Originally Published: March 12, 2006 4 a.m.
DEWEY-HUMBOLDT After a couple months of "public process and entitlement," the development concept for Young's Farm went before the Dewey-Humboldt Planning and Zoning Commission on Thursday night.
More than 100 people attended the public hearing in the Bean Tree Barn at Young's Farm. After public comments, the commission gave no recommendation and continued the item to its April 6 meeting.
Since introduction of the project, housing density has been the number one public concern. Thursday was no different.
The developers, headed by Don Allison and Monogram Development Services L.L.C., are seeking a zone change to Planned Area Development (PAD).
Their conceptual site plan calls for a maximum of 580 housing units on 180 of the total 325 acres.
Allison could not answer specific questions about the exact number of houses, the sizing or the platting, saying that at this stage of the process, more work will be necessary before developers will know those things for sure.
"The very first major development to come before the planning and zoning commission happens to be one filled with a lot of maybes," said Michael Randall, a D-H resident. "A lot of 'we don't know yet' and 'we don't have a master plan.'"
Allison said that the project would produce $15.4 million for the town in the first three years, largely through zoning and permit fees, and would generate $18-19 million over 20 years.
"I'm surprised that Monogram came up with some tax figures and how much they're going to contribute to the community when they can't even tell you how many houses they're going to put in or where," Randall said.
"Should the commission ok this plan for Monogram, we will have opened a can of worms for more development by other developers," said Naomi E. Raines, another town resident. "I say a 'no' vote to Monogram until they can come up with a master plan that will address our hopes and our fears."
The town's planning and zoning advisor, Larry Harmer, said that at this point the proposal is purely at a conceptual level and seeks to establish the zoning so developers can make final proposals.
The project is subject to multiple hearings and approvals from the town down the line, including the platting process with specific housing plans.
The vast majority of public comments were critical of the project, but a few people either said the plan looked good or they were at least willing to give it a chance.
"They've been trying to help the community and give us a little insight into what they're doing," said John Hughes. "Because they can't give us a full number (of houses) doesn't really mean it's a bad idea. Everybody has moved here and they don't want anyone else to move in. Why don't we give them a chance and let them go step by step."
Allison said that it's hard to get people to come out to show support as opposed to those who are passionately against something. He said that of all the letters they have received, more than 20 percent favored the project. Seven percent opposed it, and the balance just made comments or asked questions.
Allison also said that the project has the Youngs' approval.
"Ultimately they chose our group and we have demonstrated to them that we are serious about preserving the legacy and the heritage and bringing something positive to the community that will last for generations to come," said Allison. "To that end, they have agreed to lend their names to this project. The Young's did not do that lightly."
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