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The Reserve at Wildwood recommended for approval

A project that began in 2017 and has seen numerous revisions — The Reserve at Wildwood — was recommended for approval by the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) on Sept. 8.

Payne Family Homes has proposed to build 132 detached, single-family homes on 50.65 acres located on the west side of Hwy. 109, north of Manchester Road.

To accommodate the development, the petitioner has requested modifications to the street network map of the Town Center Plan, which would alter the location and design of the proposed Main Street extension through the site, along with changes to the network of internal roadways.

A project that began in 2017 and has seen numerous revisions - The Reserve at Wildwood - was recommended for approval by the Planning and Zoning Commission on Sept. 8.
The Reserve at Wildwood

A zoning change is also requested from the current commercial and residential districts to include a Town Center “Workplace District” and “Neighborhood General District,” with a Planned Residential Development Overlay District (PRD).

In July, the Wildwood Planning Department added more than 100 conditions that needed to be met for the project. Then, at the Aug. 17 meeting, the planning and zoning commission made additional requests, including requiring a larger scale set of drawings to indicate where major changes were made.

George Stock, of Stock and Associates, discussed those changes at the planning and zoning commission meeting Sept. 8.

Project modifications include:

  • Preservation of the existing six Grand Trees and eliminating one lot in the northwest corner (from 133 to 132 lots).
  • All lots fronting Main Street will have a minimum 70-foot lot width at the front build-to line; all other lots will have an average 65-foot lot width at the front build-to-line.
  • A six-foot-wide sidewalk along Main Street to follow the right-of-way.
  • Preserved additional land along the west property line.
  • Added traffic-calming, raised pedestrian crossings and divided median.
  • Added a proposed trail easement on the north side of the site from the proposed trail overlook of Bonhomme Creek to the existing Hawthorne Village Parkway right-of-way.
  • Increased landscaping, berms and hardscape along Manchester Road.

“Visually, the development is well buffered,” Stock said. “It’s screened from Hwy. 109 both with the existing vegetation and the additional vegetation that we anticipate planting under phase one.”

Stock also provided a typical streetscape rendering, examples of street best management practices (BMPs) previously constructed at The Estates of Town and Country, and renderings of potential views from Hwy. 109 and Manchester Road.

The development will offer 16 Lifestyle Series homes that range from 1627 to 3388 square feet, available as a ranch, 1.5-story or 2-story floor plan, Stock said.

Rendering of home in The Reserve at Wildwood

John Guenther, member of the Watershed Erosion Task Force, expressed disappointment about the potential ecological damage of the development to headwaters of Bonhomme Creek, which he said could cause downstream concerns.

Guenther also maintained that The Reserve at Wildwood plan with front entry garages and cul-de-sacs throughout could not be further from what was intended in the Town Center Plan.

“This is exactly the opposite of what is expected in Town Center,” Guenther said.

P&Z members also had concerns about the amount of stormwater runoff into Bonhomme Creek.

Stock responded that between the interim and long-term solutions planned, runoff from the development will be below pre-development runoff rates that come off the site to Bonhomme Creek.

In regard to stormwater runoff, P&Z member Vicki Helfrey said the proposed maintenance required for the proposed bioretention BMPs, estimated to cost the city more than $14,000 per year, would be cost-prohibitive.

Mayor Jim Bowlin also had a few requests for the developer, including that clear-cutting of trees be done in stages, that no vinyl siding be made part of the plan and that landscaping on major thoroughfares begins as soon as possible once the work begins.

The modifications to the street network map and the zoning changes were recommended for approval by a vote of 7-3 with commissioners Cindy Deppeler, Larry Brost and Helfrey opposed.

The plan will next go before the city council.

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