A proposed planned unit development on West Longview Drive came back before the Portland Planning Commission at its June 8 meeting.
Commissioners had rejected the request for the 25.24-acre Sunflower planned unitdDevelopment by a 7-1 vote at their May meeting. However, according to Portland Planning Director Kealan Millies-Lucke, the vote was not properly motioned and seconded, and so the city attorney recommended bringing it back.
“We did not have a motion and second when we voted last time,” said chairman Jessica Miller.
A number of nearby residents spoke against the planned development, just as occurred in May.
“Y’all are fixing to ruin a good neighborhood,” said Danny Thompson, who lives on Ewing Drive. “Y’all aren’t going to live there. There are still going to be 63 homes in that neighborhood on a two-lane road.”
Tom Hunter, who said he lives across the street from the planned development, added, “I ask you to vote this down. Let him follow the existing zoning. Let’s see if he builds these crappy little houses and sell them. I don’t think he will. I think he’ll walk away.”
More residents of that area contributed feedback.
“Our neighborhood is no place for mentally ill people to live,” said Lola Johnson, who said she had no issue with an adult center for disabled or autistic people. “I have always felt safe in my home, but if mentally ill people are living or roaming there, I will no longer feel safe.”
A motion to reject passed by a 4-1 vote, with two abstentions. A motion to approve failed for lack of a second. The matter will still go before the Portland Board of Aldermen in July for the first of two readings.
Planners also deferred the preliminary plat approval for an 84-lot Twin Lakes subdivision on 26 acres on North Broadway to wait for construction drawings for the project.
“We have discussed this one a little bit and deferred because we had not received any construction drawings yet,” Millies-Lucke said. “We have received some of those.”
Millies-Lucke added that the project may have to be phased in to allow for erosion control. She said that the pavement on Swamp Road will also have to be measured to determine whether widening will be necessary.
“If the pavement is now found to meet our standards, the road will have to be widened,” Millies-Lucke said.
Site-plan approval was given to Storguard Storage, which will be 5.38 acres on Gateview Drive. Millies-Lucke said that the Portland Board of Zoning Appeals has granted an exemption from parking requirements.
“It’s an additional building for the storage facility I’m proposing out there,” said business owner Paul Kail.
A request to rezone 4.9 acres on North Russell Street and Victor Reiter Parkway from low-density residential to neighborhood mixed use was approved, with only Miller voting against.
“I wasn’t concerned with residential development in the back but now we’re talking mixed use, which would mean businesses as well as residential in the back,” said Doug Munger. “I would have difficulty getting in and out of my own driveway because the traffic would be constant.”
Zach Wilkinson — who represented the development group — countered by saying, “Our intention is to develop it as purely residential. The reason we requested this zoning is it does allow for some denser residential uses.”
The commission also approved Jackie West as the zoning administrator designee while the position of city planner is vacant. Millies-Lucke has taken a job with the Greater Nashville Regional Council.
“For the day-to-day things, signing plats and things like that, someone needs to be in the office,” Millies-Lucke said. “We need to designate someone.”
Reach Chris Gregory at 615-450-5756 or firstname.lastname@example.org.