*Editor’s note: The original story has been updated to say Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Lacis referred to 88th Street.After three meetings, the Superior Board of Trustees on Monday voted against a multi-family apartment development along South 88th Street.
The board voted 6-1 in opposition to the project with Mayor Clint Folsom in favor.
The project has come before the board two times prior to Monday. Each time the discussion ran until 11 p.m., the final meeting time allowed by the board, and no agreement was made to extend the meetings.
The Zaharias property, now known as Parq at Rock Creek, was designated for regional activity and higher intensity employment and commercial uses due to its proximity to U.S. 36 and South 88th Street, according to a staff report.
The proposed project was bordered by residential development within Rock Creek Ranch, and was bounded by U.S. 36 and the Hodgson-Harris Reservoir. It would have encompassed 180 multi-family units, community amenities including a pool and fitness center, and common open space on 23 acres.
According to the staff report, the site would have consisted of a 15.4-acre development lot, a 3.7-acre publicly dedicated tract of land for open space, two privately owned tracts of land used for open space and storm detention, and .96-acres of publicly dedicated right-of-way along the eastern edge of South 88th Street.
The units would have been rented as townhome apartments and units projected to rent for an average of $2,500 to $3,000. Originally, the project called for nine below market rate units, which totaled 5% of the units. During the June 22 meeting, Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Lacis requested more affordable housing units.
Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Lacis said he was not convinced rezoning would be in the best interest of the town.
“This development proposal was too dense and would have an adverse impact on traffic on 88th Street and surrounding neighborhoods,” Lacis said.
Folsom said the zoning change made sense to him.
“Saying no, let’s hold off on this and hold out for some commercial development that’s going to have large amounts of traffic and circulation to hopefully get some sales tax dollars, that completely flies in the face of people saying they don’t want more traffic, they don’t want to see more intensity on this site,” Folsom said. “To me, residential is about the lowest intensity you can have on a site.”
He added office space could also have a low intensity, but it wouldn’t do much for the town’s sales tax base.
Trustee Sandie Hammerly said the town has taken a lot of space and created residential areas with it, and instead should consider incentives for the site to bring in commercial.
“We’ve been reluctant to look carefully at what we might want on this piece of land,” Hammerly said. “And to simply accept the word of a developer that we don’t have any other options without the town actually talking to the residents about it, to me, is not the right thing to do.”