The City-County Planning Commission approved Thursday the rezoning of property that is planned for Western Kentucky University graduate student housing.

The WKU Student Life Foundation has requested that about 2.63 acres on 13 tracts of land be rezoned from public and multi-family residential to planned-unit development. The property is bounded by Kentucky Street, 13th Avenue East and Alumni Avenue, which was formerly 14th Avenue.

The request must be approved by the Bowling Green City Commission before it goes into effect. No opposition to the request was voiced during the planning commission meeting.

The development on the property will be four stories or less and will be limited to 200,000 square feet, according to the binding elements attached to the rezoning request. It will have a maximum of 250 units.

The conceptual design for the project shows an L-shaped building with frontage along Kentucky Street and some parking in the back.

The property is in Block 16 of the city's Tax Increment Financing District.

The density of the project would be about 95 units per acre, according to the comprehensive plan review. Nearby housing developments have densities ranging from 16.84 units per acre to 87.80 units per acre.

Brian Kuster,  executive director of the WKU Student Life Foundation and director of housing and residence life for WKU, said construction of the facility will start as soon as possible after all necessary approval is given.

It is expected to open to students in August 2014, he said.

Though there is some parking behind the facility, more would be provided to residents of the development by the university, Kuster said.

"We are working with the university to create additional dedicated parking just for these apartments, so they would have individual spots," he said.

About 75 percent of students who live on campus have an automobile, he said.

The housing will be primarily for graduate students and will probably be leased by the apartment.

The planning commission also approved a rezoning request from Larkin Ritter and Bennie Jones, of Jones and Ritter, LLC, to rezone 84.41 acres of property on Plano Road from agriculture and residential estate to residential estate.

Jones and Ritter are both members of the planning commission but did not sit on the commission during the meeting Thursday.

The property is set to be divided into a maximum of 70 single-family residential lots a minimum of one acre in size.

A detailed development plan for a men's addiction recovery campus, which had originally been set for consideration at Thursday's meeting, was withdrawn by the applicant late last week.

The rezoning for property on Old Louisville Road where the facility is planned was approved by the Bowling Green City Commission in June, but the decision was appealed by neighbors including the Barren River Area Safe Space. A decision on that appeal has yet to be announced.

The applicant can refile a detailed development plan, said Steve Hunter, executive director of the planning commission.

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