Opposition of the proposed building

Provide rational for your opposition to the proposed building. Click on "comments" below to read and post comments.

Contact ZONE (Zoning Ordinances Need Enforcing).

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

rankin county- lakeland drive and old fannin road is commercially overpowering. you have every tom, dick and harry along old fannin road such as trailer parks that hoard illegal immigrants, a water park nearby, mcdonald's, millions of subdivisions from apartments, the least expensive detached homes to larger homes that do not compare in quality of living to dinsmor, annandale and bridgewater. the uncontrolled sprawl of strip malls such as those that hold kohl's and target are across from dogwood festival market. if we do not want the feel of 'dog eat dog' living, control what happens at renaissance

Anonymous said...

http://www.onlinemadison.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=19147

Bea Berry said...

A friend of mine stated my case better than I can, he said, "Until 2 years ago nothing above 4 stories had ever been approved, and we now have several “exceptions” for 8 stories approved, and folks now act like 8 stories is the new maximum. At this point, we’re just trying to cap it at the new 8 story “unofficial” limit. Yes, legally, one can say the City doesn’t have to approve others because the Zoning wasn’t changed – but we all understand the pressure that can be brought to bear by attorneys crying foul play and asking “why did you approve it for them and won’t for us?” Many would argue that it is gullible or naïve to believe precedent won’t be set if this is approved – and that you can bank on there being others of similar height over the next few years if this one is approved.

The argument that not allowing this building to be 17 stories would send a negative message to businesses and hamper development in the area is already a defeated argument. Look at all the development that’s happening – you can hardly keep up with it from day to day – and neither an 8 story nor 17 story building is sitting on that site. For that matter, all the purchases and plans that have been made by businesses in recent years, things that are generating all this activity we are seeing today, were decisions made based on the understanding that there was a 4 story maximum and just a few buildings had been able to get approval for 8 stories. Does anyone believe businesses are sitting around waiting to see if we’ll allow a 17 story building before they decide to move here? I don’t think so. If there are, there are probably also just as many businesses hoping we won’t allow 17 stories because they don’t want their nice 4-story or 8-story buildings to be dwarfed by a few buildings twice their size popping up and looking out of place. Look at it this way – if a company was considering spending 10’s of millions of dollars to build a beautiful state of the art 4-story or 8-story building in the area, do you think they would want someone to be able to erect a building immediately adjacent to it that dwarfs it by being over twice its height? It would affect the overall curb appeal and visual impact of the smaller building, and the additional traffic would likely impact the accessibility for employees and customers trying to get in and out of the area.

". . . . That being the case, I think the prudent thing to do is err on the side that seems to best protect residents, rather than erring on the side that pleases commercial developers. Remember, you can look up a few years down the road and realize you’d like to start allowing a few taller buildings, and that can still be done. But, if you allow a few taller buildings now and realize later that you wish you hadn’t, you can’t do anything about that."

Anonymous said...

Kevin (with copy to Mayor and Board of Aldermen) –


Thank you for seeking counterpoints to the “go.ridgeland” email you received. I don’t know who authored that email, because they didn’t sign their name. So, I can’t tell you anything about the context from which they were speaking, the background or motivation behind the email, etc. But I can share with you what I’ve picked up over the last few weeks, and provide another viewpoint on the points that were made in that attachment.



I’ve tried to be somewhat quiet on this issue and give it a chance – wanted to weigh the facts and honestly hear what they had to say – and did attend the meeting recently when Buster Bailey made a presentation to a rather large group of concerned citizens. I’d like to emphasize that I am pleased with all the development on Highland Colony – I don’t have a problem with the 8-story building height – and based on the renderings Bailey provided, it looks like the 17-story building would be absolutely beautiful. However, I do believe we need to be careful to not allow commercial development to encroach too much into our residential areas, and therefore I do not believe it is in our best interest to allow buildings over 8 stories to be built. If you think about it, this issue is very similar to the issue of controling the size and height of signage and billboards, which most everyone is in agreement with. Here are a few basic points to begin with:



