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Highland Avenue up for vote again

What has been one of the city of Troy’s most highly contested land uses will make its way to the table for vote today, likely for the last time.

The Troy City Council announced in its last meeting, that a request to rezone the first block of Highland Avenue will be an issue addressed in Tuesday’s council meeting.

The zoning request, if approved, will bring the 100-block of Highland Avenue from an R-1 single family housing to R-3, which would allow for apartments, duplexes or multi-family housing.

The proposal, presented by multiple landowners on the street, was approved unanimously by the Planning Commission in July.

Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford said all zoning requests have to come before the council for final vote.

The rezoning of Highland Avenue has been discussed for three years, debated in public hearings and Planning Commission meetings. It is recommended in the city’s Comprehensive Community Master Plan, which has been approved by the city council, a portion of the neighborhood be rezoned.

All these factors considered, Lunsford said it is likely the request will meet approval Tuesday.

“Now that this is coming forward, I anticipate it passing the city council,” Lunsford said.

The proposal has met emotional opposition from neighborhood residents, many with concerns of higher traffic and noise that college-student housing may bring to the area.

KT Cole, who is one of the property owners on Highland making the request, said he is not sure what he’ll do with his portion of the land yet.

“We have done a study of the property to try to make sure whatever we do is keeping in all the specs and regulations,” Cole said. “We’ve hired an architecture firm to make sure we’re complying with all the ordinances, who’s going to tell us the most beneficial use of the property for the neighborhood and for us.”

Cole said apartments have been discussed as an option, but it’s not necessarily how he’ll use the property if zoning is approved.

“I’m not convinced we’re going to put apartments there,” Cole said. “We may end up seeing if the university has a particular need for it.”

But, what Cole is convinced of, is the city making a wise choice in today’s hearing.

“I’m confident that the mayor is going to do the right thing for the city, and whatever his decision is, I’ll agree with it 100 percent,” Cole said.

The meeting is open to the public and will begin at 5 p.m. at Troy City Hall.