Southmoor Gardens Neighborhood Association

Letter Regarding Rezoning Plans

Posted in: Southmoor Gardens
As you probably know by now, a 21-unit townhouse project has been proposed for the currently vacant site at 71st and Metcalf, and the developer has applied for a change in zoning from R-1 to R-3. The Planning Commission has given its approval to this rezoning, and the next step is approval by the City Council.
Many of our neighbors are opposed to this rezoning and to the proposed Katie?¹s Row project, which will consist of rows of attached ?³townhomes?² (some as high as four stories) lining the street on Metcalf and on 71st St., with attached garages in the interior of the project and access by way of an alley opening off 71st St. (and right-turn-only access to and from Metcalf). The feeling of those opposed to the project is that it is a radical change for our single-family neighborhood and that it presents a number of problems, including those relating to traffic and drainage.
A NOTE OF CAUTION: As might be expected, feelings are running quite high about this matter, which has led to some comments of an alarmist nature posing a threat of condemnation of existing homes should this rezoning be approved. Presumably, this is based on the planner?¹s remarks concerning handling of the drainage problem, seen as being solved in one of three ways: an easement from the adjacent property owner on Broadmoor (preferred), an extra-long connection to the sewer line on 71st St. (expensive), or condemnation of a storm sewer easement -- ?³an action the Governing Body has not previously taken due to concerns about condemning private property for a private developer and the cost of a lengthy legal process...?² You will notice that there is no mention here of taking anyone?¹s home.
We are facing an issue that has nothing to do with condemnation of private property. Whether or not the city has any such ideas has no connection with the outcome of the Council?¹s hearing on the rezoning request, and vice versa.
If you are interested in what will happen to the property in question, here are two dates to keep in mind:
Wednesday, December 14th: A meeting has been arranged for the developer to discuss his plan with Southmoor Garden neighbors. This will be at 7:30 PM in the cafeteria of Queen of the Holy Rosary School, 71st and Metcalf. Access is by way of stairs on the southwest end of the school (back side). The developer, James Harpool, has expressed an interest in our suggestions for changes to the project. Keep in mind that he will be our guest at this meeting -- we are hoping the meeting will generate more light than heat.
Monday, December 19th: The City Council meeting that will consider the proposed rezoning. This will be at 7:30 PM, at City Hall, 85th and Antioch. We will be presenting the neighborhood?¹s concerns, and we are hoping for a good turn-out.

Also, keep in mind that Thursday, January 19th, is our regular, bi-monthly meeting night -- program to be announced (suggestions welcome).

By Joan Wagstaff
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