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Contentious apartment project nears final approval

BOWLING GREEN - Residents opposed to the development of a 120-unit apartment complex on Klotz Road will have one last chance to voice their concerns tonight, but it's unlikely to make a difference.

City council is expected to approve the controversial plan, which, after a reconsideration last month, was recommended for approval by the city planning commission.

“If we follow the law, council will approve it,” said Councilman Stan Bortel, who chairs council's planning, zoning, and economic development committee.

City attorney Mike Marsh has advised the planning commission and council that the project meets all the city's requirements and zoning regulations and must be approved.

But those living near the site along Klotz Road south of Napoleon Road say the complex is too large and will produce noise, litter, traffic, parking, and drainage problems.

The complex, which has been proposed by the Dinerstein Cos. of Houston, would consist of 10 three-story buildings, a clubhouse, outdoor swimming pool, and basketball and volleyball courts on 12 acres.

Each apartment building would have 12 four-bedroom apartments intended for four university students.

Shad Hanna, attorney for the project, said a slightly modified plan will be presented to city council tonight. The new plan incorporates several of the recommendations made by the planning commission, including fencing around a retention pond, fencing and landscaping around the perimeter of the complex, and shielding on exterior lights.

An entrance off Klotz Road will be moved to the south so it isn't directly across from houses where occupants could be bothered by headlights shining in their windows.

Mr. Hanna said the new plan abandons the original plan to put parking spaces on a piece of the property zoned R-2 but leaves that area for green space. Ruth Ann Beaverson of Vale Court had appealed the decision of the city's board of zoning appeals to grant a variance allowing that land to be used for parking.

“I assume they did it because it ain't worth fighting with the neighbors,” Mr. Hanna said.

Councilman Bortel said he has discussed the modified plan with city officials and believes it meets all city requirements and at least some of the neighbors' concerns.

Because the project has been modified since it was approved by the planning commission Jan. 17, it will need six of seven votes to be approved by council.

The public hearing is set for 6:30 p.m. in council chambers. City council is expected to vote on the matter at its 8 p.m. meeting.

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