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74-home subdivision on Fifth Avenue West is too dense, Planning Board says

Sara Huggins, who lives at 504 Broadway St., told the Planning Board she is concerned that the proposed Ivy Crossing development could cause stormwater runoff problems. Sara Huggins, who lives at 504 Broadway St., told the Planning Board she is concerned that the proposed Ivy Crossing development could cause stormwater runoff problems.

A proposal to build 74 homes on small lots off Fifth Avenue West is too tightly packed and is incompatible with the surrounding residential land-use, Hendersonville Planning Board members said Monday before voting 7-2 to recommend denial of a rezoning request.

“This is not in my opinion medium intensity, it’s high intensity,” Planning Board member Jim Robertson said before making a motion to oppose the rezoning on the grounds that the use would be nonconforming and could potentially cause drainage problems.
The Planning Board’s vote, with Chairman Steve Orr and Robert Hogan voting in favor of the rezoning, set off applause among the homeowners at the meeting from Westbrook Road, Fifth Avenue West and other nearby streets.
“Many of the houses in this area are historic homes, some more than 100 years old,” Babs Newton said. “Fifth Avenue already experiences heavy traffic making it difficult to cross. Those who live on or near Fifth Avenue know the 25 mph speed limit is too often not obeyed.”
Newton and other homeowners who spoke said they’d rather see fewer homes and larger lots, more green space and trails and more trees saved. The development would remove 70 percent of the trees on the 16-acre tract, although the applicant had agreed to replant as many as would be removed.
Windsor Built Homes has developed River Stone, Livingston Farms and several other large subdivision in Henderson County over the past 20 years. The property, which has been in the Ewbank family since the 1880s, is currently owned by Spence and Marianne Ewbank Campbell, Joseph Boothroyd Ewbank and Linda Ewbank. It’s been on the market for about two years, said Will Buie, the engineer for the project.
“We’ve seen a number of proposals that never made it to an actual plan” and envisioned apartments, townhomes or condos, Buie said. “This is the only proposal I have seen that’s considered single family residential on that property.”
The proposed subdivision would be called Ivy Crossing, after the name the Ewbank family gave to the driveway, Ivy Lane. The land contains a large white house built in 1952 and two smaller cottages. The larger house is the home of the sellers, Spence and Marianne Campbell.
The homes would be one or two stories, between 1,500 and 2,200 square feet, with attached garages. Density would be 4.7 units per acre. Projected buildout of the subdivision is two to three years.
The developer commissioned a traffic impact analysis that showed the subdivision would have a minimal effect on traffic movement and intersections. The study, based on 86 units instead of the proposed 74 homes, projected 50 trips out of the subdivision and 16 into it in the morning and 55 in and 33 out at the afternoon peak travel time.
The rezoning application could have gone to the City Council as early as Thursday, March 5, but it’s unclear whether the developer plans to move ahead with the application as written, revise it or withdraw it. The developer has pulled the request from the March City Council meeting.
“The developer and the engineer went off to think about it,” Campbell said. “They certainly got the message from all the comments and I guess they’re going to get back to me next week with whatever conclusion they came to. That may be the end of it, it may not be.”