JACKSON – The integrity of an established neighborhood was considered as members of the Jackson Zoning Board of Adjustment listened to testimony from representatives of an applicant who is proposing to build 16 single-family homes on a 48-acre tract.
Attorney Benjamin Mabie and engineer Frank Sadeghi represented the applicant, Pushkin Estates LLC, at the zoning board’s July 19 meeting.
Pushkin Estates is seeking subdivision approval to create 19 lots for 16 single-family homes, one open space lot and two storm water management lots.
Seven custom homes are proposed on Pushkin Lane and nine custom homes are proposed on Sunnybrook Road. The property is in the Cassville section of Jackson.
Mabie said the applicant is not requesting any variances from the board.
The board’s attorney, Sean Gertner, said the panel retained jurisdiction over the property from a previous application.
Although the property totals 48 acres, the homes would be built on a total of 23 acres on Pushkin Lane and Sunnybrook Road, according to the testimony. The applicant said this “clustering” of the homes means 25 acres will remain undeveloped.
Testimony indicated that 13 acres of woods would be cleared in order to construct the 16 homes. Lot sizes for the homes would range from about 1 acre to about 1.4 acres, according to the plans.
“The integrity of what they are proposing here goes against what our community stands for,” resident Christine Gitto said. “Clustering (the homes) is concerning to me.”
Board member Peter Kitay asked Mabie if his client could take the area being considered for conservation and incorporate it into the lots. He suggested providing larger setbacks for the houses “to maintain the integrity of the neighborhood.”
The board’s planner, Ernie Peters, said, “We think the open space being proposed exceeds what the requirement is” to prevent clustering.
Peters said he thought Kitay’s proposal asking for more significant setbacks was a good suggestion.
Kitay asked members of the public to comment on his suggestion.
“I think that is the integrity of the whole neighborhood, it is a well established (area) and we take pride in the frontage and the environment in that area. I do not want to speak on behalf of everybody, but I think that (houses set back further from the road) would be a little bit more amenable than the cluster-type proposal,” Gitto said.
Peters elaborated on Kitay’s suggestion as he addressed the Pushkin Estates representatives and said, “Just try to push the houses back, that way as (people) are driving down Sunnybrook Road (they) would still see nine driveways, but (they) would not see nine houses … because there would a 50- or 100-foot wooded area before … the usable front yard area.”
The applicant’s representatives said a 40-foot setback is required for the zone, but said they would attempt to double that setback to 80 feet for the homes on Sunnybrook Road.
Board members clarified they were not requesting a complete redesign of the project, but just a concept incorporating their recommendations. The applicant is expected to return before the board on Sept. 6.