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Lanesville developers asked to redraw entrance plans

The developers of a proposed subdivision east of Lanesville were sent back to the drawing board last week to come up with a better entrance for the 28.65-acre tract.
Engineer-surveyor Paul Primavera presented the preliminary plat for Sunrise Ridge Subdivision on behalf of applicants John Blocker and Mark Bush. The proposed site is located between Tandy Road and High View Addition.
Fifty lots would be served by the Edwardsville Water Co. and Lanesville sewers, which would be extended east of town, Primavera said. Access to the new subdivision would be through the southern-most road in the High View Addition, using Villa Road off S.R. 62 to Cottage Lane, now a dead-end street.
Primavera said they wanted to keep the impact on the High View residents as minimal as possible.
Several High View residents voiced their concerns about additional traffic through their neighborhood, which was created in the 1960s.
“Our homes were never built with that in mind,” said Ernest Beach, who lives on Cottage Lane.
Peggy Arbuckle, who owns property on both sides of Cottage Lane, said her home’s lateral lines were replaced a few years ago, and, at the recommendation of the county health department, the lines were placed under Cottage Lane to the Arbuckle property on the other side.
“I just don’t think it’s fair for us to put up with all this chaos for someone else’s gain or benefit,” she said.
David Walther, who lives on Villa Road, said the roads are so narrow now that motorists must pull over when they meet an oncoming vehicle. And if the developers widen the road, as proposed, homeowners will lose much of their driveways and front yards.
He and others recommended the entrance be from Tandy Road, “which is already set up for that kind of traffic,” Walther said.
High View residents are also concerned about their children. “They’re not used to this kind of traffic,” Walther said.
He also said about eight residences would be required to connect to the Lanesville sewer, putting a financial burden on those homeowners.
“I’m not totally against development,” Walther said. “I know you’re trying to keep (subdivisions) close to towns rather than have them spread out all over the county.”
Opponents also felt the smaller lots in Sunrise Ridge would lower their property values.
Blocker said he thinks the homes in the new subdivision, which would sell for $120,000 to $160,000, would “probably increase people’s homes’ values.”
After listening to everyone’s concerns, Bush took a few minutes to respond.
“I’ve sat here and listened to your concerns,” he said. “I really feel for you. You’ve lived here a long time and you have viable concerns.”
Bush said he and Blocker tried to find the least invasive entrance as possible after deciding that it would be too costly to come off Tandy because a bridge over the creek would be necessary and cost an estimated $200,000.
“You’ve seen what I’ve done in Lanesville with The Supper House …” he said. “We intend to put in a subdivision that we would live in … We’re not an outside firm. We live in this community, too.
“We will do all that we can to accommodate anyone’s concerns,” he said. “We may not be able to do everything you want, but we will do what we can.”
Some plan commission members said they felt “misled” by the applicants because when Blocker and Bush asked for the zoning change several months ago, it was indicated the entrance would be from Tandy Road.
“I don’t think enough research was done on that,” said plan commission member Charles Crawford. “That aside, I think you’ve done the best you could at keeping to one road in High View rather than compounding all the other roads in that subdivision.”
Jerry Dryden, another plan commission member, said the increased traffic would have a “tremendous” impact on High View residents.
“It seems a huge burden to place on those families,” he said.
The plan commission asked for the developers and High View residents to meet to see if they could reach a compromise. They then tabled the request until their October meeting.
Also Thursday night, Terry Smith, the county planning administrator, asked the commission for guidance in levying a fine against Robert Garland, after Garland’s request for a tow-in lot, auto storage and recycling center was denied Aug. 22 by the BZA.
Smith said his department had suspended the enforcement of penalties while waiting for the BZA’s decision.
“As far as I’m concerned, it should have been grandfathered in,” said Garland, who was at the meeting. “I had junk on both sides of” Doolittle Hill Road.
“I ain’t quitting junkin’,” Garland said. “I’ll tell you that now. I bought my first car when I was 12 years old.”
Larry Ott, a member of the plan commission who also chairs the BZA, said, “I think Mr. Garland has tried to comply with the zoning ordinance … I feel we’ve been very lenient.”
The plan commission unanimously decided to give Garland one month before Smith has someone inspect the property and levy a fine if it’s not in compliance. Additional inspections, if required, will be done once a month.
Garland said he was “about tired of me gettin’ the low end of the stick. I have a lawyer. I can appeal. I was waitin’ to see what happened tonight.”
The plan commission also reviewed the following special exception requests that will be heard by the Harrison County Board of Zoning Appeals at its Sept. 26 meeting:
* A request by QuickSilver Resources Inc. to amend an existing special exception for a site on Melview Road in Boone Township. The company had originally stipulated that one building would be erected, so the planning and zoning staff issued one building permit. It was later discovered that QuickSilver had five buildings at the site. The plan commission gave the request a favorable recommendation.
* A request to amend a special exception for a convenience store and used car lot after it was discovered that the lighting did not meet what the BZA approved and that an adjoining property owner apparently does not want buffering installed, also as stipulated by the BZA. The plan commission passed the request on with no recommendation.

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