By Travis Gettys
BURLINGTON - A proposed subdivision is poised to move forward after officials approved changes to a plan calling for more green space between the new development and an existing neighborhood.
Boone County Planning Commission voted 7-3 Wednesday to approve the changes recommended by county staff but opposed by residents of The Links, a nearby golf course subdivision.
Grand Communities, a division of Fischer Homes, plans to build 85 single-family homes on 17.5 acres south of Boone Aire Road, pending approval from Boone County Fiscal Court.
Residents of The Links say the new homes, which will be built on 4,000-square-foot lots, could lower property values in their neighborhood, where homes on 20,000-square-foot lots sell for almost $300,000.
"I would have liked to have seen more of a transition of size and quality from their development to The Links," said resident Dean Pettit, who has lived in his home for six years.
However, fair housing laws prevent property value from being considered as a factor by county officials, said Planning Commissioner Janet Kegley.
Commissioners rejected a plan in April to build condominiums at the site, and the developer came back with a proposal to build single-family units.
The new proposal complies with a comprehensive plan drawn up in 2000 by county officials, said Boone County Planner Patty Bachman, who recommended that several conditions be attached to approval of the development.
New houses built on properties adjacent to Glen Arbor Drive must sit back 50 feet from their neighbors, and the developer must retain existing tree cover between those residences.
Also, restrictions will be placed in the new development on accessory structures, such as storage sheds, above-ground pools and swing sets, Kegley said.
"None of that is going to be right at the line to help keep it nice for The Links," she said.
Still, neighbors are worried about increased development along Ky. 18.
"It's a beautiful area if it would just slow down," said Jim Stone, who's lived in The Links for three years.
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