Audubon Terrace and Morning Glen residents are considering their legal options following the Metro Council approving the rezoning of lots along Siegen Lane and Interstate 10, meanwhile, the property’s owners are moving forward, planning to conduct a traffic study.
Homeowner association president Bill Gibson, speaking for Audubon Terrace and Morning Glen residents, says they plan to consult a lawyer to explore paths to block the non-residential development of the lots, located at the corner of the heavily trafficked intersection.
“We are very disappointed in (Metro Councilman) Matt Watson and his non-support of us,” Gibson says, adding he believes council members didn’t listen to the residents who don’t back the project. “Fear of a lawsuit is not a legitimate reason for approving this.”
While a few residents volunteered to voice their concerns at Wednesday’s Metro Council meeting, more than 60 people submitted their names as being against the rezoning, which will allow the Metrailer family—who have owned the property for decades—to develop it for office use.
Broker George Kurz, representing the Metrailer family, says despite having the lots rezoned, they’re not applying for a building permit or looking to start development anytime soon, adding the family has owned the land since the 1950s. They’re going to wait until a separate lawsuit between residents and another local developer—Kevin Nguyen—is settled. Also, the family wants to conduct a traffic study of the area with the city and state to address the residents’ concerns about increased traffic from the development.
After the traffic study is completed, Kurz says they plan to resubmit a rezoning request for an adjacent strip of land that was shot down by the Planning Commission last month and have final development plans drafted.
“They already have a traffic problem but no one has been addressing it,” Kurz says. “The neighborhood doesn’t want a four-story office building looking down at them, and we respect that and we’re working with them for a solution. Again, the focus should be on solving problems with traffic.”
Watson was unable to be reached by this morning’s deadline for a comment.