The Franklin County Planning and Zoning Commission needed more time before making a decision on a rezoning request.
The commission agreed to send Sam Wagner’s rezoning request to the review committee and will vote on the issue at the August meeting.
The decision to review came after Wagner changed his request during the meeting based on comments for the commission and county staff.
Wagner originally requested a rezoning of 11 parcels of land in the Lake Wood Estates subdivision from suburban development to residential development two. He told the commission his intent was to develop the property by building zero lot line duplexes.
“We’re not wanting to make the lots any smaller, we’re just wanting to do a two-family home per lot,” Wagner said.
Wagner said the property has 28 lots for sale, but only six or seven have been sold. He owns one, his mother owns another, and the others have been purchased by others looking to sell homes.
Development of the land, which Wagner has had for several years, has been slow. He said he was seeking to do something to make money.
“We’re trying to make the most use of the property we have,” Wagner said.
He said the initial prices for the duplex would be $200,000. He said the home he lives in on the property is valued at $400,000 and he wouldn’t want to do anything to lower that number.
“I live on one of the lots so it’s in my best interest is to do the best for not only the county, but for us,” Wagner said.
Members of the commission expressed concerns about mobile homes. In the RD2 zoning district, mobile homes are allowed.
Planning Director Scottie Eagan asked Wagner why he picked RD2 instead of a residential development. Eagan said RD offers all the things RD2 offers, but it prevents the land from turning into a mobile home park.
Wagner said he chose RD2 based on the advice of his engineer, Steve Laure.
Wagner said he has no interest in turning the property into a mobile home park.
“I would not do something to depreciate the value of my own home,” Wagner said.
Commission Co-Chair Jay Schultehenrich said while Wagner might not want one, a future owner could.
“I respect what you said, but there appears to be a loophole there that would allow that to come about,” he said. “That is a concern that I would certainly express.”
In an effort to prevent mobile homes, the commission created some confusion. Members of the commission couldn’t decide if Wagner’s property would be better off being zoned RD, residential development 1 or RD2.
Wagner said he would switch to whatever zoning district that would allow him to have duplexes.
Eagan said RD would be the better option because it prevents mobile home parks. However, because RD still allows for mobile homes, it wouldn’t prevent them entirely. Eagan said in the current suburban development zoning mobile home doubles are allowed.
Commissioner Todd Boland said that if both RD and RD2 allow mobile homes and duplexes, what difference does it matter if Wagner’s application is for RD2.
Wagner, just wanting to get duplexes, agreed to revise his request and apply for a switch to RD to prevent a future owner from being allowed to have a mobile home park.
With all the confusion and questions, eight of the 11 commissioners voted to send the request to the review committee for further analysis.
Tuesday’s meeting was not Wagner’s first rezoning request. A request to rezone the property to RD2 was made in 2004, but denied by the commission citing concerns over traffic.
In April 2005, Wagner attempted to rezone the area to community development, but that was denied by the county commission.
Finally, in May 2006, Wagner received a rezoning. He was approved to change the zoning to suburban development.
The suburban development zoning only allows for single-family homes. At the time, Wagner said he didn’t have any plans to do anything else.
However, on Tuesday, he said it’s been eight years and development has not gone as planned.
The request will then be placed on the agenda for the August meeting.
If the commission makes a recommendation to approve, the county commission will have to approve the rezoning at a later meeting.