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Residents question Bagging Plant Road development

DUBLIN — Neighboring property owners say a tract of land off Bagging Plant Road is swampy and won’t support a proposed housing and commercial development.
However, property owner Thomas H. Pifer disagrees.
Pifer is proposing to construct about a dozen single-family homes, a multi-family development and eight commercial lots on the nearly 14-acre tract that fronts Bagging Plant Road and is adjacent to Vista and Orchard Hills subdivisions.
A public hearing was held last Monday on Pifer’s request to revise lot lines on the tract and rezone a section of the property from Residential R-1 to Residential R-3 for the multi-family project.
Shawn Utt, community development director for the county, said the lot lines were not adequately identified when the property was zoned so they need to be revised.
He explained that the property along Bagging Plant Road already is zoned CM-1 for commercial development and the back portion is zoned R-1. However, without the lot lines being defined, there is no way of knowing where one zone ends and the other begins.
Several property owners living near the tract objected to Pifer’s plans. They cited increased traffic, decreased property values, septic issues and possible flooding as concerns.
Fred Nester said it is his understanding the land wouldn’t perk in the past, so why should it now.
“We’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting for” public sewer that has not yet been installed, he added. “What do we do? Cross our fingers and hope our septic systems hold?”
Nester questioned whether there is a need for such a project given all the vacant buildings in the county already.
Nester also questioned what kind of life residents of Vista and Orchard Hills subdivisions are going to have when the stand of trees that cover the lot are removed. He also pointed out that many of the homes Pifer plans to build will have businesses in their backyards.
Utt said a 10- to 15-foot buffer of vegetation must be planted between commercial and residential developments.
Douglas Smith said property values and traffic are his two biggest issues with the project.
Right now he can let his grandchildren play outdoors without having to worry about traffic, he said. With the number of homes planned, he said, traffic will be drastically increased.
“It’s all swamp down there (Pifer’s property),” Smith said, adding that there are natural springs on the property. “This is just very disappointing.” He said the vegetation on the tract “does give us some relief from what (commercial development) we have around us now.”
Other residents questioned the size of the single-family homes, suggesting they may be significantly smaller than what is in surrounding neighborhoods. They also expressed concern as to whether the multi-family project would be low-income housing.
Pifer said there are no springs on the property. “In weather like this, it’s dry all the time.”
He said the homes would be about 1,300 square feet in size, and he indicated there are no plans for low-income housing.
As for the types of commercial development, he commented, “I don’t know what the future will bring really.”
Jeanette Sarver said she is concerned she’ll lose her home to flooding if the property isn’t properly developed.
“He can say it doesn’t have water on it, but come down there on a day it rains. It floods,” she said.
Although he understood the neighbors’ concerns, Ingles District Supervisor Ranny Akers made a motion that the Board of Supervisors approve the Pulaski County Planning Commission’s recommendation to grant Pifer’s petitions.
Akers said the Bagging Plant Road property already is zoned for commercial use. There’s just no designation as to how much is commercial.
As for the flooding issues and whether the property is properly developed, Akers said that has no bearing on the zoning request that was before the board. He said there are other departments and codes to address those issues — if the land is, indeed, able to be developed.
Akers’ motion passed 3-2, with Chairman Joe Sheffey of Cloyd District and Robinson District Supervisor Charles Bopp voting “no.”

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Residents question Bagging Plant Road development

DUBLIN — Neighboring property owners say a tract of land off Bagging Plant Road is swampy and won’t support a proposed housing and commercial development.
However, property owner Thomas H. Pifer disagrees.
Pifer is proposing to construct about a dozen single-family homes, a multi-family development and eight commercial lots on the nearly 14-acre tract that fronts Bagging Plant Road and is adjacent to Vista and Orchard Hills subdivisions.
A public hearing was held last Monday on Pifer’s request to revise lot lines on the tract and rezone a section of the property from Residential R-1 to Residential R-3 for the multi-family project.
Shawn Utt, community development director for the county, said the lot lines were not adequately identified when the property was zoned so they need to be revised.
He explained that the property along Bagging Plant Road already is zoned CM-1 for commercial development and the back portion is zoned R-1. However, without the lot lines being defined, there is no way of knowing where one zone ends and the other begins.
Several property owners living near the tract objected to Pifer’s plans. They cited increased traffic, decreased property values, septic issues and possible flooding as concerns.
Fred Nester said it is his understanding the land wouldn’t perk in the past, so why should it now.
“We’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting for” public sewer that has not yet been installed, he added. “What do we do? Cross our fingers and hope our septic systems hold?”
Nester questioned whether there is a need for such a project given all the vacant buildings in the county already.
Nester also questioned what kind of life residents of Vista and Orchard Hills subdivisions are going to have when the stand of trees that cover the lot are removed. He also pointed out that many of the homes Pifer plans to build will have businesses in their backyards.
Utt said a 10- to 15-foot buffer of vegetation must be planted between commercial and residential developments.
Douglas Smith said property values and traffic are his two biggest issues with the project.
Right now he can let his grandchildren play outdoors without having to worry about traffic, he said. With the number of homes planned, he said, traffic will be drastically increased.
“It’s all swamp down there (Pifer’s property),” Smith said, adding that there are natural springs on the property. “This is just very disappointing.” He said the vegetation on the tract “does give us some relief from what (commercial development) we have around us now.”
Other residents questioned the size of the single-family homes, suggesting they may be significantly smaller than what is in surrounding neighborhoods. They also expressed concern as to whether the multi-family project would be low-income housing.
Pifer said there are no springs on the property. “In weather like this, it’s dry all the time.”
He said the homes would be about 1,300 square feet in size, and he indicated there are no plans for low-income housing.
As for the types of commercial development, he commented, “I don’t know what the future will bring really.”
Jeanette Sarver said she is concerned she’ll lose her home to flooding if the property isn’t properly developed.
“He can say it doesn’t have water on it, but come down there on a day it rains. It floods,” she said.
Although he understood the neighbors’ concerns, Ingles District Supervisor Ranny Akers made a motion that the Board of Supervisors approve the Pulaski County Planning Commission’s recommendation to grant Pifer’s petitions.
Akers said the Bagging Plant Road property already is zoned for commercial use. There’s just no designation as to how much is commercial.
As for the flooding issues and whether the property is properly developed, Akers said that has no bearing on the zoning request that was before the board. He said there are other departments and codes to address those issues — if the land is, indeed, able to be developed.
Akers’ motion passed 3-2, with Chairman Joe Sheffey of Cloyd District and Robinson District Supervisor Charles Bopp voting “no.”

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