Dozens of residents showed up to a special meeting Monday to voice concerns over a proposed rezoning that could bring hundreds of apartments to their southeastern Jefferson County subdivision.
The 21st Century Parklands Endowment wants to rezone Oakland Hills for apartments, as well as bring nearly 600 new homes to the area in the Floyds Fork Watershed near the Bullitt County line.
The meeting at the Central Government Center on the Outer Loop was a packed house. The meeting was a result of more than 300 residents signing a petition and wanting their voices to be heard.
Steve Porter, the lawyer representing them, said residents had three concerns: traffic, density and an endangered specifies known as glade cress, which is found only in the area being developed and parts of Bullitt County.
“They reduced the acreage and increased the number of dwelling units from some 700 units to over 1,000 units, 1,030 units,” Porter said. “If you take those new figures, the dwelling units per acre becomes 1.94, a whole lot more than the 1.1.”
That’s because under the proposal, while there would be fewer homes than the original development of Oakland Hills called for, there would be an addition of up to 348 apartments.
However, Clifford Ashburner, the developer’s attorney, said that was not the case, pointing out the previous plan filed by the original developer called for the development of 115 more acres. He also said the nearby Parklands at Floyds Fork would not be touched.
Ashburner also told residents the proposed zoning and development had been done to save an estimated 98 percent of the glade cress in the area.
Still, not all neighbors were in favor of the plan for development.
“The promises come and then the changes happen,” neighbor Darren Rock said. “They want to rezone this and do that. So what today may be a 348-unit apartment complex, there may be two more coming down the road three years from now.”
After a more than four-and-a-half-hour meeting, the planning commission voted to approve the proposal for additional homes.
The rezoning that could bring up to 348 apartments was also approved, but Metro Council will have the final say on approval.