I understand the sentiment of wanting to be open to change, and forward thinking, and to put out an impression of embracing business development.
I think it is possible to do that without having excessively tall commercial buildings imposing on the landscape.
The long-standing practice in Ridgeland has been to enforce the 4-story limit required by our Zoning laws.
In the last couple of years an 8-story exception was granted for I think 3 buildings in the vicinity of Renaissance/Township.
Bailey is asking for approval to more than double that 8-story exception to 17 stories.
I believe we should stay with the recent 8-story exceptions as an “unofficial” maximum height that can only be built with special approval on a case-by-case basis.
If you drive around in the surrounding neighborhoods, you can barely see the top of the current 8 story building from most locations, but is mostly when trees aren’t in full foliage – so it really is not that imposing on the overall landscape of the city. If you imagine a building of more than DOUBLE that height, you can see that it would make the commercial development very visibly imposing in the otherwise quiet neighborhood look of the town.
Besides the effect on the visible landscape, there is also concern regarding traffic because of the more dense commercial presence caused by taller buildings.


Please allow me to provide responses to the 8 points that were made in the attachment:



#1 – Quality of Tenants - No one is questioning the quality of the tenants. What’s being questioned is doubling the size of the building to accommodate not only the initial 2 tenants that were already planned for and accommodated, but also an additional tenant (supposedly a Bank). Based on Bailey’s description, this additional tenant seems to be the primary reason for needing to double the size of the building. Obviously, this is purely a business decision to maximize profit from Bailey’s standpoint, which is a legitimate motivation on Bailey’s part. But he can’t blame the community for looking after their own interests rather than just what is best for Bailey and his pending additional tenant.



#2 – Property Values – It depends on which example you site. Rather than Birmingham, Dallas, Nashville, etc., drive down the road and explore the neighborhoods in the immediate vicinity of the Highland Village/Banner Hall corridor, or check out the neighborhoods immediately adjacent to Northpark and the tall commercial building across from it on Wheatley and down from it on Pear Orchard. Look at the New York Life building just off I55. If you look at these examples, it’s not so clear that the development added any value to the surrounding residential areas – it really looks more to the contrary. Sure, there are some nice subdivisions or streets fairly close to those examples, but the residential areas closest to those examples seem to have suffered.



#3 – Traffic – First of all, traffic is only one of many concerns determining whether or not a 17-story height is prudent. But to fully appreciate the traffic factor, you need to go watch the Ridgeland High School, Holmes Jr. College, and other school traffic in the immediate area during the a.m. and p.m. rush hours. Yes, there is a lot of road work underway and still coming. But it will be years before it’s all complete, and even then the school traffic colliding with the business traffic is potentially a considerable problem – no one can be certain how that is going to work out, even without high-rises in the area. But high-rise buildings would certainly exacerbate the problem because that would increase the density of commercial development.



#4 – Quality & Height of Building – “Height” was listed in this point but not really addressed. It is hard to defend the “height” other than to say it’s what the builder wants and what the new tenant wants. Regarding “Quality”: No one is questioning the quality of the building – Bailey has a good reputation. So, it’s irrelevant to name the designers or point to energy efficiency. And by the way, even at 8 stories one would think the same prominent designers could be involved and the building could still be a trendsetter in energy-efficiency – in other words, it could be just as good of quality at 8 stories.



#5 – Tax Base and Economic Activity – If this 17 story building is going to generate $60,000,000 in tax base, then an 8 story building should still generate $25-30,000,000 of tax base – why be greedy? It won’t matter how much tax base was created if we look up 10 or 20 years from now and realize we shouldn’t have allowed so much tall commercial development to break up the landscape in this nice residential town of ours, and we find that it has caused neighborhoods in the immediate vicinity to deteriorate and traffic in the vicinity to become unmanageable.



#6 – Ridgeland’s Small Town Feel – Some might argue that one large building by the interstate won’t ruin Ridgeland’s small town feel – but many residents within ½ mile to 1 mile of it who can see it from their neighborhood streets would likely disagree. The bigger point to consider though is that Buster Bailey himself admitted it is entirely possible that it wouldn’t be the only one – that he probably will try to build numerous other buildings of this size up and down Highland Colony if there are tenants wanting them and if he can get approval to build them. Surely, any reasonable adult applying reasonable judgment would not expect to look up 10 years from now and find this to be the only building in sight that’s over 8 stories high. And when we get to that point, there will be no doubt about what it has done to the “small town feel”.



