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Planners shift direction on Kendall project

The Plan Commission’s straw vote two weeks ago rejecting the Smithfield Properties Kendall College redevelopment plan blew away with the wind tonight when the turnout of commissioners at the meeting changed.
After rejecting the proposal 4 – 1 before, the commission deadlocked 3 – 3 on the planned development tonight, which has the effect of forwarding the issue to the City Council’s Planning and Development Committee without a recommendation.
Separately, the commission voted 5 – 1 in favor of the zoning map amendment the project would require to have both R1 and R3 zoning on different portions of the site.
The Smithfield proposal calls for demolishing all the existing buildings on the Kendall block and replacing them with 16 single-family homes and eight townhouse units.
Neighbors had called for rezoning the entire property R1 for single-family homes, although at least some neighbors also favored converting Wesley Hall, the century-old administration building, into condominiums, and preservationists had urged that other buildings on the site be saved as well.
Two weeks ago Commissioners Burrus, Hunter, Opdycke and Woods voted against the proposal and Commissioner Widmayer voted in favor.
Tonight Commissioners Hunter, Opdycke and Rebechini voted against the proposal and Commissioners Bowie, Doetsch, and Widmayer voted in favor.
City staff say the Kendall project likely will be on the City Council’s Planning and Development Committee agenda for its June 26 meeting.

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