Green Springs Planned Unit Development zone change
Photo by Jaksmata

A new potential Planned Unit Development is causing concern to Green Springs area residents. According to residents living in the Green Springs Subdivision area, the same developer that has been working in the area north and west of Green Springs Drive wants to add about 100 units to 33 acres directly north of the end of Fairway Drive. This comes not long after residents unsuccessfully fought the Montessori Academy in the same vicinity. The zone change to Planned Unit Development is one of the topics of the Washington City Council meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 9.

Lena Burton, a Green Springs resident who was vocal in her opposition of the Montessori Academy, is equally unhappy with the prospect of even more construction going up in the area. She said that the construction and opening of the Dixie Montessori Academy made what was once a safe neighborhood into a dangerous and chaotic place.

“If a zone change is permitted for a multi-housing Planned Unit Development (PUD) located on the same street, it will not only impact the value of our homes that we love and worked hard for but increase traffic even more,” Burton said. “Someone should be protecting the value of the Green Springs area for being what it has been: clean, quiet, beautiful and R-1 zoning.”

Gary Davis, another Green Springs resident, sent an email to The Independent, as well as other Green Springs residents, expressing some of his concerns regarding the potential Green Springs Planned Unit Development zone change. In the email, Davis stated that the Planning Commission has “given the green light with no input from the neighbors.” Davis said the city only needs to notify residents of the neighborhood if the location of the development is less than 300 feet from someone’s property.

Davis went on to say that 100 units do not seem like a lot but that it should be cause for concern. He said the rentals can easily be used as short-term rentals, which has in the past caused heavy drinking, loud noise and reckless driving. Davis also stated that the proposed units are town homes and can be as high as two stories, perhaps even higher, and the location—which is proposed to be about a quarter mile from the end of Fairway Drive—may partially block current Green Springs residents’ views of the red cliffs and Pine Valley Mountain.

The email went on to say that the 100 units will not be separate and that there is no limit to the amount of units per structure; even 10 units with adjoining walls in a single large structure is very possible. No restrictions have been made by the Planning Commission to limit height, color or use.

Other concerns regarding the potential Green Springs Planned Unit Development zone change revolve around the quality of maintenance by the current developer on other projects in the area. According to residents, landscaping is near zero compared to landscaping in the older parts of Green Springs Drive. The new residents have complained to the developer because of the weeds and rocks in the place of plants and walkways.

Similar to issues raised regarding the dissatisfaction with the Dixie Montessori Academy, another concern with the Green Springs Planned Unit Development is the increased traffic in the area, especially at the Green Springs intersection.

Drew Ellerman, Community Development Director for Washington City, told the Independent that the Green Springs Planned Unit Development zone change is on the docket for Wednesday’s Washington City Council  meeting. Ellerman also addressed some of the points raised by Davis’ email.

“The proposal is on 32 acres and for 99 units,” Ellerman said. “These units as proposed are all ‘single family’ homes. Depending on the elevation, some units may be approved to have walk out basements. The proposal is for a PUD or Planned Unit Development. In order for an owner to use the home as possibly a rental or a vacation rental, a [Special Overlay Zone] has to be approved.”

Ellerman went on to say that nothing has been currently proposed along those lines.

The Washington City Council will meet Wednesday, Sept. 9, at 6 p.m. in the Council Room of the Washington City Offices located at 111 North 100 East. The final approval could be decided on the zone changes that will allow the project to either go forward or not. Residents in the area are encouraged to attend the Washington City Council Meeting.

For more information on Washington City, the Washington City Council or the Washington City Planning and Zoning Commission go to Washington City.org

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1 COMMENT

  1. Given the traffic problems already being experienced at the Green Springs/I-15 intersection, it’s amazing to think they would want to add more traffic with greater density developments. I’m sure this will give county and city leaders more ammunition for their argument to build their preferred Northern Corridor route, just as adding recreation activities on Red Hills Parkway and then complaining about traffic loads has been used. The road would not be needed if bad decisions such as these were not made. Add to that the fact that most PUDs in Washington County are some of the biggest water users in our area, and it amounts to more bad decisions when it comes to traffic and water. Perhaps there will be some restrictions placed on landscaping to at least help in that regard.

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