Developer delays hearing for North College Drive apartments

Published 10:30 am Tuesday, May 24, 2011

FRANKLIN—A Suffolk-based developer has again asked to postpone a public hearing on rezoning 20 acres for building 270 apartments and six homes on North College Drive.

Postponing the Thursday, May 26, hearing before the Franklin Planning Commission will allow developers of Franklin Summit time to re-evaluate density.

“We want to come up with a plan the city is excited about and that we’re excited about,” said Jim Smith of Tri-City Developers in Suffolk.

Smith said the delay would allow developers to address the concerns of residents before the public hearing, which he expects won’t occur until at least July.

“We think the citizens have been loud and clear,” Smith said. “We know there’s a lot of concerns about apartments up there.”

Smith would not go into specifics about what changes are being looked at but said he would know more in a couple of weeks.

This is the second time the developer has asked for a delay.

A group of residents led by Meadow Lane resident Jerry Bryant oppose the rezoning because they say the number of rental units would put extra stress on city services and schools.

The controversy began in 2005 when the land was rezoned for 150 condominiums. Construction of six unit began in February 2009 but was hit by setbacks, including the discovery of human remains in July of that year. The first condo unit was completed in fall 2009.