A local developer is closer to building duplexes in Union, but not all residents in the area are pleased with the plans.
Monday night, the Union Board of Zoning Adjustments granted a variance to Dave Weber, with B&D Developers, to allow 6-foot side yard setbacks for proposed duplexes.
That same night the Union Planning and Zoning Board gave the nod to conditional use permit that will allow the duplexes in R-2 zoned property.
The Union Board of Aldermen must approve the variance and the conditional use permit.
The property is located north of Roosevelt Avenue and south of Park Hill Estates.
Some neighbors of the development are in favor of the proposal because plans call for the completion of Westmoreland Avenue.
Under a 4-year-old agreement with the city, which includes requirements that B&D Developers install curb and guttering, and connect water and sewer, the city would then asphalt the roadway.
Joe Esslinger said he and three other neighboring property owners in favor of the variance and conditional use permit, and there are just two against the measures.
One of those opposing the variance is Lyn Brown, whose yard is adjacent to one of the duplex side yards.
“I don’t want a building 6 feet from my property line,” she said.
Currently there are four lots that are zoned for single-family homes. Weber said he wants to build three duplexes with six units that would be sold individually.
He explained that the lots, in the Crowe’s Addition subdivision, are smaller than average sized lots for single-family homes.
“We need the density to keep the door prices down,” he said. “In a depressed market we have to make these attractive.”
Weber said the homes would be sold for about $125,000.
Brown said there is only 13 feet from the side of her home to the side of one duplex.
“All of the other houses in the subdivision are probably 30 feet away,” she said.
Weber said the current code allows for an 8-foot setback, but his proposal actually calls for 6-foot, 8-inch side yard setbacks.
“This is the moist appealing floor plan I can market and sell,” he said. “I had to shrink the footprint to change the floor plan.”
Joe Esslinger, and another neighbor Alfred Esslinger, were adamant that they wanted the road completed.
At one point in the meeting, Alfred Esslinger yelled, “That road is going in there.” He later called neighbors who disagreed with him “dumb.”
In a hearing held during the planning and zoning meeting, Brown said the duplexes will bring down the property value of her home.
“I don’t think duplexes enhance the value of a single-family home,” she said.
Alderman and zoning board member Bob Schmuke disagreed.
“I’d rather see a street and housing than the way it sits now,” he said.
Ruth Beckmann said she would also like to see homes on the property instead of duplexes.
“It is surrounded by residential homes that are kept up — we are proud of out neighborhood,” she said. “I want this to remain single-family homes.”
Joe Esslinger disagreed with the other residents.
“I think this will enhance the value of our property,” he said.