Community News

After some serious debate, the City Council has okayed a plan for a duplex in a neighborhood of mostly single-family homes. 

The debate Monday night was sparked by neighbors and two council members felt was an unusual look for the duplex, planned for Second St. and Florida Ave. They said it didn’t look like a duplex, but looked more like two homes.

But, developer Jonathan Richards told the Council his plan was to build something that looked less like a duplex and more like two homes. The two units, connected only by a six-foot storage area, face different streets. The building will be under 27 feet tall, where zoning would allow him to build one large single-family home up to 35 feet.

Neighbor Gaye Melendez told the Council “This doesn’t feel like a duplex. A duplex should be connected by a single major wall.”

Two Council members agreed. Kevin McKeown said “This may fit the code and be legally correct, but this doesn’t smell right to me.” Nick Petrish said he’d have to vote with neighbors who want to preserve their single-family home neighborhood.

Council member Cynthia Richardson, however, said “I think this is a very good project,” adding, “This looks more like houses in the neighborhood and less like a duplex.”

The council voted five-to-two to deny the appeal of the conditional use permit, with McKeown and Petrish voting no. The developer will need Council okay of the final plan.