Cobblestone Developer Pulls R-4 Request

BLYTHEWOOD – More than six months after developer D.R. Horton requested rezoning of the Cobblestone Park subdivision, the request is still being bounced back and forth between Town Council and the Planning Commission, undergoing intense scrutiny particularly by members of those boards who live in Cobblestone Park. But on Monday evening, an end appeared to be sight.

During Monday’s Planning Commission meeting Tom Margle, an engineer representing D.R. Horton, said the developer had agreed to the two boards’ requests to forgo the R-4 zoning it had requested at the gated neighborhood’s entrance. The developer had already backed off an earlier plan to build model homes on the R-4 lots, which members of Town Council had told Margle last week were not acceptable to Council.

Even though the item was listed on the agenda as a discussion item (not an item to be voted on), the Commission agreed in a pole (vote) to remove the R-4 zoning designation. But it was soon clear that there was no real agreement or understanding between the developer and the town government as to how that parcel would now be zoned.

In a memo sent to members of the Commission following the meeting, Malcolm Gorge, Chairman of the Commission, wrote that the vote to remove the R-4 zoning designation, “leaves those lots more or less as common areas.”

As common areas, they could not be built on but would be reserved for park-like areas for residents, Gorge told The Voice.

Immediately following the meeting, however, Ross Oakley, an engineer with Thomas & Hudson (representing D.R. Horton) told the Town’s Planner Michael Criss and Town Administrator Gary Parker that he was not sure whether the developer wanted the area left as common area or as it is currently zoned – TC (Town Center District) which, according to Criss, would allow multi-story buildings and commercial ventures at the entrance to Cobblestone.

On Tuesday morning, Parker told The Voice that the developer had contacted Town Hall, agreeing to not only rescind the request for R-4 zoning but to let that area be brought into the PDD (Planned Development District) and remain a common or open area. Parker said the zoning process would go to Council where it would have a public hearing and two readings, the first of which will probably be Feb. 23. The zoning should be finalized by the end of March, Parker said.

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