Dublin Villager

Planning and Zoning Commission

Residents oppose Riviera housing plan

Proposal calls for 1.7 houses per acre, more than current zoning allows

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"Keep it green" is the motto of opposition to a proposed residential development at Riviera Golf Club.

Residents packed the Dublin municipal building for the March 13 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting to voice their displeasure with a concept plan for 284 single-family lots on 168 acres.

Developer Charles Ruma purchased the property and said the golf course has had financial difficulties and will soon close. The current zoning is rural and restricted suburban residential, which would allow about 1 home per acre.

The concept plan, however, requested feedback on rezoning the land to Planned Unit Development, or PUD, that would allow about 1.7 homes per acre.

Residents' concerns about the potential development ranged from an increase in traffic to the destruction of green space.

Kevin Walter, representing Friends of Dublin, said the proposal violates the community plan, which guides development in Dublin and has the site listed as parks or open space.

"This development is direct opposition of the community plan," he said.

Bob Fathman, chairman of the Muirfield Civic Association, said the development could bring overcrowding to Dublin City Schools.

"This is not a good plan for the schools, the schoolchildren or the community," he said.

A letter from the district estimated the proposal could add students at all grade levels -- 145 at the elementary, 102 at the middle school and 105 at the high school at full build out.

If the plan goes forward, the district requested the commission consider a buffer zone between the development and Grizzell Middle School and Jerome High School, which borders the land.

"Residents who live near Coffman's football stadium or the Jerome baseball field can attest to the heavy, year-round use of these facilities and the noise that often emanates into these neighborhoods," the letter said.

The district's letter also addressed rumors that the school district was considering giving land to Ruma for a road to connect the development to Hyland Croy Road.

"Our District has not granted the property owner any easements associated with this project and we do not plan to grant any easement requests onto the Jerome High School property in the future," the letter said.

During a March 10 board of education meeting, Superintendent Todd Hoadley said giving land to the development would have "no benefit to us as a school district."

Other concerns from residents included traffic.

Traffic congestion in the area is already bad, especially when school starts and ends. Another 284 homes would add to that, said Kip Rosier, president of the Belvedere Homeowners Association.

"What is the benefit of this plan?" he asked.

Residents also worried that the proposed subdivision would increase the cost of city services and schools, and some proposed other uses for the land.

"Dublin has the opportunity to become a leader in solutions," said Christine Gawronski, president of the Brandon Homeowners Association, adding that the land could be turned into a park or preserved as a wetland.

After receiving comments from residents and Planning and Zoning Commission members, the proposal now can be modified or abandoned.

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