The Planning Commission in this town voted 4-1 in favor of a plan to build a 115 home subdivision off Clifford Road on Monday night, despite some opposition.
One commission member was absent.
It was unclear how the majority of neighboring residents felt.
The developer, Bill Harrell, of Hopper Communities, said he had a neighborhood meeting with nearby residents. One neighbor confirmed the meeting and seemed satisfied despite a few concerns.
Another neighbor said he didn’t get a chance to meet with Harrell and that he was told of the plan only a few days prior to the planning commission meeting.
Will Cummings, the neighbor who said he didn’t get a chance to meet with the developer, said he was against the neighborhood plan. He said the plan calls for cutting down 100-year-old oak trees.
“There’s no replacing these trees,” he said. “This was one of the things that drew us to this area.”
He said he was also worried about decreased home values and the potential for increased traffic on a rural road. The traffic is expected to double when the neighborhood is completed.
“This is a beautiful area. I love the area,” Cummings said. “I have no delusion that we can stop development but we need to do it smart.”
Gary Butler, a resident of Sutton Springs, which is next to the proposed subdivision, was also against the plan.
“We have three schools under construction in that area,” Butler said. “The traffic cannot keep up, they are currently widening the area and we can’t get through there without having to stop for 15 or 20 minutes.”
He said things are moving too fast and recommended the commission to delay the request for at least two years.
Harrell, the developer, is no stranger to neighborhood opposition. He recently had a site plan for a subdivision off West Garner and Vandora Springs Road approved nearly a year after he submitted his original proposal. The neighbors there felt like they had no input into what went beside their neighborhood.
After a few neighborhood meetings, eventually the plan was approved, as was the current plan.
The majority of the commission felt that there was enough information to move the plan along.
Planning commission chairman Jim Hunnicutt encouraged those who disagreed to come to the public hearing for the subdivision at the town council meeting to voice their concerns.
“This really is a technical review committee,” he said. “Your points were very well made.
“(But) technically it does fit. The next hurdle is a bit higher.”
The neighborhood is expected to be on about 47 acres of land. There will be 2.5 units per acre, Harrell said. He said he expected the price points of the homes to be somewhere between the high $200,000s to as much as $400,000.
The average home value in Garner is about $178,000.
The neighborhood is also next to a home that was built in the 1800s. The neighborhood design is navigated around the five acres the home sits on.
South Garner High, Bryan Road Elementary and Bryan Road Middle Schools would likely draw students from the subdivision when it is complete.