Plans for an upscale apartment complex in Tusculum are moving forward.
The Tusculum Planning Commission Tuesday night approved a request to rezone a nearly 5-acre tract at 513 Ball Road from M-1, general industrial, to R-2, classified as high density residential.
Property owner Linda Crawford, accompanied by Southbound Realty owner/broker Lindsey Cutshaw, made the request to city planners.
The measure must also be approved on first and second readings by the Tusculum Board of Mayor and Commissioners. A public hearing will be held before the second reading, Mayor Alan Corley said.
The vacant property once had a farmhouse and barn on it. The structures were removed in 2012 during a Ball Road widening project.
Cutshaw and Crawford outlined plans to erect four buildings, each with four units, described as “nice, upscale condos.”
The land is located on Ball Road near the Artazn facility, formerly known as Jarden Zinc. Crawford said she has had offers in the past for the property, which has been in her family since 1972.
“I finally decided to approach a realtor to see what I should do with this tract of land,” she told the planning commission.
Crawford spoke with Cutshaw, developer of other Greene County properties.
“She had some really good ideas what to do with it,” Crawford said.
Cutshaw said there is a shortage of reasonably priced, higher-end multi-family living rental properties in Greene County. She prepared a marketing plan for the Ball Road property. Soil testing did not reveal any issues with the land, which is level and was once part of a farm.
City Planner Erica Malpass said the property was zoned M-1 as part of an urban growth plan prepared in 1990 that envisioned it being used for industrial development. The tract is near railroad tracks, which may have prompted the M-1 designation, she said.
“The only problem is rezoning this tract of land would constitute spot zoning,” Malpass said.
Malpass said it is unlikely a manufacturing or industrial operation would want to locate on a five-acre tract, unless it is used as a parking area.
Commission Chairman Dale Landers suggested surrounding properties also be rezoned to R-2 to avoid spot zoning.
“I really don’t see industry going there,” Landers said.
Artazn has not shown any interest in the property, Crawford said. A residential development as envisioned by Cutshaw would be complimentary to the Tusculum community, she said.
“I just think for flexibility and marketability, this tract of land really needs to be R-2 rather than M-1,” Crawford said.
The Board of Mayor and Commissioners will consider the rezoning recommendation on first reading at its Oct. 25 meeting. A public hearing would be held before the board’s Nov. 22 meeting before it could be approved on second reading, Corley said.
“The earliest we could have this done is the fourth Monday in November,” Corley said.