A plan to reduce how many housing units would be allowed in part of the North Stoner Prairie Neighborhood has gotten the Plan Commission’s support.
The Common Council has repeatedly voted in favor of the proposal, which would change the allowed zoning to medium density, at nine units per acre.
The plan cannot be changed without the commission and council being in agreement, the city’s attorney has said, and for most of the past year, they did not agree. The council responded to neighborhood complaints, but the commission had sought more flexibility in allowing up to 16 units per acre on the lot, which had been changed in 2017 to allow high-density apartments.
The vote Tuesday, June 20, was the fourth attempt to get the bodies to agree. Since the last vote, three new members were appointed to the commission.
A new development proposal on that lot at the corner of Seminole Highway and Lacy Road received positive comments from commissioners at the same meeting. It would build 72 single-family and 46 twin homes.
“I look at this and I think it’s a great product in that area and I think it’s gonna be very popular,” said Mayor Aaron Richardson, who chairs the commission.
The proposal was brought only for initial review, but a representative for developer Veridian said the company hopes to start construction in spring 2020 after going through the development process later this year.
The North Stoner plan originally allowed up to six units per acre. It had been amended in 2017 to allow high density on a part of the property after a church was sited on part of it, and there were no complaints from the public at the time.
But when developer Chris Ehlers proposed an apartment building in 2018, residents and some alders came out strongly against it and worked to change the plan back to its original density limitation.
The council repeatedly approved bringing the limit back down to medium density last year and earlier this year, but the commission voted differently, leaving it in limbo. The city attorney advised that city ordinances require the two bodies to agree before a change can be made.