Neighbors gear up for final vote

Published 9:57 pm Monday, October 10, 2011

Residents of the Westhaven Lakes neighborhood voted Monday to negotiate certain conditions pertaining to a subdivision that a developer wants to build next door.

The neighbors have been fighting for about a year against a proposed neighborhood, Foxfield Meadows, that they say would create a substandard development, place a heavier burden on city infrastructure and provide less money for capacity in that infrastructure — namely, schools and roads. The neighborhood already has been approved for 128 single-family homes and 114 multi-family units.

The rezoning request is set to be considered at the Oct. 19 City Council meeting.

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About 25 people were at the Monday meeting in the Farm Fresh community room. They voted to have their lawyer support proffers that would prohibit a connector road to the back of their neighborhood and require minimum square footage for the houses built in Foxfield Meadows.

If the developers — Cloverleaf Development, LLC — don’t agree to those conditions, the residents will show up at next week’s meeting opposed to the entire development, leader Janet Rock said.

“We’ll be going to City Council in opposition to the whole thing — the whole kit and caboodle,” Rock said.

The proposal already carries the disapproval of city staff and the city’s Planning Commission. Neither is an insurmountable obstacle — City Council has bucked both in the past.

“Our leverage is our opinion,” resident John Mitchell said.

The connector road was initially a big sticking point for the neighborhood. It would carry traffic from the other neighborhood to get to Pitchkettle Road.

But other concerns have included traffic on Pitchkettle Road, the sizes of the proposed houses and lots, and other issues.

Resident Chris Dove urged his neighbors not to bargain with Cloverleaf at all, saying he does not trust them.

“Even our Council has been hoodwinked by these people,” he said, also accusing the developers of claiming ignorance of the community’s desire not to have a connector road when it had been discussed at several meetings. “These are the people you want to make a deal with.”

But other neighbors said they would rather try to bargain than risk having City Council approve the subdivision as proposed.