Rocky Fork Enterprise

Shops at Rocky Fork

Council OKs Hamilton Road rezoning TIF

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The face of South Hamilton Road will change following the March 3 council approval to rezone residential parcels to neighborhood commercial.

Council voted 6-1 to rezone 3.55 acres to neighborhood commercial, mixed use for property at 291-361 S. Hamilton Road and 390 Rocky Fork Drive South.

The approval leads the way for Ranger Development Group's Shops at Rocky Fork.

Council president Brian Larick, Ward 3 representative, was the lone dissenter. Karen Angelou, Ryan Jolley, Tom Kneeland, Jamie Leeseberg, Stephen Renner and Michael Schnetzer voted yes.

Larick said a significant number of concerns had been raised, including issues with traffic.

Related to the rezoning, council unanimously approved a tax-increment-financing agreement with Rocky Fork Retail for property within the city's Hamilton Road corridor to provide for the redevelopment of certain property along Hamilton Road.

The development project is within the Hamilton Road TIF district, roughly bound by Interstate 270 to the south, adjacent properties along Hamilton Road up to Clark State and certain properties west of Hamilton Road along Carpenter Road and Granville Street.

City development director Anthony Jones previously said the TIF agreement would ensure the construction of public infrastructure items associated with the redevelopment project.

Ranger president Jason Zadeh and partner Greg Gallas, who brought the Commons at Clark Hall, plan to redevelop 3.55 acres along the west side of South Hamilton Road, just north of Rocky Fork Drive South, to create about 26,800 square feet within three retail-commercial buildings.

Kneeland has been an advocate of TIF money being used for sidewalks along Flint Ridge Drive.

"I want to remind council of my request to install sidewalks from one end of Flint Ridge to the other because of what can occur potentially from traffic," he said.

Jolley said he also supports sidewalks on Flint Ridge, regardless of whether the development moves forward.

"As far as traffic goes, I've spoken about traffic many times," he said. "I support a comprehensive traffic study for the entire city."

Renner said his colleagues make good points.

"One of the things I struggle with on projects like this is property rights," he said. "We have a developer/owner who says what they want to do. They were patient with us with our questions. They meet requirements. Legislation at the end of the day is zoning. I'm not in favor of government restricting us too much. Hamilton Road is definitely going commercial. This is a good thing for the city."

Angelou said she agrees about the sidewalk. She said the developer also has made efforts to shield residents behind the proposed development.

"It will stay residential in character," she said. "We want to protect those who already have homes there."

Council also approved legislation to allow sidewalks to be built on only one side of the Oak Grove subdivision.

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