Despite some vocal opposition from nearby residents, a 45-acre, 167-lot subdivision in the Alvaton community won approval from the City-County Planning Commission of Warren County on Thursday.
Meeting via videoconference, the planning commission voted 8-2 to recommend for approval a zone change for a subdivision being put together by developer Michael Vitale and his newly formed VISAAC limited liability corporation.
Vitale, also a partner in downtown Bowling Green’s The Vue and Lenox Place apartment complexes and the Stagner Farms subdivision being developed along Elrod Road, is aiming for an affordably priced subdivision on property that borders on both Old Scottsville Road and Scottsville Road.
Divided into three sections, the development will include homes ranging from a minimum size of 1,200 square feet in a 17.5-acre section closest to Scottsville Road and homes of at least 1,600 square feet in two other sections.
With home prices estimated to range from $180,000 to $260,000, the development would seem to help meet a need for medium-priced housing, but some neighboring residents expressed opposition to the types of homes in the development and the high density of 3.7 homes per acre.
Eric Sack, who lives on Twin Bridges Road near the development, was one of four residents who joined the videoconference to speak against the plan to rezone the acreage from agriculture and residential estate to single-family residential.
“I’ve lived out here for 31 years,” Sack said. “This zone change is not in any way compatible with what’s out there now. You’ll find mostly homes of 2,500 square feet or larger in this Scottsville Road corridor.
“There are plenty of places to do this type of development, but it doesn’t need to be along this main road.”
Another Twin Bridges Road resident, Keith Porter, expressed similar concerns and also brought up the potential for a negative impact on the nearby Alvaton Elementary School.
“It will have a big impact on the school,” Porter said. “With this many houses, it’s going to create a lot of traffic problems. It just doesn’t fit into the property around it.”
Chris Davenport, the attorney representing Vitale, pointed out that the development calls for sidewalks on both sides of the development’s interior streets and that the plans call for no vinyl exteriors on homes.
“Compatibility doesn’t mean homes that are identical” to neighboring developments, Davenport told the commissioners. “With the quality of construction, I think this development is compatible.”
The majority of the commissioners agreed, giving their OK to the rezoning that now will go to Warren Fiscal Court for final approval.
Commission member Sandy Clark, who represents the city of Plum Springs, voted against the rezoning, as did new Smiths Grove representative Debbie Richey. Commission member Mary Vitale abstained from the vote.
In other action taken at Thursday’s meeting, the commissioners voted 11-0 to recommend for approval a rezoning of 4.68 acres at 5557 Nashville Road that could lead to a hotel development on property near the South Industrial Park.
The Bowling Green Area Economic Development Authority applied for the rezoning from heavy industrial to highway business.
“We are rezoning the property to sell it for its highest and best use,” said Ron Bunch, president and CEO of the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce.
According to the rezoning application, the property at Nashville Road and Central Avenue will be developed into a hotel of up to six stories and other commercial uses.
Paul Patel, a hotel developer from Portland, Tenn., said he is looking for a hotel brand for the property. He said the hotel will probably be only “four or five” stories.
Close proximity to Interstate 165 through Nashville Road and the Southwest Parkway now being built to connect the South Industrial Park to Russellville Road makes the site a good fit for a hotel, according to Patel.
Attorney Tad Pardue, representing the EDA, said: “There aren’t any lodging facilities there. With visitors to the plants (in the industrial park) and truck drivers, there is a need for overnight lodging in that part of town.”
Another rezoning application recommended unanimously for approval Thursday could lead to more apartments near downtown.
Developer Mitch Wright of Trident Properties of Bowling Green is proposing to build six multi-family residential units on the 0.45-acre site at 1114 and 1124 Kenton St. that he wants rezoned from two-family residential to townhouse/multi-family residential.
That rezoning and the Nashville Road rezoning will go to the Bowling Green City Commission for final approval.
The planning commission did not take action Thursday on a rezoning application from the Warren County School District Finance Corp. on 1.3 acres at 2100 Elrod Road.
A hearing on the application to rezone the property near Jody Richards Elementary School from planned unit development to public was postponed.
Woodburn Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bob Skipper said in 2018 that the fire department has plans to construct a storm shelter and a two-bay fire station on the property to better serve the growing number of residential developments in the area.
Planning Commission Executive Director Ben Peterson said the commission’s offices at 922 State St. will open to the public Monday on a limited basis as coronavirus restrictions are slowly lifted.
According to the planning commission website, all plats, plans, applications or other documents should be submitted electronically if possible. For those who must come into the office, masks or appropriate face coverings are required. Social distancing and capacity limitations will be enforced.
Peterson said he expects the July 16 planning commission meeting to again be held electronically.