Red Gate developer moves forward

BLYTHEWOOD – The Blythewood Planning Commission is expecting to see major amendments next month to a proposed development plan for two parcels on Blythewood Road (between Syrup Mill Road and Muller Road) that are facing a rezoning by the Commission that their developer and owner do not want.

The Red Gate properties are presently zoned as a Planned Development District (PDD). Because the properties have been dormant for the past ten years, however, the Commission has the option, under its zoning ordinance, to revert the PDD zoning back to Rural.

The property is owned by Arthur State Bank, and attorney Bob Fuller told the Commission last month that development had been on hold for the past decade because of a lack of access to utilities and infrastructure needs in that area, and that the bank had been unable to sell the properties for that reason.

Reverting the zoning back to Rural, Fuller said at the December Planning Commission meeting, would have been a “terrible blow.”

Blythewood town administrator Brian Cook updated the commission Monday night on what he expects the developer’s/owner’s planned changes for the area might be. Among possible amendments are the removal of an apartment complex that was included in the PDD zoning.

He also said the developer has expressed a desire to cooperate with those restrictions.

“We do not know exactly what they will propose as of yet,” Cook said. “Less density was discussed, but a potential purchaser is reviewing the development options and will be working with town leaders on any future development.”

On Monday, Cook told the commission that the issue regarding utility and infrastructure access appeared to have been resolved.

“There does appear to be a transaction in process to at least get something started,” Cook stated. “Whether they want to stick with the Planned Development District or go to another will be a conversation we will have to have, but there is some activity.

“They are [working on] an amendment that materially affects the characteristics of the plan,” Cook said.

Once the amendments are determined, Cook said the development will essentially “start back from scratch,” returning to the planning commission for approval of the site plans.

The owner and developer must submit new plans before the commission can make further decisions on the matter.

Cook said the timeframe for that may be sooner rather than later.

“This developer is, I think, on a pretty aggressive timeframe to get something started,” Cook said.

Cook said the proposed Red Gate plans no longer include property owned by Sharpe Properties. While the zoning is the same, he said he expects Sharpe to seek commercial development at that location at a later time.

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