LaGrange College seeking rezoning for townhomes

Published 8:30 am Saturday, May 13, 2023

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Townhomes could soon be an option for student housing a LaGrange College.

LaGrange College and BC Stone Homes are currently seeking a zoning change in order to build townhomes on seven parcels off Panther Way and Pine St.

The zoning change request is for a proposed multi-phase development project consisting of approximately 32 townhome units. The first phase would likely consist of 15 units, which would be two-story townhomes. The proposed second phase, or a combination thereof, would be single-story townhomes closer to Pine Street, City Planner Mark Kostial said.

Dean Hartman, senior director of communications and marketing for LaGrange College, confirmed that the school is planning townhomes for the area, but the exact number and timing could vary.

The removal of Henry Hall is scheduled for next week, so additional housing will soon be needed.

“We are currently working through a master planning process, which is examining our entire physical plan with an eye toward future needs, including housing. The current proposal to meet that need is for townhomes, and we are in the early stages of exploring what would be possible in the space we have available,” Hartman said.

Hartman said for the short-term at least, the former Henry Hall will remain greenspace. Long-term plans for the space will be driven by the college’s master plan.

The Board of Planning and Zoning Appeals voted 7-1 with one abstention to recommend the rezoning from General Campus Business (GP-GB) and Traditional Neighborhood Residential (TN-R) to Traditional Neighborhood Medium Density Residential (TN-MR), which would allow for the townhomes.

Kostial said the lone dissenting vote had a concern with the minimum buffer requirements. If the property is rezoned as requested it would only require a 10-foot buffer.

During the LaGrange City Council meeting on Tuesday, the council voted to call for a public hearing on June 13 to receive comments from the public about the proposed zoning change.

Kostial said representatives of the college have agreed to place signage on the property with illustrations of what the buildout would potentially look like. They also agreed to hold an informational meeting prior to the hearing for the residents on College Avenue where they can share information about the project and answer any questions.