Possible Zone Change Threatens Privacy, Safety

 

“When we moved there six years ago, we had the woods, we had the deer; like we were living in the country. Now the apartments are growing up fast and furiously,” stated Vera Kirkpatrick at the City Council Meeting.

Never mind the fact that the area she lives in is less than half a mile behind Sam’s Club, where a zone change would mean new apartments.

The five-acre tract of land is located on Southland and Green Meadow, and is currently zoned as single family residence (RS-1), though Greg Huling, the landowner, wants it to become a multifamily residential zone (RM-2).

On September 16, the planning commission voted 4-2 in favor of Huling’s five acres to be RM-2, even though there can be no restrictions can be placed upon zoning, and there were concerns about privacy and traffic.

The very same concerns were brought forth again at the City Council Meeting Tuesday, by Rocky Templin and Vera Kirkpatrick.

Kirkpatrick is more concerned about Bonham Elementary, “I fear for the safety of the children,” she said in regards to traffic.

Templin, on the other hand, was concerned about the height of the new complex and the privacy of the homeowners on his land.

 “When I purchased my property, this property was zoned in RS-1. I purchased my property based on that zoning,” said Templin, “ RM-2 is the most intense residential zoning there is in San Angelo. There is no height restrictions and no size restrictions…someone could build a 15-story building right there,” expressed Templin.

The size issue is one of privacy. Templin expressed concerns that anything over three stories would make him vulnerable to occupants spying into his and other homeowners’ backyards. Councilwoman Farmer, as with the majority of the councilmembers present, sympathized with Templin.

Huling however, feels there’s no need for anyone to worry about that, “I don’t need to do that,” Huling said in reference to comments about constructing 15-story buildings, “No one wants to carry groceries up more than three stories.”

Bill Wynne of the Planning Commission spoke on behalf of the decision, explaining that they figured the traffic would hardly be noticeable, and should the new complex follow Fire Marshall rulings and parking lot allowances, the buildings would be far enough from Templin’s property to ensure residential privacy.

Lack of an obvious solution to make all parties happy resulted in the decision being tabled until Huling can provide more information. A specific date to reconsider the zone change proposal has not yet been set.

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