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Springdale apartment complex appeal denied

Tuesday, March 10, 2015 by Jo Clifton

City Council has rejected an appeal by DeWayne Lofton, who was seeking to overturn a decision of the Planning Commission to grant a conditional use permit for an affordable housing complex at 5905 Springdale Road.

Lofton, president of Pecan Springs/Springdale Neighborhood Association, told Council he felt that commissioners did not pay enough attention to his neighborhood’s complaints when they heard the case, because it was at the end of a very long meeting.

Lofton told Council that his neighborhood did not want another apartment complex. Instead, he said the area needs retail establishments and small businesses.

But Council affirmed that decision Feb. 26, with some additional stipulations aimed to make residents feel better about the complex. The vote was 10-0-1, with Council Member Don Zimmerman abstaining.

Council Member Ora Houston explained that the developer, Ryan Properties, agreed to enlarge the on-site café and lengthen the hours of its operation. She said it also agreed to a larger community room that would have longer hours of access.

Although Ryan Properties does not believe that retail is generally appropriate for the site “in an effort to get a compromise,” Houston said, the developer is going to build some live-work units on the front of the property so a tenant could have a shop, such as for clock repair or tax preparation.

Also, Houston said Ryan Properties is willing to look at retail recruitment strategies, and would work with the Urban League. She said they had committed $70,000 to the effort. Still, Lofton said he wanted to maintain on the record that his neighborhood was opposed to the project.

Attorney Richard Suttle of Armbrust and Brown represented the developer.


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