Request withdrawn

Published 11:20 pm Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The developer of a controversial planned neighborhood off Pitchkettle Road withdrew the application this week, returning the developers to conditions already approved in 2009.

Cloverleaf Development, LLC, wanted to increase the number of units it would build, decrease the homes’ size, and reduce cash proffers for schools and road improvements.

The changes were opposed by a group of residents from Westhaven Lakes, a neighboring subdivision. The residents had been negotiating with the developers to come to an agreement, but in the end, that didn’t work, said Whitney Saunders, an attorney for the developers.

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“Within the negotiations with the community, there were requests made of the developer they were simply unable to economically provide,” Saunders said after Wednesday night’s City Council meeting, where the City Council voted to accept the withdrawal of the application.

“I think it’s unfortunate for both sides that an agreement could not be reached,” Saunders said. “It’s a situation in which I’m afraid there really are no winners.”

The rezoning would have allowed the developers of the Foxfield Meadows neighborhood to increase the number of multi-family units from 114 to 158, reduce cash proffers for schools, public safety and road improvements, reduce the minimum square footage for single-family dwellings and alter design standards for single-family dwellings.

The development also would have included 128 detached single-family dwellings.

The original plan was approved by City Council in 2006 as a multi-family age-restricted development. Because of changes in the housing market, the developers requested that the age-restricted designation be removed, which was approved in July 2009.

Janet Rock, a leader of the group of neighbors who opposed the development, said she thought the withdrawal of the application was a victory for everyone in the area. However, she’s still concerned the developers will purchase a portion of property to the rear of her neighborhood and build on it — something the neighbors were trying to negotiate to avoid.

The neighbors weren’t the only ones opposed to the project — both city staff and the Planning Commission recommended denial of the request.