More new housing in store for Ruston

Pictured is the area where The Oaks at Kentucky subdivision will be built. (Photo by T. SCOTT BOATRIGHT/LPJ)

By T. Scott Boatright

Ruston’s Planning and Zoning Commission during last week’s monthly meeting paved the way for requests to create more housing in the city be sent to the Board of Aldermen for consideration.

One application was for the expansion of Ruston’s Cypress Run Subdivision while another was a request to build a new subdivision to be called The Oaks at Kentucky.

Ruston Planning and Zoning director Jim Hayes told commissioners that in May of 2019 the owner was granted final plat approval for Unit 1 of the Cypress Run subdivision. Unit one consisted of 32 single-family residential lots which met the R-10 zoning requirements. The owner is now planning Unit 2 of the subdivision and is proposing a 6.56 acre plan for unit development. This will contain 29 single-family lots. The owner has submitted applications for both preliminary plat approval for Unit 2 of the Cypress Run Subdivision and rezoning of the property from R-10 single-family residential district to planned unit development. This property is located east of South Barnett Springs Street north of Leyland Drive, which is actually Phase 1 and currently has a zoning of R-10 single-family residential.

“The development of Unit 2 will be very similar to Unit 1 and will consist of single-family residential dwellings,” Hayes said. “All lots will be accessed by a new public roadway off of the existing Leyland Drive. About 3/4s of the acre in Unit 1 that contains lots 25 and 26 will be ‘resubdivided’ and dedicated as the planned unit development for Unit 2’s common open space and park which meets our requirements. In other words, they’re taking two of the buildable lots out of Unit 1 and they’re going to change it where they can’t be built on and dedicated as an open space because they’re required to have 10% open space for use of the tenant.

Hayes said that Unit 1, which met the current R-10 zoning requirements, consisted of lots of a minimum size of 10,000 square feet, minimum road frontage of 90 feet, front setback of 30 feet, rear setback of 20 feet and side setback of minimum five combined 20 feet.

“Unit 2 is going to have the same type of houses but they are requesting a little bit smaller lot sizes,” Hayes said. “With those they’re asking for a minimum of 6,500 square feet, minimum of 65-feet of road frontage, a 20-foot front setback, a 20-foot rear and the same side with the five minimum 20-foot combined side. This process consists of two steps. The first step will be reviewed by the planning commission of a preliminary plat for the planned unit development. If approval of the preliminary plat is recommended, the second step will be a review by the Zoning Commission on whether to recommend rezoning to a planned unit development district. If both preliminary plate and rezoning are both recommended this case will proceed to the Board of Aldermen for review.

Hayes said that if the preliminary plat for Unit 2 of Cypress Run subdivision is recommended for approval, staff suggests commissioners include a condition requiring the applicant to submit a revised plat for Unit 1 showing the dedication of the common open space parks to be utilized by Unit 2.

“We would like the conditions to say that it has to be submitted, approved and filed prior to the final plat of Unit 2 of Cypress Run,” Hayes said. “One of the reasons I would like to see is that ‘resubdivision’ of Unit 1 of the common open space can be done administratively because it’s only two lots, and to make sure we tie these things together. Normally the planned unit development shows the common open space dedicated by that plat, but this is coming out of a different place even though it meets requirement and is contiguous there, I just want to make sure we have that condition — make sure that the new Unit 2 doesn’t get approved until we get a completed and file revision for the common open space for Unit 1.

Commissioners unanimously approved to send the case to the Board of Aldermen once the revision condition for Unit 1 was met.

The other application was a request for final plat approval for the proposed The Oaks at Kentucky subdivision to be built by Cody Phillips Construction Company LLC on approximately five acres of land located at the northeast corner of the intersection of Rhody Drive and East Kentucky Avenue.

“This proposed subdivision represents an 11 lot, single family residential development,” Hayes told commissioners. All lots are to have access from Rhody Drive with East Kentucky Avenue to be accessed by a private roadway located at the rear of the lots. The preliminary plat was approved at the Dec. 14, 2020 Planning Commission meeting and the Jan. 4, 2021 City Council meeting. The property is zoned R1 one family residential district and the subdivision appears to meet the zoning ordinance for this district. City departments are currently reviewing the proposed development to ensure compliance with city ordinances. Based on staff review it appears the preliminary plat meets all city subdivision requirements. Therefore staff suggests that the Planning Commission recommend to the Board of Aldermen the approval of the final plat subject to the conditions of any appropriate city department head approval.

“Also, in view of the unusual layout of this subdivision, staff suggests the additional condition that those certificates of occupancy be issued for structures constructed on the subdivision lots fronting East Kentucky Avenue until the construction of the driveway and infrastructure has been completed and approved. If the commission approves the final plat staff recommends the motion be phrased as stated and recommended in the staff report. … There will be no new driveways into Kentucky and that was one of the reasons for this condition. They are probably going to go ahead and get started on construction on some of the ones that front Rhody and we do not want any issue on the ones facing Kentucky until all of the infrastructure of the private driveway is completed.”

With no one requesting to speak at a public hearing, commissioners then voted unanimously to approve the final plat with the recommended conditions.

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