The area requested for rezone is located on the top right of this map adjacent to the Kemper Creek neighborhood.
The area requested for rezone is located on the top right of this map adjacent to the Kemper Creek neighborhood.
Despite multiple county supervisors telling a developer he met the burden of proof to rezone 10 acres of land off Yandell Road, the board tabled approval until the first meeting of March following a lengthy public hearing Tuesday night.

The developer, Tim Weaver, pleaded with supervisors to approve the rezoning  of 10 acres of land from R-1 to R-2 because he is currently designing stormwater drainage on adjacent land and any delay would cost him money.

The property in question is located at 130 Smith Carr Road and is currently owned by Robert and Rebecca Pope. Weaver has power of attorney and plans to purchase the property if the rezoning is approved, where in will in turn fill out his subdivision known as Coventry.

The Planning & Zoning Commission voted 4-1 in December 2017 to recommend denial of the current rezoning based off their opinion there had been no change in the character of the neighborhood and public need, in addition to safety concerns and lack of infrastructure.

The first section of Coventry is located on adjacent land and features 22 lots. Supervisors approved the rezoning of the land where it sits back in 2017 from R-1 to R-2.

Weaver said the land surrounding the subject property are all R-2. He said he plans to have one-third acre lots with houses ranging in price from $325,000 to $360,000. The square footage of the homes would be between 2,350-2,600 feet.

Several residents who live off Smith Carr Road were present Tuesday night in opposition of the rezoning, and a petition with 34 signatures in protest was submitted into the minutes.

The residents who spoke out against the rezoning argued the neighborhood had not changed and that they didn’t want any access out onto Smith Carr Road.

Weaver told supervisors there would be no exit onto Smith Carr Road, only Yandell Road, unless it was required for emergency vehicles. In that instance, Weaver said they would install a gate for emergency access only.

Chris Jones of 505 Smith Carr Road said they have flooding problems in the area as a result of developments. She was joined by other residents concerned about water.

Matt Harris of 453 Smith Carr Road said the addition of a new development will have a significant impact on nearby residents.

“There are issues with the road itself,” he said. “The road simply can’t accommodate what is being asked by the developer at all.”

District 3 Supervisor Gerald Steen, District 4 Supervisor David Bishop, and District 5 Supervisor Paul Griffin all said at one point they believed Weaver had met the burden of proof. Bishop initially said he wanted more time to review everything and was going to ask to table the vote before making a motion to approve the rezoning.

There are two requirements the board has to make to determine if rezoning should be allowed: that there has been a change in character of the neighborhood and that there is a public need.

Weaver said the change in character is evident by the fact the surrounding land is zoned R-2. And he said there is a public need because there aren’t homes available on the market in that area and everything sells out quickly.

“The petitioner has met his burden of proof as far as the character of the neighborhood,” Bishop said. “That said, instead of me tabling this, I move to approve the petition for rezoning.”

“I see these people out here, I feel for them,” Steen said. “Before anything moves forward here we really need something written down, agreed upon. Change of character as far as rezoning, I think that’s a proven fact. Public need, I don’t disagree with your statement.”

Griffin said the board was just kicking the can down the road and it would eventually be approved.

“If we vote to deny it, it will probably get overturned in circuit court,” he said. “He done met a whole lot of those needs and laws we require to rezone.”

Weaver asked if the board would just approve the rezoning on the condition that the county engineer approves a floodwater plan.

“We have sewer and storm drain changes we need to make now,” he said. “To make them a month from now will be a lot more expensive.”

The board then decided to table the matter until the March 4 meeting after asking Weaver to put a plan in place to show that flooding won’t impact current properties. Steen also asked for more information on why there is a public need for rezoning.