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Planning Board OKs nine condos on Kanuga Road

Randy Daniels speaks against condominium development planned for Kanuga Road Randy Daniels speaks against condominium development planned for Kanuga Road

Saying they had no choice, members of Hendersonville’s planning board voted Monday to grant site plan approval to a condominium development off Kanuga Road in the city.

“All we can do is make sure this proposed development is in compliance. If it is, this is development by right,” said Jim Robertson, the board’s chairman. “If it is in compliance, this board is going to approve it. We have no choice.”
The board voted seven to two to approve the plan with board members Neil Brown and Candi Guffey voting against the proposal for the Kanuga Trails development.
The vote came after the board heard from several neighbors opposed to the development and an engineer working for its developers.
The board considered the site plan and a major subdivision ordinance for the vacant, wooded property just inside the city limits off Kanuga Road. Plans by David Day and LCV Ventures LLC call for nine residential condominiums, eight duplex and one single-family unit on 4.77 acres. Much of the property is in the flood plain and the developer’s plans say they will not build on the property’s flood prone areas. They said they also will reserve a portion of the property for a greenway/sewer easement.
About 25 people attended Monday’s meeting. Several spoke against the proposed development while others sent emails to the board in opposition to the project.
Donna Dillinger told the planning board she lives near the property and has watched it flood many times over the years. The project should not go forward because of the flooding risk, she said.
“I figured logic would dictate no one would build in a floodplain,” she said. “I’m not happy about it.”
Others said they were concerned about the density of the project with much of the 4.77 acres not considered an option for building because of the flooding risk.
“There is not 4.77 acres to build on. There’s probably .75 acres,” neighbor Randy Daniels said. “The way I’m looking at it, two or three single family dwellings, not nine.”
Plans for the duplexes are also too close to his home, he said.
“Having someone looking in my back window is not too pleasing,” Daniels said.
Others said they were concerned about how lighting from the condominiums might shine into their property.
Mike Lovoy, an engineer representing the developer, told the board developers clustered plans for the condominiums toward Kanuga Road to avoid problems with flooding.
He said he would be willing to talk with concerned neighbors and try to address their concerns.
“We want to be a good neighbor here,” he said. "These are going to be nice looking units.”
The planning board had to vote on the planned development because it included more than eight units. But the board also had to allow the plans because they met all zoning and subdivision ordinances, board members said. Information provided to the board by the city’s planning staff outlined their role.
“The project consists of nine condominium dwelling units which triggers site plan review and major subdivision review by the planning board,” according to the planning department’s summary of the project. “This is an objective review of the site plan to ensure that it meets the zoning and subdivision ordinance. Conditions cannot be placed on the project unless it is a condition that would ensure compliance with either the zoning or subdivision ordinance.”
Brown said he voted against the project because the proposal left too many unanswered questions.
Guffey, toward the end of the meeting, said she was concerned about voting for a project that the board had to allow.
“It feels like ‘What are we voting for,’” she said.
In other business, the board heard a presentation from Downtown Manager Jamie Carpenter about a city zoning change to potentially permit light manufacturing in downtown Hendersonville. Light manufacturing would include businesses that make outdoor gear such as cycling and bike components and niche markets such as soap makers, breweries and distilleries, among other things. Microbreweries are currently allowed. Board members said they liked the idea of light manufacturing downtown but questioned rules for outdoor storage and parking for the businesses.