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Applicant hopes to make way for up to 15 senior retirement community units in Mountain Green

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After the Morgan County Council unanimously voted Jan. 16 to rezone 4 acres behind Old Farm Market in Mountain Green, the applicant hopes to make way for up to 15 senior retirement community units.

“There is a lot of excitement for this in Mountain Green,” said Bart Smith, the applicant representing JoAnn L. Smith Limited Co.

The 4.31 acres at approximately 5224 W. Cemetery Road was unanimously rezoned from A-20 (agricultural 20 acres) to NC, or neighborhood commercial.  The planning commission recommended the rezone because it is consistent with the county general plan’s goals, objectives and policies; was in harmony with the anticipated character and existing land uses in the area; has adequate facilities and services for the intended uses; is consistent with the future land use map; and will not adversely impact the adjacent properties.

Some council members, however, questioned the road leading from Trapper’s Loop to the Mountain Green cemetery that bisects the property.  They noted that a second access road had been added, connecting the cemetery with the LDS church below it.

“This is the most significant concern, and something that needs to be dealt with,” Morgan County Planning and Development Department Director Lance Evans said.

Flanked by the Johnson property and Old Farm Market to the south, as well as Trappers Loop Road and the Warner pit to the east, the 4 acres is prime for development.

The site is included on the future land use map is designated “town center,” which “demonstrates the desire of the county to allow for a mix of commercial and residential development, while also planning for growth,” according to a planning commission packet.  “The town center designation denotes areas suitable for a mixture of commercial, employment, and supporting residential uses in appropriate locations.  The general plan and future land use map anticipate the development of property in this area.”

His widowed sister-in-law, hoping to downgrade from a large home on 50 acres, approached Smith about a 55+ senior community in Mountain Green.  The homes would have small yards maintained by a homeowner’s association, full basements for storage, and a floor plan to accommodate gathering, Smith said.  “Think patio homes in your mind,” he said.

Evans noted that although the developer intends on a senior retirement community, the neighborhood commercial zone would also allow for a grocery store, offices, financial and professional services, athletic and sports clubs, swimming pools, manufacturing, library, and a bed and breakfast, among other things.

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