City moves duplex project forward

Residents who live around the former Seymour Country Club Golf Course on the city’s northwest side may have new neighbors in the near future.

The Seymour Plan Commission recently voted 8-0 to rezone 5.33 acres along 15th Street and Shields Avenue for the construction of 10 duplexes or a total of 20 units.

Commissioners Daniel Sloan, Bernie Hauersperger and John Reinhart did not attend the June 13th meeting. No one spoke in favor of or against the request.

The property is currently zoned Parks and Open Space but will change to R-3 (Neighborhood Residential) if the city council approves it at their June 24 meeting.

Developer Chad Goecker also got a unanimous favorable recommendation on his development plan for the area. The property is owned by Jerry Edwards of Beecher Investments LLC, but is being purchased by Goecker.

Earlier this year, the city rezoned the south side of the golf course for construction of Seymour Senior Living, an assisted living facility. That project is currently underway.

Speaking on behalf of Edwards and Goecker, attorney Jeff Lorenzo said the property needs to be rezoned and developed into something because it will never be a golf course again.

Lorenzo said Edwards tried to sell the property last year as a golf course but had no takers.

“Whether we like it or not, the days of a golf course at that location are gone, and it isn’t coming back,” he said. “The alternative to that is to try to develop this in a use that is consistent with what we have in the neighborhood which is residential.”

The duplexes will be all brick and about 1,100 to 1,300 square feet in size with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and two car garages for each side. Sidewalks also will be added around the development as required by the city’s planning and zoning code.

Goecker said he’s not looking to build a cheap product.

“They are going to be very quality built, and something I can be proud of,” Goecker said. “I want it to look nice and be something the community and the neighbors can be happy with. This is something I’m looking forward to being able to do.”

He plans to maintain ownership of the duplexes and lease them.

The goal is to appeal to a market to those age 55 or older, Lorenzo said.

“That’s a growing demographic, we know that,” he said.

All utilities are in place including sewer so the development will tie directly into the city’s existing infrastructure with no extension required.

Goecker wants to develop the area without putting a strain on the surrounding neighbors, Lorenzo said.

The city sewer department has given initial approval of the development saying there is adequate sewer capacity for the duplexes, Lorenzo added.

Goecker also plans to construct some single-story condominiums on the south side of the ditch that runs through the property, but has not submitted a site plan for that construction yet.

There is some concern with the ditch, he said, but he is currently working to address the issue by cleaning the ditch out to improve drainage.

He also has plans to install a culvert for the first 140 feet of the ditch and put in a concrete bottom for the rest with sloped sides so it can be better maintained, he said.

Building commissioner Jeremy Gray said the ditch is not a legal drain so there are no issues with the county drainage board.

Goecker said he also wants to keep as many of the existing trees as he can and will replace some of the trees he has to remove.

“I’m not going to be able to keep them all, by any means,” he said. “But I’m pretty sure there’s some on the south I can keep up along the highway and I’m hopeful there’s some that we can keep along 15th Street.”