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Planning Commission Grants Workforce Housing Development Conditional Use

By Alyssa Schnugg
Staff writer
alyssa.schnugg@hottytoddy.com

The Lafayette County Planning Commission voted Monday to help out the developer of an affordable housing project by granting a conditional use for two of the development’s future buildings.

The discovery of wetlands on the property forced engineers to shift the placement of the 13-unit development more north on the property. Most of the property was recently zoned high-density residential, or R3 zoning; however, two of the proposed quad buildings – four units in one building – crossed over the invisible line into a lower density, or R1 zoning.
Ross Barkley, with Eley-Barkley Engineering, said the development will consist of 12 quads equaling 48 townhouses and one community center.
The Eastover’s sister development, Belle Rivers, also being designed by Barkley, will be located inside the city limits, east of Kroger. The projects are being developed by a public-private partnership between LOU-Home, Inc. a nonprofit housing advocacy organization and local developer Stewart Rutledge.
The two developments were awarded $15 million in housing credits to construct a total of 96 units that will be rented to people who make 60 percent of the area median income. In 15 years, the units will be offered to tenants to purchase. Any rent they’ve paid is applied to the cost of the townhouse.
Building Inspector Joel Hollowell told the commissioners Monday that the Eastover development is the type of project that the county’s Comprehensive Plan lists as a goal to increase workforce housing.
“The No. 1 objective states that we want to be a community for all people,” Hollowell said.
The county’s new zoning code does allow for commissioners to grant conditional uses under certain circumstances.
The Eastover development has been targeted by the city of Oxford to be part of a major annexation that is currently going through the legal process. Once the annexation is approved, Eastover will be inside the city limits. However, until that occurs, the site plan for the project will be reviewed by the Lafayette County Planning Department and Commission.


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