Oak Ridge officials have approved a plan that would allow a new residential development on more than 100 acres off Edgemoor Road in east Oak Ridge.
It’s a significant change to what had originally been expected on the property in a master plan adopted in 2009. That was for a planned unit development called Centennial Village.
The new development, which requires changes to the Centennial Village master plan, would be called Harbour Pointe. It could include 310 lots on 117 acres. Of the lots, 186 could be single-family and 124 could be multi-family.
It’s one of several new or revived residential developments across Oak Ridge.
The Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission unanimously approved rezonings and a preliminary master plan for Harbour Pointe, subject to certain conditions, during a special meeting on Monday, November 5. The Oak Ridge City Council then unanimously approved them, with the Planning Commission conditions included, on Monday, November 12.
The project, which would be near Centennial Village Apartments and Centennial Golf Course, is expected to have a second and final reading at the Oak Ridge City Council meeting in December.
H.E. Bittle, the applicant, owns or has contractual control of the areas identified for rezoning, according to Kathryn Baldwin of Lose Design in Knoxville. Bittle hopes to meet demand for moderate-priced homes with a variety of size and building types, Baldwin said. Besides the golf course, the property is near Haw Ridge, the Oak Ridge waterfront, and the University of Tennessee Arboretum.
The changes in use and zoning apply to four areas included in the 2009 planned unit development, or PUD. That nine-year-old plan had 12 subareas, including five for multi-family residences, three for single-family homes, three for open space, and one for commercial use.
The revisions to the Centennial Village master plan are generally a reduction in commercial space and multi-family development, and an increase in single-family lots, Oak Ridge Community Development Director Wayne Blasius told City Council members on Monday. The multi-family units would be more attached single-family units, Blasius said; the previous plan had more apartments.
Some cleaning and grading work and other site preparations have already been done on what would become Harbour Pointe, but it has sat vacant and undeveloped for years.
The 2009 PUD had envisioned 330 multi-family units in one area of Centennial Village adjacent to Harbour Pointe. Two hundred fifty-two apartment units have been built in that adjacent area, and they are called the Centennial Village Apartments. That was phase one. Phase two was never built, said Baldwin, who was community development director in Oak Ridge before Blasius.
She told planning commissioners last week that, while commercial uses had once been planned at Centennial Village where Harbour Pointe would be now, commercial development has moved more to the core of the city now, especially with the new Main Street Oak Ridge.
The Planning Commission approved the staff report about the project last week with two amendments: include 20-foot setbacks for garages and consider a buffer between Harbour Pointe and Centennial Golf Course when the final PUD master plan is considered. City Council’s approval on Monday was subject to the conditions attached by Planning Commission last week.
There was debate at last week’s Planning Commission meeting about whether buffers should be required between homes and a golf course—buffers are usually for nuisances, Blasius said—and whether a buffer would even be possible given the grade change between the golf course and the elevation of the proposed homes.
“To block it off (the golf course) seems counter” to objectives, Baldwin said. People usually expect golf courses to have nearby homes, and officials hope golfers buy homes, she said.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
See the City Council agenda from Monday, November 12, here.
See the Planning Commission agenda from Monday, November 5, here.
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