Board tables Parkway rentals
RIDGELAND — Plans for a controversial mixed-use development with almost 300 residential units in a live, work, dine and play atmosphere proposed on the Highland Colony Parkway here were tabled by aldermen until their second meeting in June.
Aldermen this week voted unanimously to table a petition and application for conditional use permit for Mattiace Properties until their June 21 meeting.
Mattiace is the developer of the upscale Renaissance at Colony Park.
The Zoning Board denied a conditional use permit allowing what is called in the zoning ordinance “Residential Dwelling Units” that officials admited are apartments after a lengthy public hearing on April 21 at City Hall with a standing-room-only crowd.
Aldermen have the final say on zoning matters.
Zoning denied the petition in a 5-1 vote with Ward 2 appointee Drew Malone casting the lone vote in favor of the development.
Ward 5 Zoning Board member Judy Rice summed up the collective frustration, saying, “It's like they say, ‘You can put lipstick on a pig but it is still a pig.’”
Many in attendance at the zoning hearing voiced their opposition to the inclusion of the nearly 300 “residential dwelling units” in the development.
Opposition to that element included a number of issues including the potential impact on property values, increased use on roadways, crime and the potential strain on Ridgeland’s public schools.
Many objected to the definition “Residential Dwelling Units.”
Several in opposition said they would not be opposed to the development if the residential unit were classified as condos implying that the units would be owner-occupied.
Sheldon Alston, an attorney for the developers, said they used the term in the city’s zoning ordinance and that he is happy to call the units “apartments.”
Developer Andrew Mattiace said that the units are “high-end and very expensive” and will rent for an expected $1,687 a month for a 750-square-foot space.
He said the proposed 280 units are roughly 60 percent one-bedroom apartments and 40 percent two-bedroom and four units will be three bedroom. Units range from 750 square feet to 1,100 square feet.
Based on their analysis, Mattiace said they believe there is a lack of this product currently on the market in Ridgeland. Mattiace said he has worked with adjacent property owners like the Kerioth Corporation and UMMC.
He said the development as a whole represented a $70 million investment.
The current petition on the table describes the development as “consistent with the growing national trend of live, work, dine and play projects with walkable features” and covers roughly 17.5 acres. The development will feature roughly 62,000 square feet of retail space.
The development north of Highland Colony Baptist Church near Lake Castle Road will feature offices, retail spaces and restaurants and possibly a grocery store, officials have said.
The petition is for Phase I of the development and any future phases will have to repeat the process currently underway