Council delays vote on rezoning
by JOYANNA LOVE Banner Senior Staff Writer
Apr 15, 2014 | 630 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Community concern and a developer’s desire to stay on good terms with the Avenwood subdivision prompted the Cleveland City Council to delay a vote on rezoning approximately 1.86 acres on 56th Street during a meeting Monday.

The Council approved a motion by District 5 Councilman Dale Hughes to have the issue discussed again at the Cleveland Municipal Planning Commission.

Subdivision residents said the sign announcing the possible rezoning and initial planning commission meeting to discuss it was hidden by bushes.

“One of my major issues is up until a couple of weeks ago near the entrance of the subdivision there was a lot of foliage hiding the sign,” resident David Moore said.

Moore said city planner Corey Divel had to ask a resident who works for the city to use a more visible location for the sign.

Moore submitted a petition with 33 signatures against the rezoning.

Developer Joe Pesterfield requested the land to be rezoned from AR agricultural residential to R-2 residential, in order to build seven duplexes on the site.

Moore made repeated requests that the subdivision residents be given the chance to address concerns with the Planning Commission.

After much discussion, Pesterfield also requested the vote be delayed.

Pesterfield later asked for a delay on the rezoning, so he would have time to meet with three representatives from the subdivision and present his detailed plans.

During Monday’s voting session, a number of residents voiced concerns ranging from increased traffic to the project’s proximity to their property.

Moore said the additional houses would increase traffic on 56th Street. Concerns were voiced that the road was too narrow to handle the increase of vehicles pulling onto and off the road from driveways.

“There is also a blind curve that curves around the tail of the old airport where these lots lie, and if you increase traffic on that, that curve becomes relatively dangerous,” Moore said. “There is also a concern of decreased property values.”

Part of the property value concerns stemmed from whether the duplexes will be similar to rental properties across the street. Currently, the undeveloped land serves as a buffer between the subdivision and the rental properties. However, the property is zoned for residential construction.

Pesterfield assured the subdivision residents he was building the units to be sold, not rented.

“That has never been the intent,” Pesterfield said. “We have no plans to do any rental units.”

He said the duplexes would still be separated from the subdivision by a detention pond.

“This unit we are talking about is two bedrooms, two baths. This unit has been built in town [and] most of the people who live there are empty nesters,” Pesterfield said. “You are not going to have real high-density [occupation]. It wouldn’t detract from the community.”

Moore had concerns those who purchased the residential units would rent them.

Pesterfield developed Avenwood Subdivision and his son built most of the houses.

“No one would do a better job of blending it in with the community,” Pesterfield said.

Moore said he would not have a problem with single-family homes.

Resident Andrea Lockerby also expressed safety concerns due to increased traffic because of the number of children in the area.

Concerns were also expressed over a lack of information on how the duplexes would be placed on the lots.

The Planning Commission meets tonight at 6.

n Traffic concerns were also expressed by a homeowner on Parkwood Trail.

John Schrenkel said there have been issues with speeders trying to take advantage of “roller coaster hill.” He said the narrow road presented safety concerns when people retrieve their mail.

Stops signs were suggested as a deterrent.

“This issue has come before the Council many times,” Vice Mayor Avery Johnson said.

Councilman At-Large George Poe said using speed bumps or a speed table may be a better option.

Public Works director Tommy Myers said based on the research the department uses to determine whether a three-way stop is needed, the intersection in question does not qualify.

However, he said stop signs could be installed if the Council decides it would solve the issue.

Poe said a similar issue was solved on Villa Drive by installing stop signs. He made a motion to have the intersection of Cookdale Avenue and Parkwood Trail made a three-way stop.

The motion was passed unanimously.

n Also during the meeting, Bryan Turner was named property maintenance official. Turner will be working in the Development and Engineering office to ensure condemned structures are being turn down.