Saturday, March 7, 2009

Jennings Plus Neighborhood Association members meet with developer about proposed rezoning of four lots

Mr. and Mrs. Steve Winkler, who own several lots and mostly single-family rental houses on East South Street between South College Avenue and South Washington Avenue shared their plan to ask the planning commission to approve rezoning a quarter-acre lot at the intersection of S. College and E. South Street. They shared a proposed project, which would depend on rezoning from neighborhood conservation to Downtown General. The project would involve building a 12-unit rental building with a variety of studio apartments that would replace two nice little single-family homes on that quarter acre that now has several mature trees and a grassy open space.
The Winklers said that the 3-story building would allow the apartments to enclose about 400 square feet each with differences in decor and included features to account for projected rent varying from as low as $310 per month to $510 per month.
They also said that their target tenants would be people working nearby, particularly on the Fayetteville square or Dickson Street and maybe working at minimum wage. They said that the project was geared to graduate students and people in the category of Workforce.
Each of the 12 apartments on the quarter acre would be provided an off-site parking space and secure space for bicycle storage, the Winklers said.
The neighbors viewed a couple of photos of the sort of building projected to be built but there was no concept drawing. In fact, getting the rezoning doesn't require a concept drawing.
The Jennings Plus Neighborhood Association was formed to protect the area's primarily single-family character, the vice president stated.
Various people pointed out the dangerous access to the area because of narrow streets and steep slopes. They estimated that 12 cars would add to the traffic danger at the point where S. College meets Archibald Yell and where South Street crosses Archibald Yell.
Others asked where the stormwater runoff from a paved parking lot and a probably increased roofed area would be detained on the site to prevent downstream flooding.
It was a cordial meeting, but it was clear that the residents of the neighborhood who appeared at the meeting remained committed to maintaining the single-family home model that was advertised as the main selling point of the Walker Park Master Plan.
The rezoning request is to be considered Monday night by the Faetteville Planning Commission. Everyone is welcome to comment on the plan when it is presented to the commission on Monday.
AN AUB-UNIQUE personal comment as the owner of a home in the Jennings Plus neighborhood is pretty simple:
If the Winklers borrow a single dollar for this project, they will create a risk that the project will never be completed but environmental and social damage will occur in the process with no funding for repair or mitigation.
That means that should work stop after one (or both) of the existing houses has been destroyed and before the new building is completed, then low-income renters will have been displaced from "low-income" housing for no reason.
No one asked the Winklers what would become of the displaced renters should this project go forth.
Members of the Jennings Plus neighborhood assured the Winklers that the questions about the project were not personal. They were about the very reasons for the formation of the neighborhood association: To protect and enhance the single-family neighborhood with the personal friendships and broad-based tolerance of the diversity of lifestyles, educational and economic level of the residents.
Thanks to the Winklers for taking the time to visit with some of the people who live in the neighborhood. The planning commission isn't required to pay serious attention to neighborhood concerns when considering rezoning requests. But the neighbors are hoping the Winklers will consider their concerns.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the report on the meeting, Aub. I forgot all about it.
Don't laugh. I have heard you say you forgot a meeting as an excuse and expected us to forgive you. So, please forgive me. You can guess who I am!

Anonymous said...

Neighborhood Conservation. Any questions?