Saturday, May 15, 2004

Builder submits revised plan

Single-family homes replace condo design

By Brenna R. Kelly
The Cincinnati Enquirer

FLORENCE - Almost a month after Boone County turned down a developer's plan to build condominiums on Boone Aire Road, the developer has submitted a new plan.

Grand Communities, a unit of Fischer Homes, now wants to build 85 single-family homes on the 17.5-acre site near Boone Links Golf Course.

What: Public hearing about a proposed 85-home subdivision off Boone Aire Road
When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Courtroom 3A of the County Administration Building at 2950 Washington St. Burlington.
Residents in the nearby subdivision The Links had opposed the condominium development, saying it was not compatible with their neighborhood.

The new plan calls for single-family homes with 20-foot front yards and 25-foot back yards. The lots would be about 4,000 square feet.

Boone County Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposal Wednesday night. At the hearing about the condo plan, 25 residents said they opposed the development.

Bruce Nyman, one of those residents, said he expects similar opposition to the new plan.

"We'll have to rally the neighborhood again," Nyman said, "because that's not what we want. They should have to stay compatible with the surrounding neighborhood."

Homes in The Links sit on lots of about 25,000 square feet. Friday, two homes in the neighborhood were listed for more than $330,000.

Homes in the new developments would be 20 feet closer to four homes on Glen Arbor Drive than the condo buildings would have been, said Boone County Planner Patty Bachman. The plan calls for a 30-foot setback along those homes, while the condo buildings would have been set back 50 feet.

Under current zoning, the new plan would allow homes with no side yard set back on one side of the house.

"I don't know if they have plans to do that," Bachman said, noting that the homes could also have five-foot side yards on each side for a total 10 feet between houses.

On April 20, Fiscal Court unanimously rejected Grand Communities' plans for the condos, following the Planning Commission's recommendation.

That plan called for 187 condos in 14 two-story buildings. Fiscal court members said the development was too dense - 10.63 units per acre. The new plan would be 4.83 units per acre.

"We wanted to be able to do a condo development with a lot of things we do, such as a community swimming pool," said Larry Sprague, a vice president of Fischer Homes. "We needed the density to make that work, without the density we decided to step back and stay with the existing zoning."

Though the zoning would not have to change, Grand Communities needs a change in a Concept Development Plan because a plan for the site was approved in 1988. That allowed 90 town homes in 26 buildings, a density of 5.12 units per acre.

The single-family homes would be built by Parkland Homes and Maple Street Homes, a division of Fischer Homes.

The site was once the Boone Aire Country Club and has a driveway lined with trees. Under the plan, that driveway could be used as a pedestrian walkway, Bachman said.

Grand Communities also wants to donate four acres along the golf course to Boone County.


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