.