Planning & Zoning Approves Townhomes

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By Dave Freneaux

At the May 27th meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission there was one new request for rezoning.  The property, located on Joor Road and Core Lane at the entrance to Rambling Oaks subdivision, was formerly zoned Rural and the request was for A2.5 to allow a developer to build and sell five individual townhomes.  Several citizens spoke in opposition to the rezoning.
The major item to consider was that in addition to the existing Rural zoning, the platt of the property filed for the subdivision of Rambling Oaks designates that the property in question was approved for Commercial use.  Under the UDC rules governing zoning which Central inherited from EBR Parish, a Rural zoned property with a Commercial designation on the platt before 1994 is to be considered approved for Commercial use.  Give that fact, the property owners could have, with no rezoning request, built a small apartment complex, a convenience store or a gas station.
The Commission voted to approve the zoning to allow the townhomes and to send their reccomendation to the City Council for final approval.  This was an example of a "downgrade" or "reverse" zoning approval, in that the new zoning is more restrictive than the existing zoning, not allowing commercial buildings to dominate the entrance to a quiet and well-established subdivision.  The new permitted use will give the City of Central five more affordable homes, no more rental units, and will be more consistent with the subdivision it fronts.

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