Construction crews began the clearing away of land on Gooder Simpson Boulevard last week, as part of the preliminary work on the first plat from the Planned Unit Development project the Piedmont city council approved earlier this year.
The planning commission, then the city council approved two separate plats of land in the PUD project. This project is Phase One of a two-phase development project. Hawks Landing and Autumn Chase are the two residential developments to be completed in this project.
The piece of land for these developments is located South of Edmond Road Northeast and East of Piedmont Road North with access to the site provided by Gooder Simpson Boulevard, approximately 835 feet south of Edmond Road Northeast off the east side of Piedmont Road North.
The plat is comprised of 37 single-family lots and eight duplex lots. The proposed plat has an average lot size of 10,200 square feet, with the largest plot proposed to be 16,378 square feet and the smallest to be 8,227 square feet.
The PUD was originally passed in 2008, with amendments made in 2010, 2012 and the most recent one the planning commission approved in February.
In March, the Piedmont city council approved the PUD just narrowly with two ‘yes’ votes, two ‘no’ votes and one abstention vote from Robert Simpson. It took Piedmont Mayor Valerie Thomerson’s mayoral vote to break the tie and pass the PUD.
The city council did have some questions and concerns during the March 2014 meeting. Some questions arose regarding drainage and the amount and locations of detention ponds in the proposed plat. Also, water and sewer line diameters and water line routing were discussed.
Traffic studies were also looked at, and Piedmont Community Development Director Wade Harden said the traffic study done on this preliminary plat proposal showed the traffic to be comparable to other Piedmont developments.
The two plats, Hawks Landing and Autumn Chase are plats owned by local developer Phil Boevers. When the city council passed the PUD back in March, Boevers issued a statement to the Gazette then.
Phil Boevers stated, “SBS Development is pleased that a majority of the Council followed Piedmont’s ordinances, the advice of legal counsel and staff recommendations and approved the preliminary plat for what is planned to be a quality residential development for Piedmont. We look forward to continuing to work with Piedmont to increase economic activity and help generate additional revenues for the city with this type of quality growth.”
Piedmont Planning Commissioner Ron Cardwell also agrees this development project will benefit the city as it continues to grow.
“This will help spur some commercial growth,” Cardwell said. “Especially downtown Piedmont, an area where future commercial development could occur.”
He also echoed concerns the city council raised during their March meeting.
Cardwell said there are going to be some limitations, stemming from infrastructure needs, which effect the entire development of the land.
He said the development can not be built on the existing infrastructure like it is now.
“The city also has to be able to prepare itself to figure out a way or make sure the developer knows, ‘Hey, you’re going to reach a threshold when some capital investments are going to have to be made,’” he said. “Water is one of those big concerns, because Piedmont Road only has that one water line.”
Cardwell also noted the economic conditions of the country, specifically the housing collapse that happened several years ago, has an effect on development.
He said if things continue to stay stable, then Piedmont will continue to see more residential and commercial growth, similar to the PUD project that is already underway.