By Rebecca Barnes
It’s been nine months since developers of a mixed-use plan to replace the Forestwood Townhouse Community went back to the drawing board to address community concerns.
Property owner John Daniels, Greystar development group representative Lance Hanna, and zoning attorney Bill Dahlstrom debuted the new plans to neighbors and other interested parties on May 26 at a meeting.
“We went through all of our transcripts of every meeting that we have had,” Hannah said. “We tried to make sure we wrote down a comprehensive list of everything that we heard … from the constituents in the area. First and foremost thing that we heard was they didn’t want any retail west of Inwood.”
They also found that while almost everyone agreed the property needed to be updated, neighbors were worried about the proposed increase in population density.
The 2015 plan for the property, located on the northwest corner of Forest Lane and Inwood Road, included constructing 325 townhomes and flats and adding 80,000 square feet of retail space. (A 2007 concept included 110,000 square feet of retail and 447 units).
The newest proposal is to build 13 single-story homes along the western border, 172 town homes, and 250 senior living units (located where retail space had been planned).
“We just think that based on market analysis that there is a need for senior living at this location,” Dahlstrom said by phone. “That issue had come up in our conversations with residents last year, and we agreed.”
By eliminating retail and spreading out the units, developers have decreased the density from 23 units per acre to 19 units per acre. (Jesuit College Preparatory will still acquire 6.3 acres for practice fields and parking.)
Greystar development group is asking for community input at forestwoodfaq.com.
Neighbors were also concerned about the 2015 plan increasing traffic at the already bustling intersection, according to Hanna. A study done by Kimley-Horn in April 2016 estimates that the new plan should only increase traffic at the intersection by 1 to 1.3 percent, according to the presentation.
Design and landscaping were also big sticking points for the community. Previously, the street-adjacent townhomes were three stories; now they will be two stories. A community park will also be added and nine species of mature trees residing in the area will be preserved along the borders of the property and in the park.
“We’ve all become amateur arborists,” Hanna said.
One other worry was that redevelopment would displace current residents. Greystar will be talking to residents about what kind of assistance might be needed, Dahlstrom said by phone.
Daniels is eager to see this plan for the property, which his family has owned since before the Civil War, go through.
“The only thing that’s ever been developed there was the townhouse,” Daniel said at the meeting. “And that was like 45 years ago.”
According to Dahlstrom, the group has yet to file a zoning case with the city and won’t do so until they meet with neighbors again.
“No one’s doing back flips yet,” Dahlstrom said.
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