Urbane Road Rezoning Prompts Speed Limit Reduction During Bradley County Commission Meeting

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - by Tonya Brantley
During the Bradley County Commission work session meeting Monday afternoon, Commissioner and Chairman of the Road Department Committee Mel Griffith announced a committee decision to lower the speed limit on Urbane Road from 45 to 35 miles per hour.
The decision came about in part due to a rezoning request on Urbane Road from FAR (Farming/Agricultural/Residential) to R-2 (Residential) which prompted several concerned citizens to voice their opinions at a meeting in early August.
During that meeting, George McCoin addressed the commission on behalf of the owner of the property Ricky Brooks to explain the proposed use of the property to be rezoned. He said, “If this property rezoning is turned down, then under the current ordinance, the property could be used for two-family dwelling such as duplexes or mobile homes. If it is so used, one would have up to 84 units as opposed to the proposed development of 66 units. Those units would more than likely not be owner occupied. The plan is to have restrictions, a homeowners association and a nicer development consistent with the adjoining properties.”
He went on to say, “The proposed development has been well done, well planned and well thought out and is consistent with growth plan. The property will have setbacks. Urbane Road was constructed to carry commercial traffic. This project should take a minimum of two years. The sewer and utilities are already there and no driveways would be directly connected to Urbane Road.”
Tricia Haws, General Contractor with Southern Style Homebuilders LLC of Cleveland also addressed the commission. She said, “We are not building apartments. We are building high end luxury townhomes. Mr. Brooks came to me and said he wanted to do this because he wants this to be a nice community. We have tried to be very conscious on how we designed this. As far as traffic, statistics show townhouses have fewer household trips than rental and single family homes do. One option would be to use deceleration lanes; it worked on Dalton Pike. We estimate that this will bring 8 to 9 million in real estate to this one development. To do it better, we have to have it rezoned. We are trying to be very transparent in what we’re trying to do here.”
Resident Danny Lee said, “This road is almost to the breaking point. The speed limit is 45. Nobody has done a traffic study on this road. We need to do something about Urbane Road itself. I don’t have a problem with what they’re doing; I have a problem with people speeding up and down the road and nobody doing anything about it.”
Commissioner Connie Wilson suggested the issue with the traffic problems be brought up at the next Law Enforcement Committee meeting. She said, “It’s an accident waiting to happen. As the maker of the motion, because it’s in my district, I struggled with this. Other than the issue with Urbane Road, I make the motion we approve this rezoning request.” The motion passed unanimously.
The speed limit change on Urbane Road will be brought before a full commission for vote at a later date.
No items were placed on next week’s voting agenda.
The Bradley County Commission will hold its next meeting Wednesday, Oct. 17, at noon.

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