County may okay 10-acre, 4-home subdivision

The Board of Commissioners seems to be inching closer to allowing a small patch of development on South Jeff Davis Drive. Max Fuller and Jay Knight brought a petition before the board at Thursday’s meeting asking for a 10.56 acre plot fronting South Jeff Davis to be rezoned for a four-home subdivision.

Earlier plans had the subdivision possibly hosting eight homes, but updated plans slice that number in half, with homes ranging from 3,000 to 4,000 square feet and sitting on a little over two acres per lot. To alleviate safety concerns, the developers expressed a willingness to limit the number of curb cuts by using shared driveways, even though it is standard to have individual entrances when homes front a roadway.

Staff and the planning commission both supported the rezoning request, but support from the community wasn’t so unanimous. Neighbors on abutting properties shared a few concerns, such as added dangerous congestion and water runoff.

Frank Love, developer of the neighboring Jeff Davis Plantation, wanted to make sure his neighborhood, along with the Woodlands, wouldn’t see their properties negatively affected by a hastily-built development with low standards. Love did say he felt much better about the plan after sitting down with the developers and seeing they want to build a quality subdivision, but he just wanted to make sure the Board held them to high standards.

Jay Knight, the builder of the project, spoke on behalf of the petition, assuring it would be first class. A resident of the county, he is part of a family-owned business that has been around 37 years and built 7,000 homes, and they wouldn’t put their reputation on the line. Knight expressed openness to shared driveways if staff recommended them as the best, safest option, noting a study to determine this couldn’t be done in time for the petition.

Commissioner Steve Brown remarked that the new plan was better than previous versions, but he was inclined to vote against it with four curb cuts. Ultimately, the petition was tabled until August 27 to give Phil Mallon and his public works crew time to better analyze the plans and give a recommendation.

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