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Burrows Road subdivision denied by HDC

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The existing residence at 226 Burrows Road, a ranch-style house tucked behind a wall of shrubbery, was approved for demolition over the summer.

ETI Corporation, which offers land planning services, initially applied for a certificate of appropriateness this spring for the property to be divided into four lots. However, the request was denied in August by the HDC.

Last week, Commissioners heard a new proposal, which included one fewer lot and staggered set backs on Burrows Road. Lot one was planned to face Poplar Ave.

“The intent is to create a traditional neighborhood that is in close proximity and walkable to the Town Square,” wrote Forrest Owens, planning director for ETI Corporation.

Owens, who is also an alderman for the city of Germantown, said the proposed development conforms to the guidelines of the Historic District and the Downtown Collierville Small Area Plan.

He noted that the development would have a “traditional style,” similar to the recent Homewood Place and Natchez Place subdivisions.

Owens said that the current lot does present challenges, from its shallow depth, proximity to Poplar, the office property to the south, Unity Baptist Church to the east and larger lots to the north.

“All these factors make the site suitable to be a transitional property,” he noted. “Our request for slightly smaller lots and setbacks provides this transition.”

However, several neighbors spoke out against the project, taking to task the abbreviated set backs.

“This lot is what the old timers call a ‘french fry lot.’ It is long and skinny,” said Mike Russell.

He said the lot was never intended to have houses facing Burrows Road and Poplar Ave.

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Sally Reynolds said she would like to see a house on the property.

“But three houses would change the whole street,” she noted.

Owens said front yard setbacks for the new homes would take cues from the Kelsey home at 90 W. Poplar Ave., which was built in 1910 and is the most historic house along the opposite block. The three houses were scheduled to be 45 feet apart.

“There is only so much you can do with a three-lot subdivision,” Owens said. “We feel like we’ve checked every single one of the suggestions (made at a work session earlier this year).”

Over the summer, the Historic District Commission approved the demolition of the existing 2,042-square-foot house at 226 Burrows Road, which was built in 1961.

The Planning Commission could still approve the project, as the HDC can only make recommendations. However, the HDC does have final say in setbacks.

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