Neighbors oppose subdivision

Published 10:53 pm Saturday, June 18, 2011

This week’s Planning Commission meeting includes a public hearing on a proposed new residential subdivision that is being hotly contested by residents of a neighboring community.

Residents of Westhaven Lakes, located off Pitchkettle Road, have been gearing up to fight the development since last year.

“Westhaven feels like we are beating a dead horse, and we’ve been beating it for months,” resident Janet Rock said at a recent community meeting.

Email newsletter signup

The commission is expected to delay a decision on the rezoning request, but Rock urged about 50 people who attended the meeting last week to come to Tuesday’s meeting if they can.

“We have to be diligent,” she said. “We have to show up.”

The developers, Cloverleaf Development, hope to build a neighborhood called Foxfield Meadows off Pitchkettle Road near the Route 58 bypass. The development would include 128 single-family homes and 158 multi-family units.

The development has already been approved with fewer multi-family units, but Cloverleaf now hopes to increase that number, reduce cash proffers for schools, public safety and road improvements, and reduce the minimum square footage and alter design standards for the single-family homes.

City staff recommends denial of the request. Westhaven Lakes residents say they can’t live with the changes.

“We’re not taking the carrot,” Rock said last week, referring to negotiations in meetings with the developers. “We’re opposed to the whole thing.”

The site was rezoned in 2006 from a commerce park designation to the residential zoning, but the development was to be restricted to older residents.

But in 2009, City Council approved the removal of the age-restricted designation after the developer requested the change because of shifts in the housing market. Now, the developer is requesting the proposed changes to render the project more compatible with the current housing market, according to a city staff report.

Most concerning to many in Westhaven Lakes is a proposed connector road to their neighborhood, which they say would bring too much traffic through their narrow streets.

“It’s an accident waiting to happen, and I don’t want to see one of my neighbors having to bury their kid,” Chris Dove said at the meeting.

But the neighbors also are concerned about the increased density, a saturated housing market, traffic safety on Pitchkettle Road and the reduced proffers for schools.

The planning meeting will be held at 2 p.m. in City Council chambers, 441 Market St. Also on the agenda are a rezoning request at 3093 Godwin Blvd. and conditional use permit requests to permit a mixed-use multi-family building at 111-119 W. Washington St., a public assembly building at 1226 Whitemarsh Road, a daycare facility at 234 Meadow View Blvd and a communications tower at 4669 Sleepy Hole Road, as well as an exception request to permit a shed within the resource protection area at 914 E. Riverview Drive.