City Council denies senior housing after neighbors object

City Council Member Jeff MacIntosh

City Council denies senior housing after neighbors object
May 05
05:30 2016



The City Council rejected a rezoning request, 5-2, for a senior housing project on Reynolda Road during its Monday, May 2 meeting.

The request was one of many items considered in the meeting, but was the only one with opposition as residents from Town and Country Estates objected to rezoning a property at Briarcliffe and Reynolda roads for the project. The corner acts as an entrance to the community. Rezoning would’ve allowed for the construction of a 54-unit two-story independent living senior apartment building for individuals 55 and over.

The property is in the Northwest Ward, which City Council Member Jeff MacIntosh represents. He said though the property is ideal for multi-family units like the one proposed, he couldn’t support it.

“Because of the fairly strong pushback from the neighbors, I have to vote ‘no’ on this,” said MacIntosh.

objections to the project, which included its height and high elevation on a hill, which he said made it an unattractive sight for Town and Country residents. He also expressed concerns about its dumpster being an eyesore, stormwater drainage from the property and increased traffic at an already busy intersection. When he asked opponents of the project to stand up, at least 15 attendees did so.

The developer, Bill Scantling of Lewisville, said he could change the site plan for the dumpster and agreed to add a requirement that the property be used for senior living, which wasn’t mandatory in the original zoning request. However, Scantling said the project wouldn’t be economically viable if it had less apartments and the site left few options to lower it or move it back to make the two-story apartments less visible.

Normally a zoning conflict would be continued to the next City Council meeting to let the developer and residents work out their issues, but Scantling was under a deadline to acquire the property and have it properly zoned by May 13 to get federal funds for the project, which meant the next council meeting would be too late.

City Council members D.D. Adams and Derwin Montgomery voted to allow the rezoning. Adams said affordable housing for seniors was needed. Montgomery thought that the issues could be worked out if the zoning was allowed. He was concerned that, if denied, the developer wouldn’t be able to return to council with the project for two years, or return with a different project for the property for one year.

The rest, with the exception of Robert Clark who was absent, voted against the zoning request.

During the meeting the council also approved rezoning for the Quarry Park project in the Southeast Ward. The $5 million park is on the site of the former Vulcan Quarry and is part of the bond approved by voters in 2014.

City Council also honored Officer Travis McFadden with a City Star commendation. In October of last year, he was on his way to his job as a school resource officer at Kinsgwood School when he wit-nessed a crash between RJ Reynolds High School and Wiley Middle School. The car had collided with the steel roof that cov-ered a walkway and was wedged between the walls of the tunnel, suspended above the path. The driver escaped but a two-year-old child was still in the car, which threatened to fall into the tunnel. McFadden climbed into the vehicle and rescued the child.

“I believe I was in the right place at the right time,” said McFadden. “I believe that any officer at the time would’ve done the same thing.”

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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