The Manhattan City Commission approved two rezoning ordinances in the Stonehaven neighborhood off of Miller Parkway at their meeting in City Hall Tuesday. Commissioner Wynn Butler was not in attendance.
One ordinance rezoned the 11-acre future site of a development by Americare Systems, Inc., a senior citizen housing company. The development will include a memory care facility, assisted living facility, and independent housing for seniors.
The property is changing from business park and multi-family housing districts to a planned unit development (P.U.D.), all with partial airport overlays.
According to the City of Manhattan website, a P.U.D. is “a zoning process that combines all of the development review processes (zoning, subdivision and site planning) into one comprehensive approach.” Through a public hearing process, the Manhattan Area Planning Board then reviews various aspects of the development plans and available space “to create a site specific zoning district.”
Assistant Director of Community Development Chad Bunger said a Summer 2017 rezoning left one of the development’s lots as a business park district, but the space doesn’t meet that district’s minimum area requirement.
“The rezoning that occurred at that time […] didn’t take into account the area that was being proposed,” Bunger said. “So without addressing it either through a variance through the Board of Zoning Appeals or through this P.U.D. process, it would be unbuildable and the plat could not go through based on our subdivision regulations.”
Bunger said the property owner elected to try for a P.U.D. as standards to receive a variance are strict. The property owner would have to show the lot had a “unique condition or hardship” not created by the owner.
“Being that the property owner is creating the plat, it’s tough to overcome those factors,” he said.
Bunger said that though the part of the property zoned as multi-family residential did meet the conditions to be zoned as such, they felt the P.U.D. was a better fit due to the variety of single and multi-resident units in the property.
The P.U.D. will function nearly identical to a business park district, minus the area requirements.
“Any development on there will need to conform to all the setback, lot coverage, building height, and any of the other use limitations of the [business park]district,” said Bunger.
Americare Staff Engineer Neal Slattery attended the meeting and said “Americare is excited to come into the Manhattan community.”
Mayor Linda Morse said the facility fills a need in the community.
“We have a baby boomer bulge in the population coming here and the facilities we have are largely deemed to be full,” said Morse. “And certainly we have a need for memory care.”
Commissioner Usha Reddi said the development fits with the city’s plan for the area.
“I think there is a need in our community for assisted living, and it seems to have several options,” Reddi said. “I think that’s what people want more now than ever before is to have more options instead of just [being]confined to one particular way of meeting their needs.”
The commissioners in attendance unanimously approved the rezoning.
The commissioners also approved an ordinance rezoning a 0.37 acre tract of land in Stonehaven from a single-family residential district to a business park district, both with airport overlays.
Bunger said a commercial area north of the rezoned slice of land ended up smaller than originally proposed during a previous rezoning. As a result, the small piece of land did not get rezoned with the rest of the plat.
“This was an unfortunate byproduct of that rezoning that did not get rezoned and its original single-family residential [district]remained,” said Bunger. “It’s completely undevelopable and would impact the final plat if not rezoned.”
Bunger said there are no plans to develop the land yet, but the rezoning would “pave the way for the final plat and future developments.”
Mayor Morse said “it makes sense to align things so that we don’t leave problems for the future.”
The ordinance was approved by unanimous vote by the commissioners in attendance.