Letter: Will council ignore P&Z? | PostIndependent.com

Letter: Will council ignore P&Z?

I’m disappointed in the City Council’s seeming willingness to disregard P&Z’s recommendation for denial of the Oasis Creek Apartments. While affordable housing is an issue, this is the wrong means and site for attacking it. Glenwood has development standards. It is the developer’s responsibility to create a plan that works within these requirements.

The Oasis Creek Apartments developers purchased the land with the intent of development and now claim it is not financially viable if they are required to meet the design guidelines. The lot is difficult to lay out, there is no on-street parking and the hillside creates challenges. The site had these constraints prior to the developers’ purchase. They are now asking for significant variances to accommodate their plan to make it “financially feasible.” The developers have asked to increase the allowable building height by 71 percent, for a 28 percent reduction in the required number of parking spaces and for a decrease in the water and sewage tap fees. These aren’t minor variances or minor impacts to the residents of Glenwood.

The town’s height restrictions are intended to protect views, mimic the scale of surrounding structures and help maintain a small-town feel. All recently approved projects are within a few feet of these parameters. The parking requirement guidelines are based on proven needs of multifamily dwelling developments. There will not be enough parking without meeting these figures. Nearby residences and businesses will be harmed. Tap fees are based on the cost of maintaining and building the infrastructure required to handle demand. The cost burden falls on taxpayers and users of the system if appropriate fees are not collected as demand is added.

Affordable housing is a real issue; there are sites that do not demand significant variances for financial viability. Why bother having design guidelines to maintain the characteristics of the town if they are going to be ignored by developers and approved by our city council? Please deny this project until it is scaled back to meet to the town’s design guidelines.

Jeff Peterson

New Castle

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