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Pebble Creek subdivsion to appeal planning ruling

A controversial subdivision development proposed for the Spring Lake area will come before the Lafayette County Planning Commission during a special appeal meeting at the Chancery Building on Friday morning.

The planning panel will meet at 8 a.m. to hear Pebble Creek developer Brantley Cox appeal the commission’s decision earlier this month not to grant a recommendation to the county board of supervisors.

The proposed development has come under scrutiny from residents in the area for its proximity below the Spring Lake dam, as well as potential water and sewer issues. At their regular planning commission last month, the planning commission heard about the 35-unit development that would be located below Spring Lake dam.

Cox decided to cut down the number of units in an effort to alleviate water supply concerns. The development would be supplied by the Punkin Water Association. But the main concern has been the dam, which is considered by MEMA to be a high hazard dam following a study that was completed earlier this year. Currently, the homeowner’s association is in the process of making necessary improvements to the dam.

County officials also consider the potential development in a community flood plain.

County engineer Larry Britt said — upon recommendations from MEMA — the project would require three stipulations including buyers being made aware of the potential for flooding if the Spring Lake dam does break, the subdivision be placed on the emergency action plan for Spring Lake, and require all houses within the development be constructed on conventional foundation with a minimum three-foot crawl space and not be constructed on a grade slab foundations.

The three-foot crawl space stipulation was a sticking point for Cox and his engineer on the project, Jeff Williams of Williams Engineering.

Britt said MEMA has recommended to other areas of the state the three-foot minimum elevation in case of a catastrophic failure or leak of a dam that would give residents a certain amount of time to evacuate.

Williams said that stipulation would make a huge difference in the construction of the houses.

Cox and Williams could not agree on the three-foot elevation requirement.

“If we start choosing who can build below a lake, then we need to start choosing who can build the lake,” Cox told the commission at the time.

Following last month’s meeting, a sign near the proposed development reading “Coming Spring 2017, Spring Lake Mobile Home Park & Government Assisted Living,” and thanks Karl Sealy, an outspoken critic of the development.

Other items on Friday morning’s agenda include:

•Taylor Crossing, a mixed-use development of 175 condo units located on the west side of Old Taylor Road, on the south end of the Thacker Mountain bike trail. Paul Koeshinina of Precision Engineering, presented preliminary plans of the development to the commission last month. The developers will be seeking commercial site plan approval

•Stonewater Addiction Recovery Center is seeking a variance.

•Belle River Rentals is commercial site plan approval

•Discussion with Chris Wilson regarding land clearing.