A proposed assisted living center was a topic of concern for a number of Denison residents who are taking a stance against a development that recently received the approval of the Denison Planning and Zoning Commission.
The Denison Planning and Zoning Commission approved a replat of the property at the corner of Ansley Boulevard near U.S. Highway 75 on Tuesday. Before the commissions approved the measure, there were a number of citizens who raised a variety of concerns about the project.
Mike Broyles has lived on his property for 45 years. At the meeting, he said his issue was over the green belt that runs along Ansley Lane adjacent to U.S. Highway 75.
Commissioner Charles Shearer responded by saying the P&Z has been protective of the green belt in the past and would continue to do so in the future.
Another citizen, Armando Medrano spoke out in opposition of the removal of the trees at the property.
“I live directly south of the development,” Medrano said. “My main concern is all the trees that they are cutting down. I know it is not part of the green belt, but to me, they are beautiful trees. There are several lots around there that are bare with no trees. That is my main concern.”
In regard to the trees, commissioner Mary Karam spoke in favor of preserving the land.
“I want to make a comment as to the trees, too,” Karam said. “We did not have anything in place up until about a year ago in protecting those large trees, and now, we do. So we made steps in that direction. We rejected a variance that would deeply affect this land about two years ago. We’re definitely on track on making the best choices for those lands. It is an area between commercial and residential. Some of the thinking for us is, ‘what would you most like to have in that area that would be favorable to everybody concerned?’ We have to make some tough choices to what that is. This is a much better answer than some of the other possibilities of what could have been put in there.”
Shearer said the city does have protections in place to preserve many of the trees.
“Unfortunately development requires trees be taken out,” Shearer said. “We’re trying to protect that as much as possible.”
Another citizen, Jayna Brown said her concerns were more on the possible impact the development would have on the increased traffic along Ansley Lane.
“Since we have built here, this is our third year, we have noticed highly increased traffic along Ansley Lane,” Brown said. “When I say highly increased I mean if you meet a school bus and you are on Ansley Lane, there is nowhere for you to go. You h ave to back up, retrace or hit the ditch, maybe punch a tire. We’ve had that happen.”
Brown said the street has always been what she considers a cross street. She said since the Walmart came in the traffic has already increased turning it into more of a through street. Her concern was as more development begins to take place what would the impact be on traffic.
Commissioner Brett Evans said he didn’t think the assisted living center was going to bring much new traffic. He said the major source for that was Walmart and Blake Utter Ford.
“I don’t know what further development is going to be happening after the assisted living,” Brown said. “If there is going to be something going in between the car wash and Hampton Inn. But, what is the answer for Ansley Lane that is what I want to know.”
Shearer said he couldn’t predict what future development would look like only that the commission had no choice but to approve the replat as presented due to state law. He said he advised Brown to take her concerns to the city’s public works department to provide them with her comments for consideration in future thoroughfare planning.