Dublin's planning and zoning commission last week chastised a proposal from the Edwards Land Co. to alter the previously approved development text for Tartan Ridge.

Dublin's planning and zoning commission last week chastised a proposal from the Edwards Land Co. to alter the previously approved development text for Tartan Ridge.

For nearly an hour at its meeting Sept. 18, the commission reviewed the proposed changes that it said "watered down" the original intent of the text and made it significantly weaker.

Changes are proposed to the text for the single-family portions of the development, including not requiring four-sided architecture and allowing front-loading garages. The new text also alters the character of some architectural styles originally proposed.

"I do think the proposed changes seriously dilute the original intent of the text," said commission member Richard Taylor. "I believe it will open a door to the type of products and the types of things the text was originally trying to avoid."

Attorney Ben Hale Jr. said the changes were made to come up with standards that are workable to the developer and other builders.

Taylor disagreed and said it would result in construction of spec homes that were "better dressed."

"What we're trying to do is make the system work better," Hale said. "We wrote the text. We knew we were making a high level of commitment. We don't think we are reducing that commitment in any way."

Hale and the project architect argued that the current text was too rigid and prevented builders from being creative. They said the changes would allow only minor deviations from the current text.

Taylor told Hale he has been concerned since he first heard Tartan Ridge would host the 2009 Parade of Homes and questions if the project could suffer from the event.

"We're doing the parade and we have some top quality builders who have stepped up to the table in terms of redesign of their product and they understand this is really unique in Dublin," Hale said. "The builders are being very cooperative and they understand we're trying to do something different because people will see the quality of the neighborhood and people will want to live there."

Hale showed the commission several drawings of homes planned for the event, some of which had price points topping $1-million each.

Among the many changes proposed was to lift the limit of 33 percent European colonial design. There are six architectural styles proposed for the development.

"From my point of view the reason you're mostly seeing European colonial as the style is it's the closest thing to what builders already have in their portfolios," Taylor said. "It's stone and stucco, which is what most people are doing now because it's the easiest to get to by modifying the existing plan, and that is the exact opposite of the original intent of what this text was."

Commission members shared Taylor's opinion.

"I was really happy when I read this original text. Everything has changed and to me, looks like it's been watered down," commission member Warren Fishman said.

The commission tabled the proposal. It is expected to return for review in the future.

In other news, the commission tabled a proposal for the Links at Ballantrae.

The Edwards Land Co. is proposing 46-single-family homes on the north side of Rings Road just west of Eiterman Road with 7.33-acres of open space.