People in the local real estate business will tell you that Warren County has an inventory shortage in housing, particularly for homes in the $200,000 range.
That could be changing.
Two weeks after giving the OK to a 215-lot subdivision with medium-priced homes on 48 acres along Morehead Road, the City-County Planning Commission of Warren County on Thursday approved rezoning applications for two developments that could add a total of nearly 400 single-family homes to the market.
Builder Jody Allen and Kenway Contracting were approved for rezoning 92 acres along Moorman Lane in northern Warren County, where they plan to develop a 330-lot subdivision.
The SevenPlus limited liability corporation headed by medical doctor Onyeoziri Nwanguma won approval for a rezoning that could lead to 27 twinhomes (54 total residences) being built on Nashville Road just south of Taz Court.
Although both applications were contested by neighboring residents during the meeting held via Zoom teleconference, both are moving on to Warren Fiscal Court for final approval.
Seven different residents in the Moorman Lane area joined the online meeting to speak against Allen’s development, but it passed in an 11-0 vote.
Juanita Rice, who lives on Northridge Drive in the nearby Northridge subdivision that Allen developed, argued that the area doesn’t need another large residential development.
“This road (Moorman Lane) simply can’t handle that much more traffic,” Rice said. “It’s a recipe for disaster.”
Others, like Brian Felker of Fairbanks Avenue, argued that the mid-priced subdivision would depress the value of existing homes. Felker also voiced concern about the Moorman Lane area becoming a construction zone.
“My first concern is the trucks going in and out of a construction zone,” Felker said. “There’s a blind curve there that presents a real concern. It’s fraught with danger.”
Allen explained that the development meets a need in a part of the county that is growing.
“There hasn’t been any new development out here since I did Northridge 10 or 12 years ago,” Allen said. “Since then, the Transpark (industrial park) has continued to be hugely successful, and a new interstate exit has been built.”
Allen also pointed to new commercial development across from Warren East High School and to employment growth at the General Motors Corvette Assembly plant as reasons for needing more housing in the area.
“This development is proposed to keep up with the growth out there,” Allen said.
Allen won approval for rezoning the property from agriculture, residential estate and heavy industrial to single-family residential.
His development plan calls for a maximum of 330 homes that will have at least 1,200 square feet of living space and one-car garages.
He said the development, to be called Harmony subdivision, will be built in phases “over six to 10 years.” He hopes to complete a first phase of 29 homes by the summer of 2021.
The SevenPlus application came before the planning commission for a second time, although in slightly altered form.
A September application included a request for a Future Land Use Map Amendment in order to change the future land use from mixed use/residential to commercial, but a motion to approve the FLUM amendment led to a tie vote.
This time, Nwanguma asked for rezoning a 1.9-acre parcel nearest Nashville Road from agriculture to highway business and for rezoning an adjacent 8.2 acres from agriculture to single-family residential.
His development plan for an unnamed commercial development on the 1.9 acres and the 27 twinhomes on the 8.2 acres was met with opposition from a couple of residents near the proposed development.
Ricky Woodcock, who lives at 394 Dillard Road, said he had concerns about water runoff and the compatibility of the twinhomes with nearby residences and farms.
Attorney David Broderick, representing SevenPlus LLC, argued that the development fits in a part of the county that has been growing.
“We believe the residential portion adds to the area,” Broderick said. “It’s very compatible with this area.”
Broderick said possible uses for the general business portion are a convenience store or a Goodwill store.
The application passed 8-3, with commissioners Shannon Blackburn, Sandy Clark and Debbie Richey voting against it.
Also approved Thursday was an application from Rich Pond Grove LLC and Leslie Carter to rezone 1.9 acres at 240 Rich Pond Road from agriculture to general business.
The applicants plan to put a dentist’s office on the property that is near Rich Pond Elementary School and South Warren High School.
The rezoning, which was approved 11-0 by the planning commission, will go to Warren Fiscal Court for final approval.