Complexities and differing perspectives behind responsibility and zoning changes pushed developers to remove several items from Maryville Planning Commission’s May meeting agenda late Monday.

A total of four items were withdrawn from Monday’s planning meeting, two during the meeting itself and two before the meeting began.

Five subdivision plans were set for either final or preliminary approval on the agenda. The two withdrawn before the meeting concerned Phase 2 of the Morganton Park subdivision off Paul Lankford Drive and the Brantlin Reserve subdivision off Montgomery lane.

Spyglass Loop subdivision

The first item withdrawn during the meeting was a plan for the Spyglass Loop subdivision in the larger Royal Oaks neighborhood.

Located at Doral and Spyglass drives, it was set for preliminary plat approval. According to maps provided in commissioners’ agenda notes, the subdivision extends Doral Drive South until it ends in a cul-de-sac.

Andy Simon, a representative for the Royal Oaks Property Owners Association Board, said one of two proposed options to develop the area would leave a portion of common area for ROPOA to manage, something the board wanted to avoid.

Additionally, planning staff noted that extending Doral Drive would exceed the maximum length for a dead-end street by 200 feet. Commissioners pointed to this as an issue and referred to the street as having “drag strip” potential if it was any longer.

There were also questions about what two common areas would actually be used for.

Developer Gary Roberts noted the common areas were put on the plat by engineers to meet Planning Commission requirements, but said he would have been in favor of removing them. City Planner Jordan Clark confirmed this was the case.

Simon reiterated that someone was still going to have to take care of not only the common area but the extended road. Roberts indicated he would be willing to help maintain the road, if necessary. Questions of who would ultimately maintain the open spaces remained unanswered during the meeting.

Ultimately, however, Roberts acknowledged there were still a variety of issues and differences facing the development and withdrew it from the agenda with an option to potentially revise current plans.

Belfast Street apartments

The second item removed from the agenda was a rezoning request from Belle Investment Company to rezone land on Belfast Street from “Residential” and “High Intensity Retail” to “Business and Transportation.”

A group of Pershing Street neighbors opposed the move, saying potential plans to build in the area would be disruptive.

Belfast is located just east of Target and the development is near an area set to be somewhat affected by the extension of Foothills Mall Drive that currently ends at the 129 Bypass. Since this project has been delayed during the right of way acquisition process, there are still questions about how exactly the area could develop.

Future land use shows the property in question is already designated for commercial use, but commissioners suggested that a move to rezone the land might be somewhat premature.

Notes said the 6.6-acre property is currently used as a repair shop and warehouse but that there are plans to develop it into a an apartment complex with 13 units per acre.

Pershing Street resident Sammy Flynn said he and others were wary about more traffic in the already tight area and general residential growth.

“We’re concerned about the noise (and) we’re concerned about more people being around,” Flynn said in an interview after the meeting. He said he wanted to see people build homes in the area, not rent them. Others discussed potential drainage issues and a flood zone they believed might affect development at the end of Belfast.

However, Flynn and others were content with Monday’s outcome as the developer finally moved to withdraw, pressured by intervening timelines and a lack of agreement over how development should proceed.

“It could have been a lot worse,” Flynn said of the decision. “Put it on hold is a lot better than sending it right on through.”

Notes explained that, “(w)hile the ultimate issue is whether the zoning district and its allowed uses are appropriate for the property, the commission can consider other impacts such as whether there is currently or will be adequate infrastructure in place to accommodate the variety of uses allowed in the zone.”

In other business Monday, commissioners:

• Approved the final plat for the Brantlin Reserve subdivision off Montgomery Lane

• Approved a preliminary plat approval for the Miser Property subdivision at Broady Lane and Broadmoor Drive

• Approved the rezoning of a portion of property at 1804 W. Broadway Ave. — the Suntrust Bank — from “Residential” to “Business and Transportation.”

Follow @arjonesreports on Facebook and Twitter for more from city government reporter Andrew Jones.

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