#7 – Precedent – It is stated here that this one 17 story building would not set precedent. But consider that up until 2 years ago nothing above 4 stories had ever been approved, and we now have several “exceptions” for 8 stories approved, and folks now act like 8 stories is the new maximum. At this point, we’re just trying to cap it at the new 8 story “unofficial” limit. Yes, legally, one can say the City doesn’t have to approve others because the Zoning wasn’t changed – but we all understand the pressure that can be brought to bear by attorneys crying foul play and asking “why did you approve it for them and won’t for us?” Many would argue that it is gullible or naïve’ to believe precedent won’t be set if this is approved – and that you can bank on there being others of similar height over the next few years if this one is approved.



#8 – Ridgeland’s Future – The argument that not allowing this building to be 17 stories would send a negative message to businesses and hamper development in the area is already a defeated argument. Look at all the development that’s happening – you can hardly keep up with it from day to day – and neither an 8 story nor 17 story building is sitting on that site. For that matter, all the purchases and plans that have been made by businesses in recent years, things that are generating all this activity we are seeing today, were decisions made based on the understanding that there was a 4 story maximum and just a few buildings had been able to get approval for 8 stories. Does anyone believe businesses are sitting around waiting to see if we’ll allow a 17 story building before they decide to move here? I don’t think so. If there are, there are probably also just as many businesses hoping we won’t allow 17 stories because they don’t want their nice 4-story or 8-story buildings to be dwarfed by a few buildings twice their size popping up and looking out of place. Look at it this way – if a company was considering spending 10’s of millions of dollars to build a beautiful state of the art 4-story or 8-story building in the area, do you think they would want someone to be able to erect a building immediately adjacent to it that dwarfs it by being over twice its height? It would affect the overall curb appeal and visual impact of the smaller building, and the additional traffic would likely impact the accessibility for employees and customers trying to get in and out of the area.



You can see from the above counterpoints that a strong argument can be made either way for this proposal. That being the case, I think the prudent thing to do is err on the side that seems to best protect residents, rather than erring on the side that pleases commercial developers. Remember, you can look up a few years down the road and realize you’d like to start allowing a few taller buildings, and that can still be done. But, if you allow a few taller buildings now and realize later that you wish you hadn’t, you can’t do anything about that.



Our City leaders have to make a "yes" or "no" decision on this issue soon, and they need to have the benefit of hearing our collective voices share with them our best judgment on this issue. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, and I may one day find that my assessment was wrong. But, my best judgment at this point, given all that’s been said from both sides of the issue, is that we need to keep the current 4-story maximum and let 8-story be the unofficial maximum that can be built only by special exception. I am copying the Mayor and Board of Aldermen with this email so they can take this and the above points into consideration as they make this important decision.



Sorry to be so long in the reply, but it takes some space to respond to all the points being debated.





Deryll Stegall

Immediate Past President, Carlton Parke Homeowners Association

(I am speaking purely for myself, and not representing our neighborhood. We are trying to allow our residents to make their own personal judgment on this issue and voice it as they see fit.)





Copy: Mayor and Board of Aldermen

Anonymous said...

Go Ridgeland reached a new low when they put in mailbox inserts quoting news articles about a shaky economy, warning that now was the wrong time to turn down a $60 million dollar project. I think Ridgeland has enough of a tax base to get along with a $30 million dollar project just fine. I would like to know if the Ridgeland Fire Department is equipped to handle a fire in a 17 story building, so it is a public safety issue as well as an economic issue. Madison certainly has not suffered by imposing limits on developers, so the argument that turning down this building would hurt property values is absurd. If you want to see the dangers of turning of unrestricted commercial zoning, I suggest you visit Houston. This special exception will lead to only more exceptions which will lead to a Ridgeland that lead to higher taxes for increased police and fire protection, and highway maintenance, and lower property values , much like many sections of North east Jackson today. If you care what Ridgeland will look like 10 years from now, please encourage the Mayor and alderman to vote againt this proposal.

Anonymous said...

Money is not the only thing that matters. The proposed 17 story building is aesthetically out of balance with the neighborhood, and will detract from the feel of the area. I do not want to live downtown, and if this area is so hot, plenty of other businesses will step in here in ways that suit the tone of Ridgeland. Look at Madison: part of why people like it is that it looks attractive. Balance is necessary here. Defeat the 17 stories at all costs.

Anonymous said...

