City to consider zoning request
by By DAVID DAVIS Managing Editor
Oct 21, 2012 | 1784 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print

A controversial zoning change request is expected to draw a standing room only crowd Monday afternoon when the item comes before the Cleveland City Council.

One hundred and seven residents who live near 250 Ramsey Street, N.E., signed a petition opposing rezoning the property from Single-Family Residential (R-l) to Multifamily Residential (R-3).

The request passed the Cleveland Municipal Planning Commission by a 5-4 margin at its Sept. 25 meeting over the objections of neighbors.

The commissioners based their approval on staff remarks: “The property is on a block that has been in transition for many years. Several rezonings have been approved by the Planning Commission here and this property is now adjacent to a long line of R3 properties to the west. On the eastside is a CH district with several restaurants. R3 is a more appropriate zoning district next to CH than is R1. Staff is recommending ‘approval of this request.’”

However, neighboring homeowners are saying “enough is enough.” The neighborhood would not be in transition if the planning commission denied previous requests.

Dustin Hawkins, of D & S Custom Homes bought the property about three months ago. He requested the rezoning change to build 14 luxury townhomes. Seven of the units would face Sharon Drive N.E. and seven would face Ramsey Street.

At the September planning commission meeting, he said the 1,350-square-foot units would have amenities such as granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and hardwood flooring inside and a craftsman-style look on the outside similar to Spring Creek. Each unit would have an individual driveway. The townhomes would sell for about $130,000 each.

He plans to retain as many mature trees as possible and build a buffer comparable to the privacy fence and landscaping at Garden Plaza along Henderson Avenue.

Hawkins said in September, “Obviously, I want to do this. I think this is the best thing for the community. This is in demand. People love it. It’ s low-maintenance, that sort of thing,” Hawkins continued. “Plan B is, I would be forced to build eight small rental houses.

“I don’t want to do that. That’ s not what I’m pushing for, but I bought the property and I’ve got to do something with it,” he said.

The rental homes under “Plan B” would be a maximum of 1,000 square feet and “as cheap as I can build them. I do have an investor lined up for that but again, I’m not pushing for that. I’m not for that. I don’t think that’ s the right thing for the city to do, to go in there and develop that property like that.”

Reasons stated on the petition for opposing more housing on the street included sewer system problems, floodwater/runoff, low water pressure, fire protection, excessive traffic, street conditions, proximity to Northcrest Apartments and its problems, school overcrowding, townhouse rentals and reduced property values.

Agenda items include:

- Ordinance 2012-21 to rezone property located at 5761 Mouse Creek Road N.W. from Rl to R3. Planning commissioners recommended approval by a vote of 9-0.

- Ordinance 2012-22 to rezone property located at 250 Ramsey Street N.E. from Rl to R3.

Consent agenda items include:

- Ordinance 2012-20 final passage to amend PUD4 for the Spring Creek Development on 25th Street N.E. to allow for a new access point and an additional building;

- Surplus update on vehicles for police department and equipment for the golf course;

- Resolution 2012-109 to accept Crosswinds Trail, Manchester Trail, New Castel Drive and a portion of Stonebriar Drive as city streets;

- Resolution 2012-110 authorizing Mayor Tom Rowland to execute a waiver of restrictions relating to property located at 696 Inman Street;

- Motion to reinstatement Steve Ratterman to the Wrecker Board;

- Appointment of Chris McLease as first alternative to the Wrecker Board;

- Street light recommendation at 240 15th Street; Cleveland Utilities recommends no additional lighting;

- Street light recommendation at 2950 Alto Vista Drive N.W.; Cleveland Utilities recommends no additional lighting;

Under announcements and discussion:

- City offices will be closed Monday, Nov. 12, for Veterans Day; the next City Council meeting will be Nov. 13; and the fall Strategic Planning Session will be Nov. 14 at 8 a.m. in the Council Room.

- The city was selected to receive a Local Parks & Recreation Fund grant through the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation for $250,000. The grant requires a 50 percent match. It will be used to replace the pool and other improvements at Mosby Park. The estimated cost, about $450,000, would be paid for by the $250,000 grant; $100,000 through the Community Development Block Grant Program and $150,000 from the city.