One man’s quest to develop a subdivision off Old Savannah Road in Flemington came back Tuesday before the Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission.
Bill Nutting of Provident Land Holdings originally wanted to rezone 27 acres from R-1, single-family residential, to a planned unit development. The request drew concerns from neighbors who want to keep it zoned R-1.
The planning commission recommended approval of Nutting’s PUD request, but it was rejected by Flemington’s city council.
Nutting had since revamped his design under the R-1 zoning.
Marcus Sack, whose firm P.C. Simonton and Associates is working with Nutting, said they redesigned the area to comply with R-1 zoning, reducing the number of lots from 46 to 33.
The sketch provided to the LCPC on Tuesday showed a detention pond going across the back of many of the lots. Sack said that the pond’s location on the sketch was an approximation. They won’t be sure where the pond will go until they get more topographic data.
Planning commissioner Tim Byler said a pond in the middle of the lots could cause problems for the owners.
"My question is, if I’m sitting on the lot in the middle of that and if I own property on one side of the pond and the other side, do I have to use a boat to get to the back of my property?" Byler asked. "It would have to be encompassed with an easement so that people get around the pond to get to the rest of the property."
Sack said it’s not uncommon for such ponds to cross lots, or lots to cross ponds.
"It would be a fenced pond," Sack said. "It would be on their lots but it would be with a drainage easement. It’s not that uncommon for lots to go across the pond."
LCPC Executive Director Jeff Ricketson said sketch plans do not typically come before the planning commission for recommendations, that usually LCPC staff review sketches. He said because of opposition the subdivision drew, Nutting wanted the commission’s opinion before spending more planning money.
"I sat in the meeting with the Flemington City Council," Byler said. "If presenting the sketch plan is to get an idea of what’s approvable before it gets to where you’re putting money into it, I would suggest paying attention to the fact of what is approvable from the standpoint of zoning versus what’s approvable from the stand point of the city council, because the city council ignored our recommendation. Our shaking our heads yes does not mean you will have an easy ride ahead of you."
Nutting agreed. He said he’s also presenting the sketch to Flemington Council at its next meeting.
"Once we go the next step, we’re spending, $50,000 to $70,000 in engineering before it comes back before you," Nutting said. "We want to buy some insurance and make sure we get the correct information from the fine folks from LCPC and Flemington."
Commissioners recommended approval for the plan.