The sixth version of a northside subdivision is back for review at the Plan Commission on Monday.
The 170-acre neighborhood southwest of the intersection of County Hwys. M and PD would feature winding roads, an extensive trail system and “linear parks” in place of more traditional neighborhood parks, as well as a 10-acre conservancy park. It would contain 266 housing units and a 12-acre spot for a future school, and the plan, by Forward Development Group, leaves room for some apartments and retail buildings next to M.
Its previous review got no recommendation from the commission in February after city planning director Adam Sayre laid out several concerns, including nearly a mile of retaining walls, skinny terraces and inadequate stormwater facilities. The developer immediately agreed to fix all of those, and its submission removes all retaining walls and three of the six pocket parks.
The city staff review also expressed concerns with two elements the developer’s representative did not agree with.
One was the path for Hemlock Drive – an important collector street in the development – which FDG’s Ron Henshue called “traffic-calming.” The new plan still has traffic from the south tee off into another road and head to County Hwy. PD through a future development owned by another landowner.
The other was the presence of six “pocket parks” at the end of cul-de-sacs, which the Parks, Recreation and Urban Forestry Commission split 2-2 on counting them as park space. The new plan removes three of those and puts the parkland in more traditional spaces.
The plan features about 2.5 miles of trails and a 10-acre conservancy, all of which Henshue told the commission would be adorned with boardwalks, plantings and signage promoting birds and wildlife.
The plan shows buildout in four phases from 2019-2022, starting with the easternmost 80 acres, connected by Hemlock Drive through the under-construction Kettle Creek North subdivision.
Up for review Monday is the development’s preliminary plat, which despite its name, generally provides a significant degree of assurance for a developer that a plan can be executed. The final plat, which would be reviewed in a future month, adds details and usually is essentially a formality.
However, the subdivision is also, because of several departures from traditional zoning, concurrently going through a separate process, and it will seek approval for a general development plan as part of the final plat. The GDP is the second step of the three-step planned-unit district process, showing the location and size of the main elements of the site. The final step, the precise implementation plan, is essentially covered by the building permit process, Sayre told the Press.
The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.