A section of Todds Road will likely see more traffic in coming years.
On Thursday, two separate developments in the same block on Todds Road received preliminary approval from the Urban County Planning Commission.
The planning commission voted 8 to 1 approve a zone change from agricultural urban to high density apartment for a 125-unit, three-story senior housing complex on 8 acres at 3300 Todds Road.
It also voted unanimously to approve several zone changes at 3450 and 3550 Todds Road for 88 townhouses on land that was formerly the driving range and parking lot of the former Andover Golf and Country Club. In addition, the commission approved a zone change for the former club house to a business zone. Developer Anderson Communities plans on putting a restaurant in the former club house space.
Zone changes for both project must still be approved by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council.
The proposed 125 unit, three-story senior housing complex will be located behind the Baptist Church of Andover. It will be built by Clover Communities, a developer of senior apartments.
City planning staff had recommended the zone change not be approved because of concerns about access to the complex. The developers had proposed people living in the senior housing units use the church entrance off of Todds Road. Planning staff said there were concerns about the use of that entrance for a variety of reasons. It also wanted more entrances from the south of the property to provide better connectivity with the surrounding neighborhoods.
Without that connectivity through Putter Lane or Andover Woods Lane it would take fire crews more than five minutes to get to the property if there was a fire, city planning staff said.
Nick Nicholson, a lawyer who represents Clover Communities, said they had to keep the Todd Road entrance. They had promised adjoining neighborhoods the senior apartment complex would not add unnecessary traffic into the surrounding neighborhood streets.
Nicholson said they have worked with the surrounding neighborhoods and reduced the height of the apartments from 4 to the 3 stories and have agreed not to use vinyl siding.
But several people from the surrounding neighborhoods told the commission the size of the building was out of character with the largely one and two-story homes that surround it on three sides.
“It completely dwarfs the neighborhoods that surround it,” said Irvine Hurst, who lives at nearby Andover Club Villas.
Others had concerns with traffic and the design of the building.
The commission voted to approve the zone change. But state transportation officials still must sign off on the use of the Todds Road entrance for the senior apartment complex. Todds Road is a state road.
A plan by Anderson Communities to build 88 townhouses was developed with the six neighborhood associations who purchased the former Andover Golf and Country Club last year after it went into bankruptcy. Anderson Communities has an option to purchase the approximately 18 acres from the consortium of neighborhood associations.
The plan includes adding 70 townhouses on land that was once a driving range. An additional 18 townhouses will be on land that is now a parking lot.
Richard Murphy, a lawyer for Anderson Communities, said the townhouses will be built by Jimmy Nash, who built the original townhouses on the Andover golf course.
Murphy said they hope to have a public restaurant in what was once the clubhouse, which has been closed for more than a year.
Nathan Billings, a lawyer who represents the six homeowner associations, said Anderson Communities spent months with the Andover neighborhood group on the proposed development. The remaining 145 acres of what was once the golf course will remain green space, he said.
But not everyone in the Andover area liked Anderson’s proposal.
There are drainage and traffic issues in that area, some neighbors told the commission.
Clyde Honaker said the driving range does not drain and showed the commission video of standing water on that driving range. There’s only a 24-inch storm drain in that area, he said.
“What’s going to happen now that we have 70 townhouses,” Honaker said. “Can a 24-inch storm drain take all of this?”
Murphy said the developer has to address storm water drainage in its final development plan, which has to be approved before construction can begin.