The Ashland Planning and Zoning Commission denied a change of zoning for developer Mike McCubbin on Tuesday night during their regular monthly meeting.
The unanimous “No” vote came after nearly an hour of community residents and business people voicing opposition to McCubbin’s proposal to develop property on Cobblestone Court, directly behind and west of the Ashland Senior Center, as 42 apartments in six different buildings.
“This would create too much traffic on Douglas and cause too many problems for other businesses which are already there,” said Richard Jones, owner of Crazy Dick’s and Quick Stow storage units. “I put my business there because it was zoned light industrial, then we had some duplexes come in across the street and town homes….adding these apartments would be too much residential.”
Residents cited multiple problems – from potential storm water hazards to too many children and over-burdening the school district to parking, traffic and general neighborhood safety – during the one hour public hearing.
Jesse Bronson, a member of the Board of Alderman spoke out against the proposed development as did Mayor Gene Rhorer.
After the public hearing, McCubbin was allowed to address the commission and noted that since the property was already zoned Light Industrial, the proposed development would not bring any more traffic than other developments which could be put there.
“I could build a hotel there in a Light Industrial site,” McCubbin said, “I could put something there which could bring more noise and traffic, but building and managing apartments is what I know.”
P&Z chair Greg Batson asked McCubbin if he could live with a development with less density and McCubbin said that might be possible, however, that suggestion was left unresolved.
“I think we are spending too much time looking for a resolution to make everyone happy and we are not going to get that,” said the commission’s Ernie Wren.
Wren then put the issue to a vote by making a motion to approve the change in zoning and each of the P&Z members voted against the motion.
McCubbin was disappointed after the meeting, but vowed to move forward with other ideas.
“I bought that property and I can promise you that it will be developed,” McCubbin said. “I don’t know exactly which way we will go yet, but it will be developed.”