Madison council discusses planning amendments
By Stephanie Johns
Madison councilmen did not have to vote on a zoning text amendment dealing with the addition of event facilities.
Applicant Dan Moore of Monroe withdrew his request for the amendment following negative public comment shared during the public hearing.
Moore wanted to put in an event facility as a stand-alone business at his office space in Jefferson Square Parkside.
He said that in the time since he has made his original request the association at Jefferson Square has made changes to what will be allowed in that mixed-use facility.
“I’ve lost my right just because I brought it up,” he said. He added that the residents bought their homes under the same covenants he did.
The association no longer allows restaurants in that facility, nor amplified music, he said.
Ronald Reich, Linda Conrads, Guy Notte, Mike Conrads, Vickie Hunt, and Karen Wibell voiced their opposition to the amendment.
Reich said residents were told that retail businesses would be open during the day but closed when the residents would be at home.
He also mentioned concerns about noise, traffic, potential garbage buildup, potential intoxication of event facility guests, and “a further decline in property values.”
In addition to Reich’s concerns, Linda said that she worried someone might block her access to her ramp. She also spoke about security concerns.
Notte said that Jefferson Square Parkside is “a very, very unique and beautiful residential and retail facility.”
“The thought of putting in an event facility is unconscionable,” he said.
Mike said there are more options to consider. He noted that the close vote of the planning commissioners – five in favor and four against – “reflects the contentious issue.”
Hunt reiterated noise concerns.
“I can hear everything the real estate agent says on the phone,” she said, speaking of one of her neighbors.
Wibell said when it comes to the adage “buyer beware” the residents were aware.
“These are smart people and they’ve all been blindsided,” she said.
Councilmen approved a zoning text amendment regarding Planned Residential Districts (PRD) regulations.
Councilman Michael Naples originally made the motion to amend PRD regulations so that PRDs are restricted from the historic district.
Once the council approved Naples’ motion it went to the Morgan County Planning and Zoning Commission. At that meeting public comment prompted planning commissioners to further clarify the language of the PRD regulations.
The amendment made its way back to the mayor and council for approval.
In its final form it reads as follows:
“Additionally, any proposed Planned Residential District (PRD) that lies wholly or partially within the historic Preservation Overlay District shall be limited to single family (detached) units, thereby precluding any new two-family or multi-family units in the district.”
Printed in the January 24, 2013 edition.