Several rezone application approvals at Monroe’s City Council meeting last week have made way for the city to get several new housing options in the future, but some feel that these just give more rental options to the city that is already rental heavy.
Two of the rezoning applications, which were approved with just Councilwoman Lee Malcom voting against, make way for three-story apartment complexes in the Mill District.
The first one, by Walton Monroe Properties LLC, approved the rezoning to PRD Phase 3 of property located at 506 and 700 S. Broad Street, 709 Alcovy Street, 100 Walker Street and 129 and 119 Second Street, encompassing about 130 acres. This makes way for 120 units that Royal American Properties is asking to manage for seniors 62 or older.
Nobody from the community spoke for or against the development with it passing after Councilman Norman Garrett recommended approval. The planned development would be called “The Enclave at the Mill.”
The second application approved was for a three-story mixed used development that would match the architecture of the mill. Pleasant Valley Assets LLC applied to have about 15 acres at 600 S. Broad Street rezoned from MI to PCD for a development that would include 160 units and amenities to give a “live, work and play” facility, again to be marketed to “vibrant seniors.” The units would include apartments/flats and townhouses. A basement would make up a fourth floor. Amenities would include a community room, fitness center, cardio room, a wellness center, a library and business center, pavilion with grills and private gardens. There also would be a walking path and on site management and maintenance. This was again approved with just Malcom voting against it. In both these applications, the planning and zoning staff had recommended approval with conditions.
However, a request by Monroe Walton Properties LLC to rezone property located at 221, 215 part of 237 Baker Street and 106 Olympian Way that would make way for 204 units of apartment homes in six buildings was unanimously voted down by the city council. In this instance, planning and zoning had recommended denial of this application by George Baker III for various reasons, including the increase of density that would require many variances. Several people spoke out against the rezoning, noting there already were too many rentals in the city with it already being a 68 percent rental community. Peggy Seymour, who has lived in Monroe for more than 60 years, pleaded with the council not to approve the zoning. Shane Short, director of the Walton County Development Authority, noted that there is not enough quality housing to keep employees from living outside of the city. He said, however, he was not speaking for or against any development.
Rezone requests at 410 and 412 Davis Street and a variance at 412 Davis Street by Open Wells, LLC, however, were approved unanimously making way for three cottage-style homes to be built. The City Council also voted to make Lumpkin Street one way.