An application to rezone the Griler Addition in west El Dorado was met with extreme pushback during Monday night’s City Commission meeting.
The City Planning Commission’s request included the rezoning of 13 lots from the single-family R1 to either R2 or R3, the latter of which can include multiple-family, duplex and town homes. The lots were pictured between N. Morris Drive and N. Metcalf Road, north of 3rd Avenue and south of 6th Avenue.
Residents in or around the area spoke during the public comments portion of the meeting (prior to the Commission’s actual discussion of the item), expressing concern about a number of negative effects that were possible. More than a dozen residents said they were worried that an addition of something like a low-income housing area could greatly reduce their property value, as well as decrease safety in the area; many of the residents referenced children playing in the neighborhood.
“I’m kind of saddened and I’m afraid that low-income housing…will destroy our property values,” said one citizen.
When actually discussing the item during the New Business portion of the meeting, the Commission had Jeff Pritchard, who lives in Valley Center and is the owner and operator of Pilot Properties, speak on the matter. His company is attempting to construct new properties in the aforementioned area, and he assured the citizens that there would not be any kind of low-income homes built there that would be degrading to their property values. He insisted that his company has dealt with areas very similar and has researched the effects of his properties built nearby, which were little to none on surrounding property values.
Pritchard went on to explain that some of the planned properties included two-bedroom, two-bathroom triplexes along Sunflower Drive.
The Commission approved both rezoning motions 4-1, with Commissioner Chase Locke opposed both times. Earlier in the meeting, Locke had expressed concern that citizens were not properly informed of a more optimal time to speak out, such as during a dialogue with the Planning Commission at an early time.