VOL. 113 | NO. 130 | Friday, July 9, 1999
By LAURIE JOHNSON
Affordable housing plan
on tap for Raleigh area
By LAURIE JOHNSON
The Daily News
A project jointly proposed by a local faith-based housing ministry and the city got the go-ahead Thursday from the Memphis and Shelby County Land Use Control Board, despite objections voiced by citizens living near the proposed site.
During its Thursday morning session, the board unanimously approved rezoning and site plan applications submitted by Neighborhood Housing Opportunities and Memphis Housing and Community Development for Calvary Creek Subdivision, a 61-lot development of single-family housing designed for low- to moderate-income buyers in Raleigh.
The project developer, NHO is a locally based, not-for-profit, Christian housing ministry that operates under the auspices of the Memphis Leadership Foundation. The property site is owned by the city.
The development, which will be located in Raleigh on 27 acres on the north side of Raleigh-Frayser Road near Old Allen Road, will feature 1,300-square-foot to 1,500-square-foot homes priced from $57,000 to $67,000.
As part of its ministry, NHO helps potential buyers navigate the home buying process, from helping them find the loan programs they need through local lenders to providing pre-purchase and post-purchase counseling.
"Were not only interested in the home and the homebuyer, but in the whole family," said NHO Director Elaine St. Clemmons. "By building these homes, were able to use them as a tool to empower entire families."
Calvary Creek will be NHOs third housing development in the Memphis area. The organization has built a total of 160 homes in St. Elmo and the Smoky City neighborhood just off Jackson Avenue.
"Our history speaks for itself," said NHO executive director Howard Eddings, noting that of the 160, only one homeowner has defaulted on a loan, which is a pretty good track record for housing developments targeting lower-income buyers. "Weve only enhanced the communities weve gone into, and we believe we will add value to this particular neighborhood, as well."
Several homeowners living near the property site, however, voiced their concerns about the project at the meeting.
Neighborhood representative Carmelia Broussard said there were a lot of dilapidated, boarded up houses in low income neighborhoods nearby, and expressed concern that another low- to moderate-income subdivision would result in more of the same. She feared an influx of drug dealers and an increase in violence in the area.
"We understand the points the opposition is trying to make, but our other projects have been successful," St. Clemmons said.
Groundwork on the project is expected to start this fall, with home construction starting about a year later.
While NHO has developed other projects, Clemmons said Calvary Creek will be the first residential project the organization has developed "from the ground up."
"This is the first time were going to be dealing with raw land, developing the infrastructure and all that," she said.
LUCB Chairman William Mitchell said the boards decision to change the Calvary Creek property sites zoning from multifamily residential to single-family residential was an example of "down zoning" changing from more units allowed to fewer.
"Someone could have come in here and put in a bunch of apartments, but rather than doing that, this developer has chosen to come in here and put in homes," he said. "And we feel, if there is a choice between apartments and homes, we support the homes."
The LUCB considered 31 requests during the session, approving 26 applications, continuing four until a later date and rejecting one.
Other applications approved Thursday include:
A site plan submitted by Shane Coughlin for a Fazolis restaurant on Cordova Town Drive;
A site plan submitted by W.R.H. Enterprises for a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant on Winchester Road;
A site plan submitted by Davis Development for a 356-unit apartment complex at Hacks Cross Road and Nonconnah Parkway;
A site plan submitted by Forest Hill C/TP LLC for two two-story office buildings; and
A site plan approval for a parking garage expansion and cooling tower enclosure for Baptist Memorial Hospital East on Walnut Grove Road.
The LUCBs next meeting is scheduled for August 12.