Dogwood Trailer Court plans change; developer now proposes duplexes
By: Darrell Todd Maurina
Developer Tom Townsend explains his plans to the Waynesville Planning and Zoning Commission.
WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (March 9, 2010) — A closed 2.5-acre trailer court on the north end of Waynesville off Highway 17 may end up being converted to multifamily rather than single family homes, based on a plan approved Tuesday evening by the Waynesville Planning and Zoning Commission.
If it’s also accepted by the city council at its March 18 meeting, that rezoning proposal means Tom Townsend, who purchased and is redeveloping the former Dogwood Trailer Court on Booker Road, will be allowed to build duplexes but won’t be required to do so; he could still build single-family homes.
Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman Tim Bartlett had questions about why Townsend originally asked for single-family zoning but was now requesting to be allowed to have multi-family units.
“In talking to the community, people that were in real estate, the builders, just checking around to see what the need for the community is, it seems to bounce back and forth between single-families and duplexes,” Townsend said. “Since I limited myself to just single-families with the R1 zoning, I thought I’d ask to rezone to R2 so I could put some duplexes in there. If the duplexes do well, I’ll go ahead and stick with duplexes all the way through. There’s enough land there that if I put a house in there or two, it’s not really going to bother anybody or anything that I can see. It just makes better use of the land that is there.”
Townsend noted that some of the lots are “really deep” and a longer home would fit well with the lot size.
Responding to questions from Planning and Zoning Commission members, Townsend said he planned to retain ownership of the duplexes for a period of perhaps a half-decade to a decade, and rent them out to tenants in the meantime. While he’d consider selling the duplexes if someone offered to purchase them, Townsend said he anticipated it would take him a number of years to complete the development.
Councilwoman Twyla Cordry questioned Townsend’s concept of mixing single-family and duplex homes.
“Are you thinking you may build a duplex and a house and a duplex and a house?” Cordry asked. “What type of planning do we have for this? I personally don’t like driving into a neighborhood where you have a conglomeration of a little bit of everything there. Where you have rental, homeowner, rental, homeowner, it’s generally not good.”
Townsend said he understood the concerns.
“I agree that some of these places do look not quite as well-planned as they could be,” Townsend said.
Townsend said if he does build single-family houses, there would be three lots in the center of the development where they would be located. The duplexes would be townhouse-style with a single-car garage to avoid residents needing to have carports or vehicles in the open, he said.
Bartlett said he didn’t have a problem with the duplex concept, and in the past has noted that the existing trailer court has been a significant problem for the city.
“That property can’t go anywhere but up,” Bartlett said.
That led to a question from Planning and Zoning Commission member Jerry Brown about the current condition of the property.
“How are you doing on getting those trailers out of there?” Brown asked.
“I knew that question was coming up,” Townsend said, leading to laughs from his audience. “With the weather it has been slow in going; I’m down to, I think, six trailers left. The house is gone including the foundation.”
Brown questioned that and said there were nine trailers when he checked on Sunday; Townsend said at least one has been removed since the weekend.
Arrangements have been made to remove the remaining trailers, Townsend said. In some cases the locations to which the trailers will be moved are still too muddy for a move to be finished, he said; in one case there’s been a delay due to issues with the owner of the planned destination property.
“It’s not going as fast as I would like,” Townsend said. “I call about once a week to check into it and see how things are going.”
Commission members approved the rezoning proposal unanimously.
In other business Tuesday night:
• Commission members approved the preliminary plat for the third phase of Briar Point Subdivision, owned by developer Tom Campbell, which if the city council concurs, will add 21 more single-family lots on 9.7 acres next to two pre-existing phases of the Briar Point Subdivision.
• Commission members recommended that the city council approve a number of changes to land use regulations that will allow city staff members to grant minor administrative changes such as moving lot lines or combining lots without waiting for approval by the Planning and Zoning Commission.