Fighting for Green Space

Cobblestone Residents Look to P.C. for Help

BLYTHEWOOD (Sept. 8, 2016) – After discovering in July that Cobblestone Park developer D.R. Horton is planning to build six new roads and 74 more homes in what residents thought would remain green space around their homes in the Primrose section of Cobblestone, Lenora Zedosky and about 30 of her Primrose neighbors appeared before the Town’s Planning Commission to protest the development, saying, “We were told (by the developer) that the green space would always be there.”

Zedosky and her neighbors appeared again at Tuesday evening’s Planning Commission meeting to report that four days after their July protest, D.R. Horton upped the ante, displaying in the Cobblestone Clubhouse an entirely different road/housing plan for the Primrose section that included two more roads and 10 more new homes.

“In this new plan, the backs of homes would face Primrose, which is the primary entrance into our neighborhood,” Zedosky said. “To our knowledge, the new plan has not been presented to Council, but is already being marketed. That’s a great concern to us. It’s an entirely different plan than was approved by you in October 2014.

“We are not trying to stop all development,” Zedosky continued. “We just want a buffer and no clear cutting, which has been the habit we’ve seen so far.”

Commission Chairman Buddy Price asked Town Administrator Gary Parker to confirm that the developer cannot move forward with the proposed construction until it comes before the Planning Commission for approval.

Parker agreed.

“We had a meeting with the developer about a week ago and saw the new proposal, but there’s a ways to go,” Parker reassured Zedosky.

Following the meeting, Michael Criss, the Town’s Planning Consultant, reviewed for The Voice the steps the developer will need to complete in order to progress to the construction and sales stages of the project.

“After the developer brings a sketch plan to the Town Administrator, he will then send it to the Planning Commission for a preliminary plat approval,” Criss said.

“That’s a full civil engineering plan – roads, street drainage, water, sewer, as well as other infrastructure,” Criss said. “At that point, if the plan is approved by the Commission, work can begin on the infrastructure (grading, pipes in the ground, sidewalks, paving, etc.) When this work is finished, the developer will bring a final plat to the Commission for approval. When that’s approved, they can start selling.”

Asked if the Commission had the authority to outright turn down the plan because of the residents’ objections, Criss said any approval or disapproval must follow zoning regulations spelled out in Chapter 153 of the Town’s zoning ordinances.

“The developer has already been given the authority to build so many homes, so the Commission can make some suggestions for the plan, but there is just so much land available to build on. We have to be fair with how the houses and streets are arranged to accommodate what has been approved,” Parker said.

Franklin Elected Chairman

In other business, the Commission members unanimously elected Commissioner Bryan Franklin as Chairman. Buddy Price said he was stepping down from the Planning Commission after six years to give someone else an opportunity to serve.