Northwest News

NWCA to meet Jan. 8 to discuss rezoning proposal

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The Northwest Civic Association will be meeting in January, after all.

The date is Jan. 8, but the location is still undetermined.

Based on the 100 or so people who showed up at the December session to protest a proposed rezoning, the meeting room in the Meadow Park Church of God won't be big enough, according to Rosemarie Lisko, chairwoman of the association's graphics and zoning committee.

"We're looking for another location because the church can't have that many people," she said last week.

Because the normal schedule for NWCA meetings would have landed next month's on New Year's Day, President John Ehlers announced several weeks ago on the association's website the first session of 2014 would not be until Feb. 4.

But that was before board members at the Dec. 4 meeting opted to table a request to rezone part of an 11.1-acre site near the intersection of Riverside Drive and West Case Road to pave the way for a 152-unit apartment complex.

Jeffrey L. Brown, the zoning attorney for Casto Communities, agreed to the postponement in order to meet with city officials in hopes of addressing some of the traffic congestion concerns expressed by those opposed to the rezoning at the December meeting.

In particular, Brown said he would be checking why roadway improvements promised in 2003 during a rezoning that allowed the very condominiums in which the opponents live have yet to appear.

"We weren't going to have a meeting in January, but this rezoning needs attention," Lisko said.

"We're trying to get someone from the transportation department to attend the meeting and answer the questions."

Lisko said she is also holding out hope that Brown, of the firm Smith and Hale LLC, will come back with an altered proposal, one that won't draw quite as much ire from those living nearby.

"I'm hoping he'll come back with less density, more green space," Lisko said.

"He can't do anything about traffic; that's not his to deal with," she said.

"I'd like to see him come back with condos, but I don't know if that could happen.

"We're hoping there will be a lot more presented to us, changes that the people might be able to consider easier."

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