City Council votes to delay South Lincoln rezoning

Brittany Schmigel

Kent City Council postponed its decision on the South Lincoln rezoning issue until the April 6 meeting, delaying the outcome for a third time.

David Williams, the attorney representing Edwards Communities Development Co., asked for a motion to continue the discussion of the issue and the possibility of an overlay district.

“It would be good to have the whole panel here, because this is important for everybody,” Williams said, in light of Council representative John Kuhar’s absence. “We’d like a chance to revisit this thought of the overlay.”

,p>The location of the proposed South Lincoln apartment complex is zoned at R-3, which allows for eight units, or bedrooms, per acre and building height cannot exceed 35 feet. Edwards Communities Development Co. has been fighting to have the parcel rezoned to R-4, allowing 36 units per acre and a maximum building height of 65 feet.

An overlay zone would create a middle ground between the R-3 and R-4 zones, so that both Edwards Communities Development Co. and the High Street residents are satisfied.

“Hearing about this idea of an overlay district makes my heart sing with joy,” said Amanda Ennis, a High Street resident.

Ennis said the main conflict is that there is too large of a gap between the number of units allowed in the R-3 and R-4 zones. She said the R-4 zoning in that area is totally unacceptable.

“The idea of 1,440 people moving in up the street from me makes me want to hide under my bed,” she said. “I think the right number is somewhere between eight and 36.”

The original plans the Edwards Communities Development Company proposed to Committee consisted of a 596-bedroom complex on 10 acres of land. The property is within a close proximity to High Street, which compelled 11 residents to speak negatively against the company’s design at the Public Hearing of the committee meeting Wednesday.

“Hopefully we can come up with a density that all of us can live with and make a real asset to the community, instead of something that we hold our noses and tolerate,” Ennis said. “I think this interim overlay, I think we can work with that.”

Contact Brittany Schmigel at [email protected].