Thompson Road apartments
NCC panel recommends lower density for project
Northland Community Council development committee members voted 10-2 last week to recommend approval for additional apartments along Thompson Road near New Albany, but with a condition that might not sit too well with the developer.
In light of a growing backlash against the proliferation of multifamily projects in the northeast section of the NCC's service area, committee members made their blessing contingent upon the developer, the New Albany Co., agreeing to reduce the proposed density from 12 units an acre to 10, according to chairman Dave Paul.
Committee members noted that a development with slightly higher density than the New Albany Co. was requesting is west of the site while lower density is to the east.
"They felt this was a good transitional use," Paul said.
In outlining the case for his clients at last week's committee meeting, attorney Jeffrey L. Brown of Smith and Hale LLC said the approximately 63-acre site at 5531 Thompson Road, between Morse Road and Preserve Crossing Boulevard, was to have been part of a large development undertaken by Lifestyle Communities. However, officials with that company have backed off building on this piece and so the original owners are seeking to develop it, Brown said.
It was rezoned for multifamily in 2004 at the time the deal with Lifestyle Communities was reached, he added. The new proposal calls for 12 units an acre, just slightly up from the 11.9 units sought when planned unit development zoning was granted, according to Brown.
"Twelve is a pretty typical number," he added.
Development committee member William Logan asked Brown how continued multifamily projects fit within a decade-old planning guide for the area that called for emphasizing single-family development with apartments as fill-ins.
The plan calls for a mixture of developments as well as the preserving open space, which this project includes, Brown replied.
"The apartment market in general is very strong," he said earlier.
During public comment, Don Edwards, representing Collingwood Point Condominiums, expressed some concerns about the proposal. Traffic on Morse Road is already "very, very bad" as result of the Lifestyles Communities projects, he said.
He added that residents of his condo project won't be able to get onto the road if more traffic is generated by the proposed Thompson Road apartment complex.
Brown told him that city officials have agreed to upgrades and improvements in that area of Morse Road, and offered to provide that information to Edwards.
Edwards also said residents at Collingwood Point were worried about drainage.
"That will be addressed in the construction phase," Brown assured him.