Planning Commission OKs apartments, new cell tower | New

Efforts to land an apartment complex in Smiths Grove continue to fail, but two more apartment developments totaling 290 units were approved by the Warren County City-County Planning Commission on Thursday.

At a meeting held on the premises of the Green City Bowling Commission, the commissioners also approved a request for the construction of a wireless communications tower (cell phone) in the community of Oakland which is expected to improve coverage of former Bluegrass Cellular customers now served by Verizon Wireless.

Commissioners approved The Hub at Lovers Lane LLC, led by developer David Chandler, to rezon 9.86 acres along Hub Boulevard and Cooksey Lane from highway business to multi-family residential.

This zoning change, which will go to the City of Bowling Green Commission for final approval, is expected to lead to the development of 210 additional apartments in The Hub, bringing the total number of apartments in the residential and commercial development from 103 acres to 1. 030.

The committee barely met a quorum for the vote on The Hub app. Only representatives from the Town of Bowling Green and County of Warren were eligible to vote on the request under the new commission rules. The zoning went 4-0, Christiaan Volkert abstaining because he has a financial interest in The Hub.

Another 80-apartment development was approved Thursday, this one on the corner of Veterans Memorial Lane and Thames Valley Way.

The application of Ralpeshkumar Patel of Thames Valley Property LLC to dezone 3.9 acres from the highway to multi-family housing will result in a development with a density of 20.52 housing units per acre, but the lawyer Chris Davenport argued that the high density was always a good fit in the area near Preston Miller Park.

“It is bordered on three sides by high density residences and on the other side by the park,” Davenport said. “It’s a very good refill request. “

The Commissioners agreed, first passing an amendment to the future land use map 7-0, and then adopting rezoning 5-0. The zoning change will go to the Town of Bowling Green Commission for final approval.

Another apartment development – this one in Smiths Grove – did not fare as well, even on its third try.

An application by Bryan Groce to develop 48 apartments along Stanley Rice Road in Smiths Grove was rejected by commissioners despite Groce amending an application that failed in July after being withdrawn in June.

The July request, which called for the development of 236 apartments on 12.6 acres, was unanimously rejected in a meeting attended by some two dozen Smiths Grove residents opposed to the plan.

This time, Groce has significantly reduced the development plan.

Lawyer Tad Pardue, representing Groce, told Commissioners: “We hope you understand that these are two totally different proposals. The overall size and scope of the development was the main reason for the rejection of the FLUM amendment last time. “

Pardue pointed out that the development density of Groce has increased from 19 housing units per acre to 13.

As for the other dozen acres that Groce still owns in the area, Pardue said his client has no plans to build more apartments on that property.

Still, some Smiths Grove commissioners and residents have expressed concern that Groce may sell the property to another developer who builds more apartments.

“It seems to me that if you approve this one, you open the door for further development, and there is nothing we can do about it,” said Jim Cushenberry, a Smiths Grove resident. “There is no way that would be compatible with what we have at Smiths Grove.”

Groce’s request for a FLUM amendment failed, so the request to rezone the property was not voted on.

Contrary to this apartment plan, the request by Verizon Wireless and owners Robert Isenberg and Joyce Wiley to put a 250-foot cell tower along Trunk Springs Farm Street near Oakland was accepted without opposition.

Russell Brown, the attorney representing Verizon, said the tower “will fill a gap in this area of ​​the county.”

A document submitted with Verizon’s request explained the need for a new tower.

According to the document: “Currently, the region is experiencing high demand for high-speed wireless data. Growth forecasts triggered the need for an additional site in the region. The tower is required to provide the best experience for all Verizon customers in the region. on their 4G wireless devices. “

Planning Commission executive director Ben Peterson reminded commissioners that the second in a series of public meetings regarding updates to the Focus 2030 Global Plan is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 14 at the Capitol Arts Center.

Peterson said planning committee staff and the focus group will cover current trends in housing, labor, transportation and other topics at the Dec. 14 meeting.

– Follow business reporter Don Sergent on Twitter @BGDNbusiness or visit bgdailynews.com.


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