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Troy Planning Commission denies highly contested rezoning request

Allene Snider spoke passionately to the City of Troy Planning Commission Thursday afternoon comparing the request for the rezoning of a R-1, primarily single-family dwelling zone to a R-2 or grouped housing zone, “to a cancer taking over our neighborhoods.”

Snider was one of several residents who spoke in opposition to Walter H. Snell’s request to rezone 2.8 acres in the 308 Second Avenue, 1212 Allen Street and 104 and 106 Woodland Circle area from Low Density Residential Zoning and R-2 Medium Density Residential Zoning District to a R-2 Medium Density Residential Zoning District.

Prior to opening the floor for comments from the audience, Bill Hopper, commission chair, asked commission members for remarks.  Ed Telfair, Jack Norton and Vicki McPherson said they had receive calls and comments from home owners in opposition to the zoning change.

Hopper then summarized the reasons for opposition to the changed in zoning that were logged to the commission secretary via calls, letters and emails

The list included the change would adversely affect the economic security of residents due to potential loss of property, increased traffic, safety of the residents, increased noise and infiltration into the neighborhood that would change a neighborhood of longtime residents to an area of transient occupancy and the desire for some property owners to favor the rezoning request for income purposes.

The primary concern of the residents who expressed their opposition to the zoning change was that temporary residents would push away permanent residents.

According to a communication, “This is not a city just for temporary residents; don’t let it become one. Keep it a city of neighborhoods for families and long-term residents.”

The loss of an area steeped in family atmosphere and the further degradation of well-established neighborhoods in Troy were major concerns expressed in the petitions received by the commission secretary.

After Hopper read the petitions of opposition and allowed comments from the audience, he asked for a motion from the commission. Ed Telfair made a motion to deny Snell’s rezoning request. Members of the commission voting in favor of the motion were Vaughn Daniels, Hopper, Jack Norton, Lyndsay Taylor, Vicki McPherson, Troy Weed and Council Member Marcus Paramore.

The response from the standing-room-only crowd was a collective sign of relieve.

Greg Price, a 21-year home owner, expressed his appreciation to the members of the planning commission for their support of their residents’ efforts to maintain family neighborhoods in the city.

“But, we’ll be back,” Price said. “Every year for about 11 years, this has been an issue of sorts,” Price said. “We need to all come together to make sure that family-based neighborhoods are maintained.”