The Collegedale Commission on Monday night unanimously approved rezoning two large, adjacent tracts of land around Edgmon Road and Lee Highway from AG, Agricultural, to R-I-L, Low Density Single Family Residential. The east side of the development is 132.16 acres and the west side consists of 276.24 acres.
After it was rezoned, a PUD overlay for the same property was also approved. Both had been discussed earlier at two planning commission meetings before the large development was recommended to the city commission for approval. Citizens at the commission meeting were asked to hold comments until the second reading in two weeks when they will have the opportunity to speak, prior to the second and final vote.
The approval comes with conditions that only single-family homes can be built. With a PUD, there can be a maximum 1.26 dwelling units per acre, or 512 houses. Without the PUD, 408 homes would be allowed with the current Agricultural zoning. Among other conditions put on the property, sewers will be constructed by the developer and must be authorized by the city engineer. Curbs, gutters, catch basins, street lights and sidewalks will be constructed by the developer with the city’s approval. Trees must be planted 25 feet apart in the right-of-way along Edgemon Road and existing trees must be left intact if possible. Ingress and egress will be from Edgemon Road, and that road will be improved to accommodate the development.
The purpose of a PUD, the commissioners were told, is that it lets the city put conditions on the property in order to get the development that it wants. With a regular subdivision the city loses this ability. With a PUD, lots can be smaller and more houses built because they can be clustered close together. The open space is combined for community use. In this case there will be 30 percent of the land used for community space on the west side and 20 percent of the total on the east side of the property.
Commissioner Debbie Baker said that she had visited communities in Georgia built by the developer for this project in Collegedale, and said “They do a top-notch job according to what I saw.” She said in her opinion the development in Collegedale would be an asset and would increase property values. “What I saw, I liked,” she said. She added that it is Hamilton County’s responsibility to provide school buildings when population goes up, not the city. Commissioner Ethan White said his main reason for voting yes is because of the rights of property owners. He also said that the city has to follow the state laws and the developers have done all that Collegedale has asked them to do.
The public hearing and second and final reading for this project will be held on Oct. 17.
In other business, the commissioners approved the guidelines for the city’s new Airport Advisory Board, which includes appointment of the members. Members of the board that were approved are Tony Walker, Alan Robertson, Jay Jolly and Franklin Pharo, plus one member of the city commission appointed by the mayor. This board will only be advisory in nature with no authority to spend money. What is discussed will be presented to the commissioners who will make the final decisions.
A new 2023 Ford F-150 4x4 crew cab pickup truck was authorized for use of the Building and Codes Director at the cost of $43,572. Delivery is expected to be in December or January 2023.