Mobile Home Developers Raise Questions About Zoning Process, Withdraw Appeal 2/12/13
CBS 7 News
February 12, 2013
The proposed Stone Bridge mobile home park on Fairgrounds Road in Midland presented and then withdrew their appeal at today’s Midland City Council meeting.
The luxury mobile home development was scheduled to be well underway by now.
A request to re-zone the land was denied, based on recommendations by city staff and complaints from neighbors.
Today the owners showed the council e-mails they say prove planning and zoning told them in August that they would not need to re-zone.
"We did receive in writing prior to even purchasing the land that we did not need an SUP [Specific Use Permit], that we do not need to go through a permit process,” said Blake Templeton, co-owner of Stone Bridge.
The city says that zoning later corrected the information they gave owners, but could not say when.
"I don't believe there was any misrepresentation,” said District Two Council Member John B. Love. “I just think a mistake was made at the time and it was subsequently corrected.”
One of Stone Bridge’s owners read from the email during the meeting.
"I was surprised to see it doesn’t say we need to get a SUP after all,” said Greathouse, reading from the e-mail. “It looks like mobile home parks can go in c-3 zones."
And he read the city's response.
"Ultimately, we would re-zone all C-3, after you get a plat finalized, and the SUP becomes a non-issue,” Greathouse said.
Just after the emails were read the council suggested withdrawing the appeal again, to give the developers a chance to come back to the council with a new plan.
"I'm pretty nervous about this, we are in uncharted territory,” said Mayor Wes Perry. “I need to have some conversations and can we break?”
Since the meeting adjourned, the City of Midland released a statement.
“Mr. Greathouse presented one quote from one email from dozens sent between our staff and his development team,” said Assistant City Manager Jim Nichols. “As such, we believe that lone statement may have been taken out of context in today’s meeting. We are currently reviewing our correspondence with his development team to verify what positions may have been communicated throughout this process.”
It’s not the last step for the development, they can re-submit a new zoning application and start the process over. If they had not withdrawn their appeal today, the city would have made a final decision on their original plan.