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Developer withdraws residential zoning request

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The developer of a proposed housing project at 1624 E. Briar St. has withdrawn a rezoning application, according to a city news release.

Hoke and Peterson LLC, the project applicant, sought to change the zoning for the 1.5-acre south Springfield lot to a planned development from residential single family. Hoke and Peterson LLC also is listed as the property owner in Greene County assessor records.

Charlie Hoke of Hoke and Peterson said opposition from neighbors — including complaints over stormwater runoff, density and the project layout — led to the withdrawal of the zoning request that had been scheduled for Springfield City Council’s Jan. 14 meeting.

He had planned to build four 2,500-square-foot houses with three-car garages on the lot. The acreage has a market value of $149,000 and is located in the Williamsburg Hills neighborhood, according to assessor records.

The application requests construction with a maximum of four dwelling units per acre that may not exceed two stories in height, according to Springfield Planning & Zoning Commission documents.

During a November neighborhood meeting, 36 individuals attended. In addition to the stormwater, density and layout concerns, residents also indicated they want to maintain larger lots in the area that provide a country-like setting, according to P&Z documents.

“I am very much against changing the social climate of Williamsburg Hills into a society where citizens practically live on top of each other and privacy is almost nonexistent,” resident Ann Harkreader said on a comment card presented to the commission.

Patrick Platter, a Neale & Newman LLP lawyer who represents over 100 homes neighboring the proposed development, said in a letter to the commission the application violates the city’s zoning ordinance and elements of its comprehensive plan.

“The entire neighborhood is gratified that is has been withdrawn in its present form,” he said via phone this morning.

Other concerns, Platter said, were related to the entrance to the project needing access to a public road, an exit over a driveway and compatibility within the neighborhood.

Hoke said he doesn’t currently have other plans for the property.

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