A developer's request to rezone 18 acres east of Harrison Bay for a new subdivision got a thumbs down Monday from the regional planning commission after neighbors packed the meeting to raise concerns — including that blasting through bedrock might create new sinkholes that could swallow their homes.
"More sinkholes are going to open because you've degraded the bedrock. That's not a good thing," said Chuck Underwood, a Savannah Hills Drive resident who spoke in opposition to Goodwin Southern Property LLC's request to rezone 18 undeveloped acres in the middle of Savannah Hills Drive subdivision for a 48-lot subdivision with houses in the $350,000 price range.
Neighbors also raised concerns about potential stormwater runoff from the new subdivision and additional traffic new residents could bring.
"Snow Hill Road, it's a catastrophe in the morning. Snow Hill Road, it's a catastrophe in the evening," one opponent said.
Developer Frank Goodwin sought to have the 18 acres rezoned from R-2A, a district that allows such dwellings as mobile homes, to R-1, a more-restrictive, single- family residential zone. An R-1 rezoning would have benefited Goodwin by allowing 5-foot sideyard setbacks, instead of 10-foot setbacks, so he could have built larger homes on say, a 60-foot-wide lot, the minimum width in both the R-2A and R-1 zoning districts.
"What that does is it allows me to make a bigger home, which increases the value," Goodwin said after the meeting.
Goodwin said larger, higher-value homes would help the existing subdivision.
"I thought it would be helping the neighborhood," he said. "It kind of baffles me. It's like saying do you want a Lexus or do you want a little Toyota? What it boils down to is they just don't want it there. They don't [want] it to be developed."
Goodwin, whose company owns 18 properties around Hamilton County, said he plans to develop the subdivision even though he didn't get the rezoning. He'll have to extend sewer service about a mile to reach the Savannah Hills Drive property.
"I own the land," he said. "I'm already invested in it."
Contact staff writer Tim Omarzu at email@example.com or www.facebook.com/MeetsForBusiness or on Twitter @meetforbusi ness or 423-757-6651.