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Plan for homes, apartments, house of worship to return before Jackson board

JACKSON — Testimony on an applicant’s plan to construct single-family homes, affordable rental units and a house of worship on a 159-acre parcel is scheduled to resume during the Sept. 7 meeting of the Jackson Zoning Board of Adjustment.

The board’s agenda for that evening’s meeting indicates the Swanborne, LLC, application, which was previously heard on June 15, will continue during the Sept. 7 meeting that will begin at 7 p.m. in the municipal building, West Veterans Highway.

Jackson’s zoning board meetings are live-streamed from the municipal meeting room.

Swanborne, LLC, which is represented by attorney John Giunco, is seeking preliminary and final major subdivision approval and preliminary and final major site plan approval for a project it proposes on a property bounded by East Veterans Highway (Route 528) to the north, South Hope Chapel Road (Route 547) to the east and Whitesville Road (Route 527) to the south and west.

According to a legal notice published by the applicant, the application proposes to subdivide the property to permit the construction of a residential development with 253 units, including 205 single-family homes to be sold at market rates (two existing residences will remain); a lot for the construction of six buildings containing a total of 48 rental units that would be affordable to very low, low and moderate income families and individuals; and a lot for the construction of a two-story house of worship.

The property is in Jackson’s Regional Growth 2 zone and the proposed uses are conditionally permitted in that zone. The development would be served by public water and sewer utilities.

Swanborne, LLC, is seeking conditional use variance relief to permit the affordable housing buildings to have eight units per building, where a local ordinance permits a maximum of four units per building. A previous plan proposed 42 units of affordable housing; that number has now been increased to 48 units.

Planner Ian Borden testified on behalf of the applicant during the June 15 meeting. Among other details of the development, Borden said the plan proposes an outdoor recreation area that would include a basketball court, a toddler play area and a play structure, and a nature trail. There will not be a recreation building at the site.

Borden said the residential portion of the project would be constructed in three phases; the first phase would consist of 78 homes and one affordable housing building; the second phase would add 64 homes and three affordable housing buildings; and the third phase would add 61 homes and two affordable housing buildings.

The minimum lot size for the homes is 10,000 square feet (approximately a quarter-acre) and that meets Jackson’s requirements, according to Borden, who said no variances are being requested for any of the single-family lots.

The affordable housing buildings would be two stories under 35 feet in height, and of the 48 rental units there would be 12 two-bedroom apartments and 36 three-bedroom apartments, all with parking spaces provided, according to the testimony.

Regarding the proposed house of worship, Borden said it is planned on the eastern portion of the site, off South Hope Chapel Road. He said a house of worship is a permitted use in the zone, subject to certain conditions.

Religious services would be conducted in the 8,700-square-foot building on a daily basis. There would be a social room in the building, but no weddings or school operations would occur in the house of worship, according to Borden.

The house of worship is proposed to be constructed on a 5-acre lot (2 acres are required) and its 35-foot height complies with the local ordinance, according to Borden.

One issue that came up during Borden’s testimony was the acknowledgement by Giunco that the Swanborne application has a General Development Plan (GDP).

The GDP is an overall layout of what an applicant is proposing at a site, but it does not include a specific description of each element of the planned development. Details are provided when each element is presented to the board.

Zoning board member James Hurley said the Swanborne GDP does not include a house of worship.

Giunco said the current proposal is “substantially similar” to the GDP that was approved. The attorney said while the GDP is not being abandoned, there are “modifications” being proposed.

The discussion of that point ended without a conclusion as to whether the GDP would require an amendment to include a house of worship.

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