“My wife and I bought a home in the Villages of Waterside back in November and the development was zoned R-1, or residential,” said Bruce Mitchell. “Now these same developers want to change the zoning to C-1, or neighborhood retail commercial. It’s only a 2-acre lot, but it would have a devastating impact on the neighborhood.”
Mitchell and other homeowners say they bought their homes with the expectation of the surrounding area remaining residential.
“It was sold as a mountain property with a lake view and an escape from the city,” Mitchell said. “To turn that over to C-1 with no restrictive covenants just doesn’t make sense.”
Council member Charles Lowry said this was a very difficult decision for him because he felt both sides were right.
“You folks bought there thinking everything was residential,” he said. “Then you learned it might become C-1.”
Lowry said he didn’t think the zoning could be rolled back to C-1 without a site plan.
“It would be an injustice if it doesn’t go back to C-1 and an injustice to a lot of people if it goes back to C-1 without a site plan,” he said. “Surely there is some sort of middle ground here where something can be built that aesthetically doesn’t take away from the property owners and allows the property owner to utilize the property the way they envision. I just think there needs to be some more work done for more understanding.”
Council decided to do more research before the second reading at the May 12 meeting.