The Denison City Council recently voted for a zoning change for the construction of a new townhome development at the northeast corner of College Boulevard and Eisenhower Parkway. The development previously saw some opposition from neighboring residents when it was presented to the Denison Planning and Zoning Commission in October.
The action changes the zoning from planned development for manufactured homes to planned development for townhomes. It passed unanimously with little discussion by the council, though council members Kris Spiegel and Bill Malvern were absent from the meeting. Likewise, no one spoke in opposition to the request from the public.
Plans for the three-acre development feature 30 single-family townhomes facing along College Boulevard and Willow Grove Road. As part of the development, the project will also include a right-of-way for Willow Grove Road, which will be built out at developer expense.
During the previous meeting with P&Z, several neighboring homeowners spoke out in opposition to the project. Concerns raised about the project ranged from worries of placing a two-story development near single-story residential homes, the impact on local traffic and the need to expand roadways to meet the new demand.
The meeting packet for the council’s meeting included four written responses from area homeowners, with three voicing opposition to the project and one in favor.
In her response to the city, Lila Myser wrote that she originally thought the project would be single-family, brick homes similar to those already existing in the neighborhood. Myser wrote that she felt the density, when including tenants family and friends, would cause significant street parking on College Street.
Myser also argued that the development would have a negative impact on the environment as it would require the removal of trees and the added traffic would cause air pollution.
Staff noted that about 6 percent of property owners within the notification boundary responded with opposition to letters notifying them of the zoning request. This low opposition percentage did not create any additional requirements beyond a simple majority for the item to pass.
Denison Planning Manager Steven Doss said the planned development designation gives developers some flexibility with regards to some city standards. For this project, the lots will be at least 2,400 square feet with at least 450 square feet designated for a rear yard.
The development will also differ from city standards with regard to minimum lot width, Doss said. While the city standard calls for a 40-foot width, the development will feature 24 foot-wide lots. Doss said this is closer to industry standard than the city’s requirements.
“Really, 40-foot townhomes are pretty much a mansion,” Doss said during the meeting.