Having passed a first reading before city council despite city staff recommending against it, a request for a zone change needed by the developer of a residential community off State Highway 35 could have gone either way.
But the second and final council vote to pave the way for Baker’s Landing failed Monday, when Councilman Gary Moore announced a change of heart.
“The more people I’ve talked to, the more have told me this is not a good idea,” Moore said. “So many people have contacted me saying this is not what they want. I supported it because I thought putting rooftops in the area would spawn commercial development along 35, but with all the comments I’ve gotten from residents, I cannot base my vote on that speculation.”
Council passed the first reading of the zone change on March 23 3-2, with Councilmen Keith Ordeneaux and Greg Hill opposed. Moore joined them for Monday’s vote, and the resolution failed 3-2.
The tract of land had been designated as “Village District” in the city’s comprehensive plan – one of the main reasons city staff couldn’t get on board. The original plan, staff explained, called for more mixed types of housing and commercial.
The 80-acre community plan consisted mostly of single-family homes.
Former Councilman Larry Marcott, who has appeared several times to oppose the development, spoke again Monday at the second reading.
“Voting for this to happen is against (the city’s comprehensive plan) plus the recommendation of the staff, and it needs to be turned down,” he said.
Consultant Alan Mueller represented the property’s owner, the Felton M. and Mary C. Baker Revocable Trust.