Roosevelt Road rezone goes before City Council this week
MONROE - The City Council this week will discuss the planning commission’s recommendation to approve the Roosevelt Road rezone located near the Foothills neighborhood.
The discussion was scheduled for Tuesday, April 16 after press time.
The city-initiated rezone for the approximately 71-acre area would allow developers to build a higher number of single family homes per acre, increasing the limit from two to five housing units to five to seven. The rezone also makes the land-use designation for the area consistent with the city’s comprehensive plan.
The higher density will help the city meet projected housing needs based on future population targets. The planning commission found the city doesn’t currently have the housing capacity to accommodate the estimated 2025 population projection of 26,590.
The rezone area is located off U.S. 2 at Roosevelt Road in the northwest edge of town.
The planning commission in March voted 5 to 1 to forward a recommendation to the City Council to approve the rezone. Commissioner Dave Demarest was the dissenting vote.
He cited traffic concerns associated with the proposed increase in density and he worried about the lack of sufficient access into the proposed rezone area.
City staff and some council members have repeated multiple times that the rezone is not associated with any project even though a developer has submitted preliminary plans to build in the area. A developer has submitted plans to build 73 single family homes as a planned residential development at the end of Bear Mountain Road SE on about 20 acres. The Bear Mountain subdivision proposal is next to the existing 210-home Foothills neighborhood.
Councilman Kurt Goering reiterated that talking point last week repeated several times by proponents of the rezone: “I think it’s important to remember that this is a separate issue from any proposed development that might be going in there,” Goering said.
Public works director Brad Feilberg also previously stated that though he acknowledges it has now become a cliche phrase, he said rezoning the area “is just changing the color on the map.” (The city used this same logic to dismiss environmental and other concerns associated with Heritage Baptist Fellowship’s rezone request in east Monroe, which was rejected by the city’s hearing examiner.)
The rezone is unpopular with residents, and the Foothills Homeowners Association has been active in protesting the rezone because of vehicle access and public safety concerns.
Residents say the increased density will make the area less safe for children both during construction of the subdivision and when it’s complete and more vehicles are passing through. There is only one access road into the area.
City documents say the rezone alone “will not generate traffic and has no direct effect on the need for road or street improvements,” yet the same document goes on to say that the intersection of U.S. 2 and Roosevelt Road leading into the subdivision would fall below acceptable levels of service standards without improvements. The document also says any future development of the area will require additional local access streets, but that would be addressed during the project permitting phase later in the process.
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