The Social Circle City Council was unanimous Tuesday in approving recommendations made by the Planning and Zoning Commission to rezone Phase II of the Jubilee development and deny the developer’s sketch plan.

The property was initially zoned as a planned unit development nearly 20 years ago. The original PUD designation would have permitted commercial retail space in the development, a component that has since been dropped.

However, the developers submitted Phase II sketch plan called for building 142 single-family homes, 200 apartment units and 30 townhomes.

Phase I, featuring 88 single-family lots, was developed off Alcova Drive.

Jubilee’s second phase is now zoned R-15, making it a medium density single-family residential district.

City Manager Adele Schirmer told council members during a public hearing that the submitted sketch plan did not meet all R-15 zoning requirements. Schirmer said the fire chief recommended the development provide three access points to ensure public safety.

Attorney Andrea Gray addressed the council in favor of her client’s sketch plan. Gray represents developer Warbler Investments LLC.

Gray said millennials and baby boomers are looking for higher density homes. She said Social Circle’s small-town feel along with the proximity of Stanton Springs Industrial Park would entice workers to live in the city.

Social Circle residents voiced their concerns that the developer’s plans for apartments and townhouses would increase traffic for surrounding neighborhoods and burden existing water and sewer systems already in need of upgrades.

One of the homeowners in Jubilee’s first phase said she loved her neighborhood, but described it as “tight” since homes are close together and the streets are narrow. She worried that the newer homes are “cookie cutter” and are not consistent with the attractive design of Jubilee’s existing homes.

Others said the location is not conducive to apartments and townhomes, and multi-family dwellings should be located closer to Interstate 20 and not squeezed in behind a single-family residential area.

In addition, Phase I has rear alleyways for homeowners to access garages; Phase II would not have the alleyways, Gray confirmed.

As part of its consent agenda but related to the Jubilee development, the council agreed to advertise for a July 20 public hearing on a proposed Comprehensive Plan amendment. The suggested change would remove the Urban Village Character designation for Jubilee Phase II — which it had when the developer had planned for higher density housing — and replace it with the Neighborhood Character designation more in line for single-family type development.

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