The property in question is located at 1202 Claude Pichard Dr. in Old Town.  This home is located on a horseshoe-shaped street that consists of Claude Pichard Dr., McClendon Dr. and Devils Dip. The property currently has a 1951 single family home that is located in the middle of two individual lots. The proposed project includes tear down of the existing structure to accommodate two units on each lot for a total of four individual homes. The homes will have rear access via Doctors Dr.

The property also includes a very large Live Oak tree. The tree is about four feet in diameter. It has been inspected by an arborist and has been estimated to be 150-300 years old. The proposed plan shows the tree on the diagram. However, the developer was asked during the presubmittal meeting if the tree would be kept and he was not able to confirm it at that time. The proposed development would cause irreversible harm to the critical root structure of the tree almost certainly resulting in its death.

The current owner is former county commissioner, Bryan Desloge. His partner on this project is developer Nicholas Kent of Kent Development, LLC. The property is currently zoned RP2. The west side of Claude Pichard includes five other homes that are also zoned RP2. The homes directly across the street as well as in the surrounding area are all zoned RP1. There is no other property in the area that has two units on one lot. Most homes sit on multiple lots with mature landscaping.

This project will require moving the lot lines through the replating process. In RP2, there must be a minimum square footage of  7,260 sq ft per unit. Currently, there is not enough square footage on lot 6 to accommodate two units. However, the square footage of both lots can be redistributed to conform to the minimum square footage requirements to accommodate for all four units.

Another hurtle the developer is having to jump through is the specific sale of these homes. Building multiple units on one lot does not allow clear boundaries so the homes must be sold without the land that they actually sit on. If they are being sold as anything else other than condos, they can only have one owner per defined lot. These homes would be sold as “condos” which allows for the sale of the units to four individual owners. Desloge has already created an LLC to accommodate this.

The municipal land codes described RP2 zoning (Sec. 10-170, 3B): “The RP-2 District is intended to apply to residential development in areas designated “residential preservation” on the future Land Use Map, preserving the low density residential character of single family, two-unit townhome, and duplex residential development…”Please note that condos are not addressed. Condos are not included in the provided definitions either of the municipal land code.

The neighbors in this area have all united against this project stating that it does not conform with the surrounding area. They have created red yard signs to speak out against this project that they all have had on display for over 6 months.  They are also concerned about excessive flooding due to the current storm water issues on Devils Dip and increased traffic and congestion issues on Doctors Dr.  There is also an issue of water pressure with the existing homes. Adding four more homes, will put excessive strain on the existing outdated infrastructure.

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