On a contentious evening filled with opposition from nearby residents, the City-County Planning Commission of Warren County agreed Thursday that Alaa Tlais would withdraw his proposal to rezone 0.2397 acres at the northwest corner of Russellville Road and Whispering Hills Boulevard until the commission’s July 18 meeting.
Tlais, a pharmacist who lives on Crossridge Street, applied to rezone the property from townhouse/multi-family residential to general business in order to develop an owner-operated pharmacy. Tlais also requested a variance related to setback in his proposal, but it was revealed that Tlais would need to request a separate variance for a pickup window.
The eight commissioners in attendance decided to postpone official judgment on the proposal after speaking with Tlais during a 10-minute recess and hearing from five area residents who spoke against the development.
“I hope next time I can get your support,” Tlais told the concerned citizens who asked the commission to deny his proposal.
A staff report noted the proposal was consistent with the Future Land Use Map designation of “mixed use/residential,” but the commission was also asked to consider whether commercial development at the entrance of the subdivision would “alter the essential character of the neighborhood.”
In his remarks to the commission, Tlais agreed to several development plan changes – including a maximum building height of 20 feet, monument signage and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. as the hours of operation.
The “14 or 15 changes,” along with the need for an additional variance request, eventually prompted attorney Hamp Moore to call for the proposal to be re-advertised.
Tlais cited his personal experience living on Crossridge Street, where businesses are relatively close to residential areas. Tlais said the commercial development in the area hasn’t been a hindrance or really affected him at all.
Whispering Hills Boulevard resident Toy Baker disagreed. “This is a drastic change that will create more traffic,” Baker said.
She later told Tlais that unlike where he lives, her subdivision doesn’t have a traffic light in the area, so development would make it even harder to exit the neighborhood safely.
“To put a business there at the opening of our subdivision is crazy – it’s absolutely crazy,” Robin Hood Trail resident Karen Henrickson said.
Henrickson’s husband, Charles, also spoke, as well as Meadowbrook Circle resident James Williams and Wilson Wickerham, who owns the property adjacent to the proposed pharmacy on Whispering Hills Boulevard.
“As far as the culture of the neighborhood, I respect everybody that’s spoken so far,” Wickerham said. “I’ve only lived there a year, but they clearly have built their families in that neighborhood and I really hope that that’s considered and the fact that this is a neighborhood that has kids, that has elderly people that are living there and that we should take in great concern and not destroy that they’ve lived there so long.”
In other business, the planning commission approved a motion to recess and reconvene during the June 20 or July 18 meeting after further changes to a proposed amendment to the general development plan for 3.459 acres at 0 Cumberland Trace Road and 165 Old Scottsville Road caused confusion.
Magnolia Lane Investments LLC member Robert Michael Holland explained that he was seeking approval from the commission to add metal siding or panels to the list of permitted building materials for a proposed structure on the site, which is currently zoned for highway business.
Applicants submitted full-color building elevations of the proposed structure along with their proposal and pledged the building would be constructed as depicted in the drawings. But after the commission suggested a rash of changes, Chestnut Hill Court resident John Ross spoke up and let the commission know that he needed to be able to visualize the structure.
“What I’m seeing here today is not a minor amendment to the binding articles,” Ross said. “This is a fairly major change to the structure of what we initially were shown and the neighborhood agreed with, and I would really suggest we come back on another meeting with better drawings of exactly what they want to do, how they’re going to landscape the property and also what piece of this building they’re going to use for expansion.”
Ross agreed to meet with Holland on behalf of his neighborhood, and Holland pledged to come back with new elevations and less ambiguity about his plans.
Ogden Park Property Owners Association Inc. received commission approval to amend the general development plan for 0.99 acres at 1115 Fairview Ave. Retail uses are now allowed on the property, but property attendee Marty Wilkins made it clear he’d be prohibiting several types of retailers, including restaurants, liquor sales and smoke or vape shops.
Property owners Matthew Hardy, Adrian Hardy, Jeff Anderson and Shelly Anderson got approval from the commission to rezone 8.394 acres on the northwest corner of Mt. Olivet Road and Mt. Olivet-Girkin Road from agriculture to residential estate. The development plan calls for the property to be subdivided in a maximum of eight single-family residential lots.
The commission also approved a proposal that changed 26.95 acres owned by The Club at Olde Stone LLC at 4031 Old Scottsville Road from agriculture to planned unit development so that Olde Stone could develop the property with a par 3 golf course and a maximum of 15 lots for single-family residences.
The planning commission’s actions now go to Warren Fiscal Court or the Bowling Green City Commission for final approval.
The planning commission is scheduled to meet again June 20.
– Daily News reporter Drake Kizer may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 270-783-3257.