The Jerome Township Zoning Commission will get its first chance tonight to hear details about a proposed housing development adjacent to the metro park.
Developers of Glacier Pointe will be at tonight’s zoning commission meeting to ask for 248.6 acres to be rezoned from rural residential to planned development. Mark Spagnuolo, town ship zoning inspector, called this “the first step” in the development process.
Plans call for 467 single-family homes on the development, north of the intersection of Mitchell-Dewitt and McKitrick roads. Of the homes, 234 are expected to be patio-style retirement homes on smaller lots. Plans call for no apartment housing and for none of the homes to be attached.
Plans also call for there to be street trees, sidewalks and paths connected to Glacier Ridge Metro Park, which will border the north side of the development.
Spagnuolo said the plan contains more almost 100 acres, about 40 percent of the development, to be left for open space. He said there are at least six parks planned for inside the development.
The project is planned to be built in six phases. The development will have access points onto both McKitrick and Mitchell-Dewitt roads. Plans also call for the exit onto McKitrick road to connect to Avalon Lane, the main road into the Woods at Labrador development.
Township resident Andrew Diamond said he would, “like to have a plan for how all of the additional traffic is going to be handled.”
Spagnuolo said the developer, Encore Living LLC., had a traffic study conducted.
“Our analysis show there will be little-to-no impact on traffic operations at the existing intersections within the study area, as well as the proposed access points as a result of the construction of the Diocese tract development,” according to the study.
Spagnuolo said he has not heard a response from the Union County Engineer’s Office regarding the traffic study.
Diamond said development in the area should be done “in a responsible way.”
He said he and other residents are planning to attend the meeting in opposition to the proposed housing development.
Diamond said he is not opposed to development, but he is, “concerned about the rate of development in the township.”
He said he questions the need for another housing development.
“We have thousands of homes already approved through Jerome Township, including Jerome Village, Woodbine Village, Mitchell Crossing, Mitchell Highlands, New California Reserve, Jacquemin Farms and more,” Diamond wrote in an e-mail to the Journal-Tribune. “Our schools are being flooded with an influx of students and our roads are choked with traffic already.”
He said there has been, “a lot of public opinion expressed sharing these same concerns, so I expect the meeting to be well-attended.”
Diamond said the Jonathan Alder, Fairbanks and Dublin school districts need a chance to catch up to the rapid growth.
The plan has passed through the Logan-Union-Champaign Regional Planning Commission, which has recommended the township approve the request with some conditions. Jerome Township officials have hired a third-party consultant to review the application. Spagnuolo said the consultant is expected to deliver its report at the Zoning Commission meeting Sept. 25.
“That way the township has a more professional analysis, done more thoroughly than a zoning inspector can do,” Spagnuolo said.
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