Reaction mixed over rezoning

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 16, 2005

WINDSOR – There was mixed reaction about requested rezoning in the town of Windsor.

Bill Cramer of Integra Development Partners requested the Windsor Board of Commissioners rezone property at 1514 South King Street from R-75 residential to R-10MH residential.

Mayor Bob Spivey informed the public during Thursday morning’s commissioners meeting that the Windsor Planning Board had unanimously denied the request to rezone the property.

The mayor then opened the floor for the Public Hearing.

Resident Romona Bragg stated her opposition to the proposed rezoning.

&uot;I live nearest to it and I don’t think it’s the best thing to do,&uot; she said.

James Mace appeared on behalf of Integra, stating he would like to clear up some of the ideas about the apartment complex proposed for the site.

&uot;When we start looking for these type of situations, we look for opportunities to assist the community,&uot; Mace said. &uot;I want to dispel some of the myths about this project.&uot;

He then stated the proposed apartment project would be there to serve those who need assistance. He said the targets for the housing would be patrolmen, firefighters and people who work at the new prison.

Mace further insisted there would be a manager on site as well as a maintenance director who would keep the place in order.

&uot;We’re not going to build this and then leave,&uot; Mace said. &uot;I know what is going to happen. It’s going to be maintained at a good level and will still look good in 20 years.&uot;

Following Mace’s remarks, Cramer rose to speak about the proposed project.

Cramer said there was confusion with the original request and the town mistakenly posted the rezoning request as having been for 1415 King Street. The planning board, according to Cramer, proceeded with the meeting and approved his request.

When that information was forwarded to the town board, the mayor rejected the planning board meeting on advice from council, saying the correct address had to be advertised for the public hearing for it to be legal.

&uot;When we went back to the planning board, they asked what we were doing there because they already approved the rezoning,&uot; Cramer said. &uot;In that time, it allowed people to voice their opinions.&uot;

Cramer said his understanding is that the main concern of the citizens and the planning board was it would be low-income housing.

&uot;We are not talking about the housing authority,&uot; Cramer insisted. &uot;Low-income is defined as people who are making below the average wage of the county.&uot;

Cramer said a study of the area, commissioned by Integra, showed there was no demand for high-income apartments, but that low to medium income housing was necessary.

He also insisted the housing complex would not decrease the value of homes in the area, but believed it would increase them since the project would cost $3.5 million.

Spivey reaffirmed that the error was made and caused a second public hearing for the planning board.

&uot;We legally had to redo that,&uot; he said. &uot;It was a human error, not anything that was done intentional. I believe that those who showed up at the second meeting would have been there for the first one if the address had been advertised correctly.&uot;

Mace added that Integra was going to purchase the property, no matter the outcome of the rezoning and that it would be utilized.

&uot;We will do a mobile home subdivision if this doesn’t pass,&uot; Mace said. &uot;We’ve made a commitment to the property. If in fact the zoning doesn’t go through, we will do what we are allowed to do there.&uot;

Spivey said the Board would not consider the rezoning until 8:30 a.m. Tuesday morning because Commissioners O. Wint Hale and Bobby N. Brown could not be at Thursday’s meeting. He said Board policy called for all five members to be present.