Local

Board to consider Templeton housing project

A plan to build more than 100 houses on the 17-acre site of a livestock auction yard in Templeton will come before the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

The plan calls for 108 houses at 221 N. Main St. It would also include two open space lots of 49,000 and 27,000 square feet and a commercial lot of 72,000 square feet.

The project would include 17 “four-packs” — four parcels sharing a common driveway, and 40 single-family units.

The project has been besieged by all sides: County planners say the plan has too few multifamily residences for the property, several neighbors say there are too many and county leaders are looking at it in the context of an affordable housing shortage that has priced out many buyers.

The Planning Commission voted against the proposal by developer Templeton Properties/Will Tucker, arguing that it “underutilizes” the site’s residential multifamily category options.

Commissioners wanted the developer to redesign the package. He appealed to the Board of Supervisors.

In making their decision, the supervisors will be facing a perfect storm of conflicting public policy issues, including:

• What a landowner can do with his own property;



• How much of a say neighbors should have over what he can do with his land; and



• When there is a compelling, broad public need, such as a shortage of housing for those of modest means, how far the government can go in ameliorating it without trampling on the rights of landowners and neighbors.



Many neighbors have weighed in, and will have a chance to testify Tuesday. While one said he wanted the auction yard to remain as it is because of its historical value, others said they will be glad to be rid of the dust, smell, noise and flies.

Some worried that the proposal would add to traffic, burden schools and lower property values. Yet others said it would help the local economy.

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