P&Z OKs apartments; developers must meet conditions

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Eastern white pine trees, a 6-foot chain-link fence and a 30-foot-wide green space are needed to screen a proposed apartment development from nearby homes along Alta Vista Drive, the Cape Girardeau Planning and Zoning Commission said Wednesday.

Commissioners recommended the city council approve the request of developers to add four new apartment buildings to the two-building Collegewood Apartments complex at 807 N. Sprigg St.

But commissioners, after hearing from concerned neighbors, suggested the council should require trees, a fence and green space as conditions for the permit. The issue is expected to come before the council in February.

The commission also recommended that a 14-foot driveway on Sprigg Street be widened to 24 feet to provide a second Sprigg Street entrance and exit to the apartment complex.

The vote on the development request was 9-1. Commissioner R.J. McKinney voted against the proposed apartment project, expressing concern about the proposed second driveway which also serves the Ratliff Care Center.

McKinney said the second entrance driveway would create traffic problems next to the nursing home, a concern shared by the operators of the nursing home. "It is an accident waiting to happen," McKinney said.

Project architect Tom Holshouser said the property already is zoned for apartments and developers E.W. and Jody Geiser could seek to subdivide the land to proceed with the project if the special-use permit wasn't granted.

John Voss, who lives at 834 Alta Vista Drive, said he doesn't want more apartment buildings in his neighborhood. But if the project is to proceed, the city should make certain that the developers screen the complex from nearby homes, he said.

Rezone request rebuffed

In other action, the commission unanimously denied a request by Dalhousie golf course and subdivision developers to rezone a 6-acre tract bordering Bloomfield Road near the Benton Hill area west of Interstate 55 from residential to commercial.

Developers wanted the land rezoned to allow for construction of commercial shops to serve a subdivision of homes and condominiums that are proposed to be built nearby.

But residents in neighboring subdivisions off Bloomfield Road objected to the rezoning request, expressing concern about allowing business development to intrude on the residential area.

Earl Norman, who owns more than 100 acres across the road from the proposed site, said the city shouldn't approve such rezoning when there currently are no specific plans on what businesses would be included.

Jerry Kinder, who lives on White Oaks Lane off Bloomfield Road, worried that rezoning would lead to a proliferation of businesses. "Pretty soon all of Bloomfield Road out there would be commercial," he said.

Commissioner Harry Rediger said it's premature to rezone the land right now.

McKinney said it would have been spot zoning to rezone the land when it currently is surrounded by land that is zoned residential.

In other business, the commission recommended approval of special-use permits:

* For a day spa at 151 S. Spanish St.

* For mini-storage units near 2525 Highway 177.

* For a Sonic Restaurant in the North Pointe Center development on North Kingshighway.

mbliss@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 123

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