By Conrad Dudderar
The next hurdle paving the way for a new 12-duplex project on Yukon’s east side has been crossed.
The Yukon City Council on Nov. 17 approved a preliminary plat for the Ashton Place development at 200 N Yukon Parkway. The vote was 3-1, with Jeff Wootton the lone dissenter.
Attorney David M. Box, representing the applicant, explained the plat is “identical” to a planned unit development (PUD) master development plan map previously provided to the city council.
“Same number of lots, same-sized lots and access points,” Box told council members. “Nothing in the plat deviates from what was approved in the PUD.”
- The exterior of all structures will consist of “a minimum of 70%” brick, brick veneer, rock, concrete, stucco, concrete-board, or stone masonry.
- No more than 30% architectural metal will be permitted, and no vinyl siding will be allowed.
- Lot sizes will be at least 10,000 square feet and street names will be Ashton Lane and Gray Street, according to the PUD plan.
The city council on July 20 granted the applicant’s appeal of the planning commission’s previous denial of its request to rezone the 4.73-acre tract of land.
Developer Ashton Gray LLC and owner F. Barry Tapp have needed the City of Yukon’s permission to develop the property on the east side of N Yukon Parkway north of Highway 66.
The Ashton Place plat calls for the development of 12 lots with new duplex structures.
The vacant property, now zoned R-2 (combined residential district) planned unit development, is between a church on the south and childcare center on the north.
Council Member Wootton opposed both the rezoning and preliminary plat for this duplex project. The area north of Main Street on Yukon Parkway already has traffic congestion problems, he noted.
Wootton fears adding this new subdivision will only increase traffic issues.
“I have genuine concerns about placement and believe that the plat could have possibly been changed to have less lots, moved to a different part of town that was already zoned for residential or scrapped completely,” he said.
The planning commission, the council’s recommending body, had twice rejected the applicant’s duplex project – first on Jan. 11 and again on June 14.
Neighbors shared concerns about traffic along that stretch of Yukon Parkway and a possible decline in property values.
The at-large council member noted citizens of this area did not want the development. He thinks it was a bad decision to allow the change from a commercial to residential area.
“I believe that the planning commission had this correct the first time by denying this whole plan,” Wootton added. “I appreciate the planning commission’s hard work and consideration on this topic.
“I hope, in the future, that the council will put more thought into following the recommendations of the planning commission.”
After the city council approved the developer’s appeal, the planning commission on Nov. 8 voted 3-1 to recommend approval of the plat plan.
At the July 20th council meeting, attorney Box said the proposed duplex development was consistent with Yukon’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan and compatible with the surrounding area.
That plan indicates a “major issue” the City of Yukon faces is the “lack of diversity of housing options” beyond single-family homes, he told council members.
In his appeal at that meeting, Box referred to the planning commission’s reliance on protests and bias toward renters of multifamily housing. He said this discrimination violates federal fair housing laws.
“Fear of a type of person – that being renters – is no basis whatsoever for a city to deny a zoning case,” Box said. “You can have renters in single-family neighborhoods.”
The duplexes will be designed to be “owner occupied” but the market will dictate how many units are owned and rented.
A trend across the metro is for young professionals and “empty nesters” to buy duplexes – then live in half and rent out the other half, Box added.
The attorney referred to the Yukon Crossing II development on the west side of Yukon Parkway, which was approved in 2019 for 95 residential lots (more than 60 for duplexes) – resulting in about 6.5 dwelling units per acre.
The density of Ashton Place will be about 5 dwelling units per acre.
Nearby housing additions include the Preston Park, Yukon Crossing, River Birch Estates, Smoking Oaks, Von Elm, and Rosewood.