A public hearing will be held in February for a proposed 80-acre residential development off of Cages Bend Road after Hendersonville’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen rejected the proposal in December and reversed course a month later.
Bellesford Landing, a 104-lot development, will feature homes with a minimum of 2,800-square-feet on one-third to half-acre lots, according to city planning department documents. Homes will start at $600,000.
The development’s owners, Cages Bend Development, LLC, is requesting a rezoning of the property from estate residential to estate residential planned unit development, as well as approval of a preliminary master development plan to govern the development.
The property is located east of Cages Bend North and south of Douglas Bend, and a portion of the development is part of the currently approved Lakes of Savannah subdivision.
The rezoning request and plan were recommended by the Hendersonville Regional Planning Commission 9 to 1 on Nov. 29. However, on Dec. 8, BOMA members voted against it 7 to 6 with no one explaining why they opposed it.
The developers expressed their disappointment about the vote and asked for it to be reconsidered at the next BOMA meeting in a letter to Mayor Jamie Clary on Jan. 2.
“Although members were available during the Zoom meeting, its team members were never provided the opportunity to discuss the project or address any questions or issues that the Board members may have had which formed the basis for their votes to deny the application,” the developers wrote.
They added that the planning commission’s decision came after months of work and communication between the developers and city staff and that the developers incorporated all staff recommendations into a plan that conformed to the city’s zoning ordinance.
Clary placed the measure on the Dec. 8 agenda, but said during the meeting that he thought he was violating the city’s zoning ordinance by doing so.
According to the ordinance, if an application for a planned development has been denied by either BOMA or the planning commission, no application for substantially the same development may be filed for a year from the date of denial.
However, both an attorney from MTAS as well as City Attorney John Bradley advised Clary that Robert’s Rules of Order allowed for a motion to renew in order to reconsider the project.
Both Aldermen Jonathan Hayes of Ward 5 and Mark Skidmore of Ward 1 said they were in favor of renewing the motion.
Hayes said he learned more about the project and had heard from residents who were in favor of it since the Dec. 8 meeting.
Skidmore said he thought the project hadn’t been fairly considered during a meeting that had so many other items on the agenda.
“We didn’t even give these people a chance,” said Skidmore. “From what I’ve heard it’s going to be a nice development.”
Ward 4 Alderman Karen Dixon asked if the city was setting a precedent by allowing a developer to be reheard so soon after being turned down.
“I feel uncomfortable that we are setting ourselves up moving forward,” she said.
Board members voted 7 to 6 to renew the motion. They then voted 7 to 6 to approve the developers’ request. A second and final reading as well as a public hearing will be held on the project at the Feb. 16 BOMA meeting.
When asked if the city violated its own zoning ordinance by not making the developers wait a year to be reconsidered, Clary said he thought it had.
“If the one-year waiting period doesn’t apply here, I don’t know when it would apply,” he said. “I don’t know why it’s in our zoning ordinance if there’s such a simple, legal way around it.”