The Dawson County Board of Commissioners last week approved a rezoning request that will allow 89 townhomes to be built along Hwy. 53 in southeast Dawson County, and denied a rezoning request for a proposed subdivision on Hwy. 9 South.
Rezoning for townhome development approved
On Thursday, June 17, board members unanimously approved a request to rezone a 15.828-acre tract of land on Hwy. 53 near Hughes Court from Residential Agriculture (RA) to Residential Multi-Family (RMF) for construction of an 89 unit townhome development.
According to Dawson County Attorney Angela Davis, the rezoning request was brought to the board for a public hearing and vote as part of a settlement agreement between Dawson County and Dawson Forest Holdings LLC, which had been in litigation over a request to rezone the property since 2018. Commissioners unanimously approved the settlement agreement at their May 6 meeting.
Officials previously denied requests to rezone the property, and an adjacent property, in 2017 after plans to develop a 95 unit townhome community and 177 home subdivision were met with fierce opposition by members of the community.
Since that denial, plans for the development have been slimmed down to 89 townhome units with its main entrance off Beartooth Parkway and an emergency exit off Hwy. 53.
According to county documents, the rezoning is outside of what is defined by the county’s Comprehensive Plan and Future Land Use Plan but is similar in character to adjacent properties.
No public comments were made in opposition to the rezoning.
Subdivision rezoning denied
Commissioners also denied a rezoning request made by Fall Leaf Residential seeking to rezone a 65-acre parcel off Hwy. 9 south from Residential Sub-Rural (RSR) to RS2 to build a 120-lot subdivision.
According to Dawson County Planning Director Jameson Kinley, this request was tabled indefinitely in February so that the applicants could revise their site plan, which was originally proposed as a development with about 2 units per acre.
Before being tabled, the request had previously been denied by the Dawson County Planning Commission.
On Thursday night, commissioners heard from a representative of Fall Leaf Residential on the development’s revised site plan and stipulations.
Despite the changes made to Fall Leaf Residential’s request, nearly all who spoke at the hearing spoke in opposition to the rezoning, including the commissioners themselves, who expressed that the development would be out of character for the area and too dense for what has been prescribed by the county’s comprehensive land-use plan.
“One of the toughest decisions that this board has to make is balancing the rights of citizens, the property owner has rights, the people that live around subdivisions have rights and Dawson County is in a position where we have a tremendous amount of growth pressure that is knocking on our doors every day, subdivisions just like this,” District 2 Commissioner Chris Gaines said. “We are responsible for representing the masses and representing the majority of the community.”
District 1 Commissioner Sharon Fausett said that making her decision on this request was the hardest thing she’s had to do in her 7-years on the board of commissioners, but ultimately she could not support it.
“I see both sides, I absolutely do … It boils down to this motto we have, ‘Where the quality of life matters,’” Fausett said. “I just think it’s too much density here.”
After a brief discussion, the board voted 3-1 to deny the request, with District 3 Commissioner Tim Satterfield casting the vote in favor.