A Lexington planning body voted Thursday to allow 14 upscale townhouses on Tates Creek Road despite opposition from neighbors of the new development.
The Urban County Planning Commission voted unanimously Thursday to rezone approximately two acres on Tates Creek Road between Rebecca Drive and Albany Road from single-family residential to planned neighborhood residential. Two of the proposed lots are vacant and one has a small house on it.
The zone change now goes to the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council for final approval.
The Off Season LLC project includes 14 townhouses that will be more than two stories high. The proposed townhouses will average 3,000 square feet with attached garages.
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The property is adjacent to the Panagia Pantovasilissa Greek Orthodox Church and across Tates Creek from Immanual Baptist and Tates Creek Christian churches.
Traci Wade, planning manager, told the commission planning staff agreed with the zoning change, saying the Comprehensive Plan encourages more dense development particularly on main roads such as Tates Creek. The development will not have access to the neighborhood streets and residents will enter and exit on Tates Creek.
Darby Turner, a lawyer for Off Season LLC, said the comprehensive plan encourages “infill and redevelopment of underutilized land along corridors.”
“They will be upscale townhouses in keeping with the neighborhood,” Turner said. “It’s not the intent to throw up cheap townhouses for UK students... this is for empty nesters.”
More than 235 people in the Glendover neighborhood oppose the development, neighbors told the commission during Thursday’s meeting.
Neighbors of the development said they were concerned about traffic in and out of the property. People turning into the property will likely cause traffic back ups and accidents, particularly during peak travel times. Others were concerned about the loss of green space. Fourteen town houses was too much for two acres, many told the commission Thursday.
John Douglas of Rebecca Drive said that the land should be used for single-family homes. “There is plenty of land and plenty of homes,” Douglas said.
James Schrader said he has lived in the neighborhood most of his life and is a proponent “of infill development when appropriate.”
Those town houses are not appropriate.
“I think it’s going to stick out like a sore thumb,” Schrader said.
Planning Commission member Karen Mundy said based on the comprehensive’s plan directive to increase infill development rather than to expand the urban service or growth boundary.
“It provides for this type of development,” said Frank Penn, planning commission member.