Apartments will be coming to the area across Three Springs Road from Basil Griffin Park, just not as soon as originally planned.
A plan for a 48-unit gated townhome apartment complex presented by the Three Springs Hospitality LLC headed by local hotelier Andy Vanmali won approval Thursday from the City-County Planning Commission of Warren County more than five years after a larger apartment proposal on nearby property was shot down in favor of a single-family development.
Vanmali’s plan to rezone a 5.56-acre tract from agriculture to multi-family residential won unanimous approval from the planning commission despite opposition from residents of the Silver Springs subdivision and the neighboring Spring Lakes subdivision that is being developed on property originally targeted for a multi-family development.
The property sandwiched between those two subdivisions is now planned to be home to what Vanmali’s attorney described as an upscale development similar to “brownstone” apartments with one gated entrance from Three Springs Road.
“That’s going to be a really nice housing option,” attorney Chris Davenport said. “It will be brick and stone, with garages on the bottom.”
Davenport, who represented Silver Springs subdivision residents opposed to a multi-family proposal in 2017, also said the development that is directly across from Aviation Heritage Park will include fencing and landscape buffers and will be designed to accommodate the planned widening of Three Springs Road.
That widening, discussed for years, is now nearing a right-of-way acquisition phase that could transform the area.
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 3 Chief Engineer Joe Plunk said KYTC will be working during 2023 to appraise and acquire rights of way.
Construction isn’t slated to begin until 2025 on a project that will widen Three Springs Road from where the five-lane section ends at the entrance to Flealand to near the entrance to Foundation Christian Academy.
The project will include a new bridge over Interstate 165, and Plunk said Friday that it also includes redesigning the Smallhouse Road-Three Springs Road intersection for a roundabout.
Despite those planned road improvements, residents of those neighboring subdivisions spoke in opposition to Vanmali’s plan at Thursday’s meeting.
“This isn’t compatible with the surrounding area,” said Denise Cossel, a Silver Springs subdivision resident who pointed out that the previous 304-unit multi-family development on nearby property was voted down by the planning commission.
A total of six residents of the two subdivisions spoke against the development, citing traffic and drainage concerns, before the zone change was approved. It will go to Warren Fiscal Court for final approval.
Vanmali’s wasn’t the only residential development to win approval Thursday.
Ben Thornton of Thornton Investments LLC had his plan for a 202-lot subdivision on 114.6 acres near the intersection of Scottsville Road and Davenport Road approved in a 5-0 vote.
Thornton’s plan calls for houses of at least 1,800 square feet with two-car garages.
The development’s density of 1.76 dwelling units per acre is high in comparison to some nearby neighborhoods in the Alvaton area, but Davenport pointed out in his representation of Thornton that an adjoining development has a density of 2.55 units per acre.
Thornton’s plan met with little opposition, but Davenport Road resident Ferrell Cosby did testify against it.
“I’ve lived in Alvaton my entire life,” Cosby said. “I built on a dead-end road for privacy. Now my privacy and my way of life are gone.”
Also approved at Thursday’s meeting:
• The application of Carolyn Kates-Glass to rezone 4.24 acres at 766 Matlock-Old Union Road from agriculture to residential estate and rural residential in order to divide the property into a maximum of two single-family residential lots.
• The application of Matthew and Adrian Hardy of Handy Homes LLC to rezone 9.5 acres near 1395 Girkin Road from agriculture to residential estate in order to divide the acreage into nine residential lots.
• An application from Bader Nasser Jaber of Jaber Properties LLC to rezone 1.95 acres at 2424 and 2428 Russellville Road from highway business to multi-family residential in order to develop a 21-unit apartment complex.
• Annie Austin’s application to rezone 4.82 acres at 12250 Nashville Road in the Woodburn area from agriculture to residential estate in order to subdivide the property into two single-family residential lots.
• The application of Wayne and Elva Overholt to rezone 1.85 acres at 2456 Russellville Road from highway business to light industrial.
One final application, from Marvin and Ruth Ann Benoit, aimed to change the Future Land Use Map designation and zoning at 3379 Claypool-Boyce Road in order to continue operation of an after-market carburetor assembly business, but it was defeated.
The Benoits brought the application after it was found that operating the carburetor business in their residential estate zone put them in non-compliance with zoning regulations.
One neighboring resident, April Fike, urged the commissioners to deny the application, citing noise and safety concerns.
“You go outside and it sounds like Beech Bend,” Fike said. “It’s affecting the entire subdivision. It’s very selfish of them to make a whole neighborhood suffer because you don’t want to move your business. I urge you to deny this.”
The commissioners did. City of Oakland representative Gayla Cissell made a motion to deny the Future Land Use amendment to change the property’s designation from agriculture to industrial, and the motion passed 5-4.
Cissell was joined by commissioners Evan Brown, Dharmi Shah, Rick Starks and Tim Graham in voting to deny. Greg Gay, Debbie Richey, Christiaan Volkert and Shannon Blackburn voted against the motion.