About 70 people packed the Cottonwood City Council chambers to overflow capacity Monday night. Several audience members were even standing against the walls to see the outcome of a zone change in their neighborhood above the View Motel.
In the end, the Planning Commission did not totally reject the Skyline rezoning, but tabled the issue for consideration later.
Commission members seemed to support the idea of creating a Planned Area Development for a common use of the three land parcels for multi-family housing, but, as they say, "the devil is in the details" and the commission did not like the specifics of the plan.
"The number of people speaks volumes about the issues and timeline," said Commission Judd Wasden. "I met with neighbors and they want to see the developer come up with something more reasonable."
Commissioner Bob Williams agreed" "I don't have a problem with the PAD (Planned Area Development zoning), but I am uncomfortable with a recommendation."
"It has to be compatible with the neighborhood," said Commissioner Diane Lovett.
"I can't accept the recommendation in its current state," agreed Ed Kiyler, the Commission Chair.
Kiyler had opened the session with an explanation that carried over from the Commission meeting a month earlier, when the issue was tabled for a month. He said the Commission does not need to consider a traffic study since the proposal does not have more than 100 units.
At the last meeting, Kiyler had just received a protest packet that included an independent traffic study. Phil Moyer, an immediate neighbor of the project, had challenged the proposal as not conducive and towering over the neighborhood with two-story structures. Moyer was one of several neighbors who also were not contacted about the proposal even though they lived within 300 feet.
Moyer contended that 16th is a dead-end street and the Skyline Apartments access to 89A past the View Motel is a dangerous connection.
But this week, it was the height of the structures that seemed to bother most of the neighbors and commission, even though applicant Mike Gardner told the commission that the land flows into a low area that would be below the ground level of surrounding homes.
Another issue was the uncertain time frame for new construction. Gardner explained that the owner of the properties is trying to configure his properties in his estate to pass on to heirs and there was no stated timeline in the proposal. It depends upon the market, too.
"We are also worried about our estate, too," Moyer countered at one point.
Parcels totaling 5.75 acres are zoned R3 (multi-family), R1(residential) and C-1 (commercial). The proposal would convert the three lots to a PAD (planned area development) zoning. 31-exist apartments would be converted to condominiums and 43 would be built on the remaining land.
Gardner told the board that he needs the two levels to get the capacity out of the land. Even the single units have parking beneath.
Under the motion, the applicant would have to return by January with alternative proposal.