On November 8th, the City Commission approved a proposed amendment (by a vote of 3-2 with Commissioner’s Porter and Matlow against) to the Ox Bottom Meadows Planned Unit Development Concept Plan located on 36.37 acres of land at the Northwest corner of Ox Bottom and Thomasville Roads. The amendment will allow for fast food and fueling stations as used in the Thomasville Road commercial areas. However, many Ox-Bottom residents took issue with the rezoning in their neighborhood.
Several residents voiced their concerns about the proposed amendment. One resident noted that during her neighborhood’s HOA meeting, the zoning amendment was the only topic of discussion. She stated, “We don’t want fueling stations to be allowed at that corner. I have not spoken to anyone that’s in favor of it, either that lives in the neighborhood or outside of that area. It’s not needed.” She continued, noting more concerns she and other residents have, “This part of Thomasville Road is at its lowest elevation at this area, and it seems like the worst place to put dangerous fuel tanks into the ground. We simply do not want the dangers of contamination that come with gas stations. Not to mention the 24-hour lights, the noise traffic and the loitering that it brings.”
Commissioner Jeremey Matlow said he didn’t feel comfortable introducing the ordinance, stating, “I understand this is moving forward in tandem with the Velda Diary Road extension … we very much are negotiating with the developers to try to bring something forward that is mutually beneficial for both, and I think what we’re hearing from the community is what is being proposed for the site isn’t mutually beneficial.” Matlow continued stating, “I just need more information before we start fast tracking this down a line that we’re very much discussing the road way realignment of Velda Diary, and the changes that will need to be made to Thomasville Road.”
However, Mayor John Daily noted the vote that was to be taken is “ceremonial at best” and there will still be more discussion on the item in the December meeting.
Additionally, Commissioner Curtis Richardson disagreed, stating, “This item has not been fast-tracked, it has followed the process that every land development project follows. Staff has analyzed it. It has gone to the Planning Committee, all but one member of that Committee approved it, and its on the same timeline that any property or project development occurs.” He continued, “It’s not City owned property, its personally owned property, and as long as it meets the criteria of the Comprehensive Plan, then that’s what being evaluated here. We don’t know what’s being evaluated for the site. We’ve heard, but have not seen a rendering of what’s proposed for the site.”
The first and only public hearing is set for December 13, 2023.