Board of Adjustment denies contested subdivision request

Published 3:00 am Friday, May 17, 2019

Residents of Murphree Street and Flavia Circle packed the Tory City Council Chambers Thursday evening to contest a request to put patio homes in the neighborhood.

The request was made to the Board of Adjustment Thursday for variances to allow a subdivision creating one standard and two substandard lots fronting Flavia Circle and Murphree Street, of which the two substandard lots would have small patio homes.

Kenneth Shockley, a Murphree Street resident, took the podium to speak on behalf of the opposing residents, of which more than 80 were in attendance.

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“This is considered one of the most desirable, sought-after neighborhoods in Troy,” Shockley said. “Just ask any licensed real estate agent here. It’s a well-established community with sizable homes and substantial lots. There are 102 homes ranging from $250,000 to $300,000 and some even upward of that.”

Shockley said the two substandard lots are too small under city ordinance, which requires lots to be 15,000 square feet. According to Shockley, the subdivision would result in both of the substandard lots being under 13,000 square feet, with the smallest being only 8,267 square feet.

“To make matters more difficult, the applicant wants to build diminutive homes not close to the other comp values within the neighborhood and they would not match aesthetics,” Shockley said. “It would have a massive direct negative economical impact on all 102 homes to include other properties on the other end of Murphree Street and College Street. It would single-handedly diminish the values of properties by tens of thousands of dollars.”

The other residents broke into applause when Shockley finished his speech, and then again after another resident raised concerns about safety issues that could be created.

The crowd broke out into a final round of applause as the board voted unanimously to deny the request.

Nobody was present to speak in favor of the subdivision.

“There’s no brave souls out there?” asked chairman Jack Norton, to laughter from the passionately opposed crowd.

Walt Stell presented the request on behalf of the applicant and did not challenge any of the concerns raised by the neighboring residents.

The board also denied a request for the construction of five new duplexes at 112 Lakeside Drive.

A smaller group of residents attended the meeting to oppose the request.

“The road is so narrow, the garbage trucks have to back down the street,” said a resident speaking on behalf of the neighborhood. She did not give her name. “As someone else said, it’s a 500-foot driveway.”

The board agreed that the substandard road, which was measured at 20 feet wide, would not support the addition of up to 30 extra cars in the area.

In other business, the board approved:

  • The continued placement and business use of a portable building at 618 N. Three Notch Street.
  • The placement of a sign at Family Eye Center set back only 12.5 feet from the road instead of the usual 15-foot requirement.
  • A second point of access on one patio home lot with one point within the intersection of Deer Stand Hill Trail and Olivia Way.