First look at Foster project

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By Reann Huber

staff writer

The Madison Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) got its first glimpse at design plans for the Miller Property development at last week’s meeting. A local developer brought a less than complete application for a Certificate of Appropriateness to the Madison Historic Preservation Commission for a 37 home neighborhood off Main Street, to receive conceptual review from commission members and the public before turning in a complete application.

Brad Good and his architect brought designs for the cottages and houses that would be put in place in the 12-plus acre property off of Main Street with an entryway on Foster Street. The overall style of the homes is craftsman, which does not align with the rest of the historic homes on Main Street.

Good’s plan for the neighborhood includes 16 cottages ranging from 1,800 to 2,000-square-feet, and 21 homes ranging from 2,200 to 2,400-sqaure-feet. The cottages will all have free standing garages and the homes will have attached garages in the rear, but will look attached rather than as an original part of the home. A central park is also included in the plan with pedestrian access from Main Street and walking trails.

After the review of Good’s application so far, the public came up to address some of their concerns towards the development of this neighborhood and how it will play out in this historic area.

“I like the idea of getting a variety of houses in here, but from what I’ve seen, I can’t see the difference between any of them,” said one Morgan County resident in reference to the structure of the cottages and houses.

Others voiced their concerns for the style of the homes and how similar the designs presented to the public were. Some also thought the roof on all the homes were far too large if all the homes were meant to be one and a half story homes, but commission members said they have seen this before but it could be due to the elevation of the design.

Once public discussion was closed, commission members addressed the busyness of the designs and suggested Good and his architect keep it simple, but also expand the variety of the current designs so this does not become a “cookie-cutter” neighborhood.

They also noted that the detached garages’ roofs would have to be taken down in height, as there is no special condition to allow for the garage to be 20 feet in height compared to the normal 18 feet.

“This probably has a problem if you try and make it a craftsman village because this is not going to fit the style of Madison,” said commission member Flynn Clyburn. “You’ll have more craftsman in this development than you have in all of Madison together.”

Along with final remarks on “keeping a theme of simplify,” commission members reiterated that there will be no motion to approve the application now, but Good can take in the concerns from the public and advice from commission members to finish his application and potentially receive approval later on.

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