By Michelle Price
UCBJ Managing Editor
COOKEVILLE – Thursday night, the Cookeville City Council will reconsider a controversial request to rezone 107 acres at 5411 Lovelady Road from RS-20 (20,000 square-feet) to RS-5 (5,000 square-feet) allowing much higher density housing.
At the public hearing held during the April 17 City Council meeting, 27 people spoke out against the rezoning, expressing concerns ranging from traffic and health concerns to quality-of-life issues.
Council members postponed the decision on the rezoning to the May 5 meeting to allow time for the developer to consider whether they would consider a Planned Residential Development (PRD) instead of rezoning the entire parcel to RS-5. The developer, Justin Cumby with Titan Development, has since sent an email to all council members stating his reason for not wishing to pursue the PRD.
Options the council will now be considering include:
- Rezoning the entire 107-acre parcel from RS-20 to RS-5.
- Providing an RS-20 transition zone around the western boundary of the property, which is all the existing residential, with the remainder RS-5. This would rezone 96 acres.
- The third proposal is 87 acres. It provides a RS-10 in the transition area bordering the street and existing residential with the remainder RS-5.
- A new fourth proposal is 103 acres and is based on information to the planning office that the adjoining eight acres is under contract to be sold to the developer and would provide a RS-10 transition zone bordering adjacent existing residences.
In order for the developer to pursue any development that would have lot sizes smaller than the current RS-20, the developer would have to enter into a cost-share agreement with the city to extend sewer to the property.
The cost estimate for the sewer extension is estimated to be $900,000 according to City Manager James Mills. The costs would have to be paid initially by the developer, and then the city would reimburse $500,000 in a cost-share provision required by the city zoning code.
The Cookeville Planning Commission made the recommendation to rezone the entire parcel from RS-20 to RS-5.