The latest of several attempts to develop a "leftover" parcel near Powell's southern boundary line has some momentum thanks to a decision by the city's Planning and Zoning Commission.
The board March 14 voted unanimously to approve Elite Real Estate Holdings' preliminary development plan for a 1.5-acre site at the southeast corner of Sawmill Road and Zion Drive. The developer plans four two-unit condo buildings, which will be known as the Mews at Zion, on the property.
Rocky Kambo, Powell's assistant director of development, said multiple firms have proposed projects at the site since the early 2000s, but none of them have come to fruition.
"It would bounce back and forth from residential to commercial and back to residential again," he said of the property, which sits just north of the Commons of Powell condo complex.
Kambo said city officials think condos make more sense for the "remnant parcel" than one or more businesses.
"Having (a) residential (use) at this corner is much more suitable than having (a) commercial (use)," he said.
Larry Lyons, a resident of nearby Junia Court, said he agrees with Kambo.
"We would much rather see housing than commercial," he said.
Lyons said nearby residents are somewhat concerned about the scale of the planned buildings. He said existing residences in the surrounding area are almost all one-story, while the Mews at Zion will feature two-story buildings.
Zoning board member Trent Hartranft said he likes the plan proposed by the developer.
"I think this is probably the best solution to this odd parcel of land," he said.
Board member Joe Jester said he also thinks the developer is on the right track, noting he did not think a commercial development would work on the site.
"I do believe it's got to be residential," he said.
Architect Dave Pontia said the condos on the "leftover corner" of Sawmill Road will be "primarily geared turned empty-nester retirees." Prices for the units could start at $450,000.