Wed, 01/25/2012 - 10:02pm
RIVERDALE -- City council members met a new townhome proposal with some resistance over the possible long-term fate of such a project.
Brad Wilson, president of Destination Homes, detailed aspects of a proposed luxury townhome community at 1500 West on what has been referred to as the Hayward Business Park property south of the new Larry H. Miller auto dealership. The area is zoned transitional residential.
A preliminary concept site plan shows 60 units on 4.86 acres. Wilson said the units would range in size from 1,200 to 2,000 square feet and include two-car garages. The site would include three common green areas, including a tot lot.
"Our buyer for this product is the young professional, transitioning from college to first career," Wilson said. "It is very different than an apartment. It is an opportunity to build equity."
Councilman Mike Staten said a townhome project in the area would prohibit business from creeping into residential areas.
"The idea is great, appropriate for the area," he said.
Some council members are worried the owner-occupied units would turn into rental units in the future. They say the city has enough rental units now.
"Short-term, this is a nice project," Councilman Norm Searle said. "Long-term, this is just another bunch of rentals. Already, 42 to 45 percent of people in Riverdale live in rentals. I am not in favor."
"When they turn to rentals, they turn to decay," Mayor Bruce Burrows said. "That is the naked truth."
Searle and Councilman Alan Arnold voiced concern over room to store snow removed from the project's streets. Burrows is concerned the sewer infrastructure in the area would not handle the increased load.
Wilson said he would consult a professional homeowners' association about how to ensure units remain owner-occupied