Although the Richmond City Commission approved the first reading for annexation of 62.5 acres on Goggins Lane in July, two ordinances appeared on the Madison County Fiscal Court's agenda last week for the same area.

The acreage at 1194 Goggins Lane was attempted to be annexed to the city with hopes of being rezoned from county agricultural, to R-2 or multi-family housing, which was not taken well by residents of the area.

And now, the same area has been brought before the fiscal court, with hopes of development.

When the matter was still in Richmond's hands, many opposed the zone change expressing concerns about increase in water run-off, increased traffic, instability with rental properties and a future increase of R-2 properties in the area.

This caused the Richmond Planning and Zoning Commission to recommend to the city commission that the land be zoned as R-1A, or single family residential, because of concerns.

In light of that decision, the applicant rescinded their proposal from the city, and has now presented it to the fiscal court, with the 65 acres to be split up with two different zones.

As it was presented by the court last Tuesday, 22.4 acres could be rezoned from agricultural to single-family residential, and 39.6 acres could be rezoned from agricultural to multi-family housing.

The ordinance states that the zone changes are supporting of finding of facts that align with the 2015 Comprehensive Plan, emphasizing smart growth.

"Smart Growth looks to development of a range of housing options and mixed-use development. Smart Growth in the Comprehensive Plan encourages development in the urban corridor where there has already been substantial development that has occurred," the plans read.

After the reading of the ordinance, Magistrate Roger Barger stated he would like to see the acreage have more equal distribution, as there was almost double the land potentially to be zoned for multi-family.

"More of this is zoned for UC-2, which would mean more apartments and more traffic," he said.

The fiscal court voted to approve the first reading of both ordinances unanimously.

Formerly, when the zone change from UC-7 to UC-1 was presented in planning and zoning meetings, several board members said they had the opportunity to visit the property in question.

Doug Fritz said while the front part of the property appears to be flat, but the back side is straight over a hill into a gully or ditch running from both the city of Richmond across the interstate and from the back of the Meijer shopping center.

"So, whenever that property is developed, with whatever plan, there's gonna be significant structuring there to keep that water from that road, which was one of the things that was brought up in the meeting," he said. "...And in my way of looking at it, I don't know how you put houses on that, because if the water comes up there and you're controlling it, it's just gonna get higher so I don't see how you can put something back there, unless you've done a whole lot of work and I'm talking about pumping millions of dollars in moving dirt around."

Paula Maionchi agreed with Fritz stating it will take very extensive planning and design, and the zone change is "the very beginning of a very long process for a developer to figure out what he or she can do, what is feasible, and how much of their land is going to be green space."

"So, this zone change is step one, but there are many, many, many steps after step one before the shovel gets in the ground," Maionchi said.

Members of the commission also expressed concerns about traffic when discussing the zone change involving multi-family housing.

The planning commission approved the first zone change unanimously. However, for the multi-family zone change, the vote carried six to one with Alan Hatfield voting no.

A second reading for the two land-use change ordinances will take place at the Nov. 26 fiscal court meeting at the courthouse.

Reach Taylor Six at 624-6623 or follow her on Twitter at @TaylorSixRR.


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