By Ron Nunnari
CLAYTON — A proposal to rezone 33.73 acres of land at the northwest corner of National and Haber roads died due to insufficient votes either for or against during the Feb. 18 meeting of Clayton council.
Several residents voiced opposition to the proposal during a Zoom meeting, some calling in to the meeting while others sent email, which Mayor Mike Stevens read aloud to members of city council. Most opposing the rezoning cited concerns over the existing volume of traffic at Haber and National and the increased traffic the development would generate.
One email claims that the city received a petition opposing the rezoning signed by approximately one thousand residents and hoped that council would take that opposition into account.
The rezoning would have cleared the way for construction of 147 apartment units as proposed by Redwood USA, LLC.
Residents also cited concerns of having an over-abundance of apartments constructed in close proximity to Haber and National. The Windsor Companies has purchased land in the Village of North Clayton where plans are in place to construct 180 apartments, according to Councilman Ken Henning.
“If we put too many apartments there and to many apartments here we are going to be putting apartments all over the rural preservation area,” Gorman commented.
The first of two readings of Ordinance O-ZC-20-02 to adopt, reject, or adopt with modifications the planning commission’s recommendation to approve with condition the application of Redwood USA, LLC to rezone the land from R-1 Open Space Residential to PD-3 Planned Development-Business, died due to a lack of sufficient votes either for or against.
Henning made a motion to reject the recommendation, which was seconded by Vice Mayor Tim Gorman. Before voting council held a lengthy discussion to clarify that the ordinance was solely to approve or reject the rezoning, and not any specific development plans.
“If the zoning is approved tonight, then what would happen next is they would have to go through the preliminary development phase spelled out in the Codified Ordinances, and that is when it goes before the planning commission again and the planning commission would make a recommendation that would come before council again,” City Law Director Marina Dillon explained to council.
Development density and a traffic study would be required if the rezoning was approved as well as development plan that would be presented to the planning commission for consideration, among other details.
During the rollcall vote to reject the rezoning by a motion by Henning, Councilmembers voted as follows: Brendan Bachman (no), Henning (yes), Gorman (yes), Greg Merkle (yes), Tina Kelly (yes), Dennis Lieberman (no), and Mayor Stevens (no).
According to Dillion the 4-3 vote based on a planning commission recommendation requires four votes to approve, but the no votes totaling three to approve the recommendation was not sufficient. Dillon also noted that in order to reject the recommendation a total of five votes was required to reject the recommendation and the four yes votes, which in this case was to reject the proposal, was also insufficient.
“So essentially we have, under our code, an insufficient number of votes to either reject or to approve, so it basically dies on the table. There are insufficient votes to move it forward to the next step,” Dillon explained.
Reach Ron Nunnari at (937) 684-9124, via email [email protected] or on Twitter @RonNunnari