NEWBERRY ‒ Newberry residents turned out to raise concern about a zoning change from Residential, Single-Family RSF-2 to Planned Residential Development (PRD) on a 6.95-acre property that could be developed into townhouses and single-family dwelling units. The City of Newberry Planning and Zoning Board met on July 5 to consider three applications, with the Eden’s Garden application receiving the greatest citizen opposition.

JBPro’s Director of Engineering Chris Potts addressed the Board on behalf of property owners Joel and Sophie Lancaster. The property, known as Eden’s Garden, is located northeast of the Newberry Oaks subdivision.

The current Residential Low Density future land use permits up to four units per acre, while the potential density with the zoning change is 28 units. However, due to existing overhead Duke Energy transmission lines that run parallel to the abutting limits of the Newberry Oaks subdivision, an area of approximately 2.31 acres, maximizing the potential development is not possible and 23 units are proposed.

Development will be a combination of 11 detached and 12 attached townhouse single-family dwelling units. Overall density will be approximately 3.31 dwelling units per acre, which is less than the potential density within the RSF-2 zoning district.

The PRD zoning district allows the owners to take advantage of unique lot configurations in order to make the site developable which would otherwise not be possible within the existing RSF-2 zoning district, which requires a gross lot area of 10,000 square feet or approximately 0.25 of an acre.

City of Newberry staff confirmed utility capacity exists for this development and the Public Works Department had no objection to the zoning change. “Staff finds the request consistent with the City’s Land Development Regulations and the Comprehensive Plan and recommend the Planning and Zoning Board forward a request to approve Ordinance 2022-35/LDR 22-14 to the Commission,” said Perez.

Several citizens from the neighboring Newberry Oaks Subdivision were on hand to protest the action. Residents voiced concerns about using the roadways in their subdivision to access the proposed development. However, as the roadways are public streets and not owned by Newberry Oaks Subdivision, access to proposed development can’t be limited. Other objections included construction noise, reduced property values for existing homes, problems with water drainage, traffic concerns, potential for sinkholes and mining blasting impacting the new subdivision as well as development disrupting the endangered animal species on the existing property.

Some nearby residents said they were okay with single-family homes but didn’t want tall three-story condos. Potts responded by saying they could eliminate the three attached homes.

Board Members voted 4-1 to recommend approval of Ordinance 2022-35/LDR 22-14 to the Commission for first reading at the July 25 meeting.

Application Denied

In other Board business, the Planning and Zoning Board denied an application for Bass Farms, Inc., to change the zoning on approximately 302.53 acres from Agricultural (A) to Planned Rural Residential Development (PRRD).

The application was submitted by JBPro, acting as agent for Bass Farms, Inc., Trevor Bass, owner. The site is located between at the southeast corner of Southwest 46th Avenue and Southwest 282nd Avenue. The property has an Agriculture future land use designation in which PRRD zoning is permitted.

Bass is proposing 60 single-family dwelling units on existing crop and cattle land. In accordance with the PRRD land development regulations, the owner is setting aside 80 percent of the site, approximately 242 acres, which will remain undeveloped. The residential portion will be developed into one-acre lots. The overall density proposed is 0.198 dwelling units per acre, below the 0.20 dwelling units per acre or one unit per five acres allowed in the Agricultural land use designation and zoning district.

“It is not expected the proposed level of development will negatively impact the current capacity or require mitigation for the additional road trips generated,” Perez said.

Vice-Chair Donald Long made a motion, with Chair Naim Erched providing the second, to deny recommending the application to the Commission. The motion to deny was approved in a 3-2 vote with Board Members Linda Woodcock and Annie Polo casting the dissenting votes.

Woodcock and Polo said they cast dissenting votes because they believed the applicant met the requirements of the existing ordinance and that some of the items discussed during the meeting were not on topic.

Increased Density

In other action, the Board approved a property zoning change on 48.2 acres, reducing the 10,000 square foot minimum lot size to 5,000 square feet. Acting as agent for property owner Pat Post, eda consultants, inc., requested to amend the City’s Official Zoning Atlas by changing the zoning from Residential (Mixed) Single-Family/Mobile Home (RSF/MH-2) to Planned Residential Development (PRD).

The property is located on the east side of Northwest 266th Street, between Northwest 8th Lane and Northwest 3rd Place and has a future land use designation of Residential Low-Density allowing for up to four residential units per acre. Although no change to the future land use category was proposed, under the current future land use designation of Residential Low Density, the maximum density possible is 193 dwelling units.

With the PRD zoning, the owner can establish his own lot sizes and setbacks. At this time the developer is proposing a lot size of 5,000 square feet consisting of 180 single-family dwellings. Approximately 16.2 acres, roughly 33 percent of the site, is being dedicated for stormwater retention and open space.

With the reduction of lot size requirements, 35 units more will be created than the estimated development potential under current zoning regulations. City of Newberry Principal Planner Jean-Paul Perez Perez said, “Prior to the issuance of a site development plan approval, the owner must obtain an approved Public School Student Generation Calculation Form demonstrating capacity exists for the additional students generated by the new dwelling units, or mitigate any impacts on level of service to be coordinated with the School Board.””

City Planning Staff recommended approval of the application and the Planning and Zoning Board voted to recommend approval of Ordinance 2022-34/LDR 22-13 with conditions to the City Commission for first reading at the July 25 meeting. The conditions were that the applicant will work with City staff to finalize the parameters of the development order, correct a scrivener’s error and incorporate the requirement that the developer work with the School Board to provide for the necessary concurrency for this project.

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