Chelsea planners reject new subdivision

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 24, 2002

The Chelsea Planning Commission rejected a request from a developer to put a 43-unit mixed development on Shelby County Highway 39 between Chelsea Middle School and Shelby County Highway 47.

Developer Randy Greenhill wanted to develop eight acres into a townhouse and garden home subdivision called Chelsea Place.

Greenhill sought to have the land currently zoned A-R, which allows for agricultural uses and large residential lots, to PRD, a planned residential development which allows a mix of homes ranging from small to large lots.

The PRD allows for single family attached and detached dwellings, two-family dwellings and town houses.

At a July 1 meeting the proposal was tabled by commissioners. Residents from two Chelsea subdivisions, Twin Oaks and Yellow Leaf, objected to the proposed subdivision, arguing that Chelsea Place was too dense and would cause a large increase in traffic on the busy Highway 39.

The developer’s request failed with two commissioners removing themselves from the vote.

Commissioners Jackie Boulware, Rusty Efferson, Mark Lindsay, Col. John Ritchie, Neal Shirley and Chairman Andy Wallace voted no. Commissioners City Clerk Bob Wanninger and Mayor Earl Niven abstained, both saying they had a conflict of interest because of a previous relationship with the developer.

Ritchie, who is also a Chelsea City Councilmember, said the potential increased traffic &uot;disturbed&uot; him.

&uot;Adding 60 to 80 cars a day to that road, I agree that’s not a good idea,&uot; he said. &uot;I worry about mothers picking up their children from school with all those cars.&uot;

Commissioners also questioned whether the sewer would be able to handle the 43 units.

Wallace said he believed there would not be a problem with the sewer perking at that area. He did, however, question the increased traffic.

&uot;How do we answer the traffic question when we don’t know for sure what will happen to (the intersection of Highways) 39 and 47,&uot; Wallace said. &uot;Does a development this dense fit in with the surroundings?&uot;

Twin Oaks resident Tommy Lyle fought to have the zoning denied. He said after hearing about the planned development, he informed several of his neighbors and asked them to oppose it.

&uot;The only ones who found out about this right away were the adjoining property owners who received a notice,&uot; Lyle said after a July 11 meeting.

He said he was happy the commissioners &uot;listened&uot; and sided with the subdivision residents