Monroe mulls changes to allow multi-family housing development

Jan. 14—MONROE — City Council is expected to vote later this month whether to accept the modifications made by a developer for a possible multi-family residential development.

Council conducted a special meeting Thursday night with the developers and city officials to discuss possible changes to the proposal for about 21 acres located at Roden Park Drive and Crossings Boulevard.

The original plans were approved by the city's Planning Commission, but council tabled the legislation on Dec. 13 and Jan. 10 to allow for more discussion.

K. Philip Callahan the city's law director, told council it had 60 days after the legislation was tabled to approve or deny the changes. He said council must decide at its next meeting, set for 6:30 p.m. Jan. 24, because the first meeting in February is past the deadline.

The ordinance calls for rezoning the acreage from Gateway Commercial Planned Unit Development to Multi-Family Planned Unit Development and authorizes City Manage Bill Brock to enter into an amended agreement between the city and Park Place Development to build about 80 units.

Tom Smith, the city's director of development, told representatives from Park Place that Monroe residents voiced several concerns about the proposed plans: additional traffic created by the development; the need for playground equipment in the neighborhood; and whether the units would have shingled or metal roofs.

He said the city is suggesting making that intersection a right turn only, adding playground equipment to keep young children from using the equipment at nearby Monroe Crossings and using only shingled roofs.

The townhouses would be all brick with two-car garages.

Vice Mayor Christina McElfresh said there's a void in the Monroe housing market for these types of properties, but council must be "respectful of the pushback" from residents. She also said one-bedroom units are difficult to sell.

Representatives from Park Place also said they were open to building some one-, two-, and three-bedroom units instead of all three-bedroom units to attract young professionals and older residents with no young children into the development.

The developers said the project would take four to five years to complete. Mayor Keith Funk said he wants to see an anticipated timeline of when the developers expect to have some units finished.

Funk said the development would be "awesome for Monroe."