A sketch plan for 208 new apartments off of Duplex Road narrowly failed to gain approval from the Spring Hill Municipal Planning Commission this week.
The proposed three-story apartment buildings had been planned as an extension of the apartment complex The Grand Reserves, which is a multi-family component of the Williams Park Planned Unit Development. The site of the project, 18 acres southwest of the Duplex Road and Port Royal Road intersection, had already been rezoned to High Density Residential more than a decade ago.
The discussion preceding the planning commission’s vote largely concerned the impact of the new apartments on nearby single-family detached residences.
Alderman Jonathan Duda said if the project moved forward, he would be looking for adequate buffering along the north end of the property to separate the apartments from the single-family homes there. City planning staff indicated in their staff report that a landscape buffer would be required along the western boundary of the property.
The street layout was also at issue at the planning commission’s meeting. The only access to the property from a public street is via Cadence Drive, which runs through a neighborhood of single-family detached homes.
“I’m not quite sure how a neighborhood is going to feel about a connection directly into the parking lot of apartments,” Duda said. “I have been a proponent of multiple connections in the roadway network. It just happens to be that this layout maximizes the use of the property for the units and not necessarily for the way that road could have been fronted with buildings to make it look more like a road and less like a parking lot for apartments.
“I want to state my reason for why I won’t be voting for this. Years ago they secured the zoning for the R-4 and that plan that the property was zoned for, I thought, had a much more connected road network system. At this time, I am hesitant to agree with this plan.”
A motion to approve the sketch plan for the 208-apartment extension of The Grand Reserves ultimately failed with a 4-3 vote by the planning commission.
Quint Qualls covers Spring Hill for Home Page Media Group. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.