Since 2007, developers have made three attempts to rezone a 2.3 acre triangular shaped tract at the intersection of Lake Jeanette Road and Lawndale Drive that is currently zoned Residential Single Family R-3.
Another attempt to rezone the tract is on the agenda for the Tuesday, Feb. 18 meeting of the City Council.
Even some of the opponents agreed that it was not a good site for single-family housing, but opposed the rezoning to Conditional District-Commercial-Light.
Kotis Properties requested the rezoning and currently owns one of the four lots that make up the tract.
Attorney Marsh Prause, representing Kotis Properties before the Zoning Commission said, “People don’t like to live where they open their front door and see a thoroughfare and open their backdoor and see another thoroughfare.”
The Lawndale-Lake Jeanette Neighborhood Association is so opposed to the rezoning request that president Aaron Terranova said they met with the developer once in July, but when Kotis changed the request from Conditional District-Commercial-Medium to Conditional District-Commercial-Light and added more conditions, Terranova said they didn’t see any reason to meet again.
He said, “We said we don’t want it.”
One speaker in opposition suggested the land remain vacant, or that one house could be built on the site.
The City Council is a huge advocate of developers meeting with neighborhoods and working out issues but have never dealt with a neighborhood that refused to meet with the developer.
The Zoning Commission voted 6-0 to deny the rezoning request. One zoning commissioner said the fact that all drive-thru uses were not prohibited on the site was the deciding factor for him.
Several commissioners expressed concern about rezoning the land commercial when it was surrounded by residential.
Twice in 2007 and once in 2011, this same triangular piece of property was up for rezoning, and twice the request was withdrawn before it went before the City Council and once it was denied by the City Council
Since 2011, Lawndale has changed quite a bit, and with the opening six weeks ago of I-840 north of the site, Lawndale reportedly has increased traffic, which will only get worse at the end of this year when I-840 opens east as well as west.