Have you not noticed the new eyesore coming up in Madison? It's the Comcast Call Center building (looks to be 6-8 stories) and huge parking garage right next to it off the highway (right after the madison exit) in the city of madison. if you think other cities wouldn't welcome this first class development, you are WRONG!

So would you rather have the 17 story law and accounting offices or a home depot, lowe's or walmart behind your house?

LMAO!

Anonymous said...

My main concern for this project is the traffic congestion and the infra-structure to handle this and future growth.

The Butler/Snow/Horne building will house approx. 1000 employees. Using those figures about 80 employees per floor. We have three other 8 story building already approved (one built and occupied) for an additional 1920 employees. Which gives us a total of 2920 cars coming and going to work during peak ours for sites originally approved to have a total of 1280 employees, (4 storiesx80 people per floorx4 buildings).

Even with the new exchange on the interstate, (still in the planning stage, much like the bridge over the railroad tracks in Madison) the congestion will be intolerable. The problem has to be managed now due to the limited options to change the traffic conditions. Even now on my way to work in the mornings people are delayed at the turnabout on the way out of the area and then when I get to the interstate there is always a back up of cars trying to get off at the Ridgeland exit.

This will not be the last building built on the parkway. Are we going to set a precedent and allow high rise and high concentration of employees in this area? The original plans call for 4 stories (320 employees per building) which the parkway and infra-structure can handle. Lets keep it that way.

Terry said...

The question here is not whether the residents along Highland Colony Pkwy want another Professional Building or not, but the height involved. That section of land is NOT designated for a 17, 13 or even a 10 story monster. It is about doing the RIGHT THING. The zoning classification does not permit a building of that size to be built there, and That Is That It is very obvious Bailey LLC knew this when the idea of the building was conceived, but they promised it to the tenants anyway. They must believe it’s better to ASK FOR FORGIVENESS RATHER THAN PERMISSION. Furthermore Mr. Bailey also stated he has plans to build more as he feels necessary, and if, this is passed you can bank on it, and most likely taller. You can bet one thing for sure, he won’t cross over into Madison on the Parkway and build one .Mary Hawkins would not allow it. I keep reading and hearing that this project will be aesthetically and environmentally pleasing to the surrounding area, and if you look at the artists rendering, so it seems. What with the water in front of the building and all of the trees strategically planted. Sorry folks, they don’t exist. Just like the once beautiful stand of pecan and oak trees throughout that area. Am I a tree hugger, NO, but I would like to keep the landscape somewhat comfortable on the eyes and livable for what little wildlife still exists. The building in question does not fit into the surrounding design.
As for those individuals who think that the 600 or so people that will work in this building will live here in Ridgeland and pump revenue into our economy, think again. The majority lives in Jackson, and if by some chance decided to move up this way, would in all probability go to Madison instead. They would want to be assured there won’t be a chance of some developer building a high rise next door, and that evidently won’t happen in Ridgeland.
In closing, build the building, but keep it at no more than EIGHT stories and let’s all just get along.

Anonymous said...

When the Renaissance project was first proposed it was such a presented as such classy project. Unfortunately this sneaky little addition of a sprawling monstrosity has turned what would have been a jewel for Ridgeland into a very sore thumb. Some people think it should be built because of the revenue that it will bring into Ridgeland, but revenue that degrades the integrity of our city isn't value after all. As a parent who drives carpool to several of our schools, I know that a building of this size will compound an already overwhelming traffic problem during carpooling hours. It is my hope that the Mayor and Alderman will listen to the people who elected them to their offices and represent the heart of this city and refuse to build the building as large as it is being requested to be built. Might I suggest filling up some of the lovely unoccupied buildings that are located on Jackson Street? They would make great law offices.

Anonymous said...

Are you frickin' serious? Law offices on Jackson Street?

Anonymous said...

Very simply, I do not want to look at a large building when I am at home. This proposed building will be VERY visible from many areas in Ridgeland. There are other ways to accomodate the needs of potential tenants. Build two smaller buildings next to each other and connect them. I am pro-business, pro-Ridgeland, pro-progress, but do not want to compromise the quality of life that we enjoy here. If this development does not work out, others will come. This area is still growing, let us make sure it is growing in the right direction!

Your Concerned Neighbor said...

I have been bombarded with information about this site and have kept quiet but cannot any longer. To address several of the posts that have been made:
I am opposed to the construction of this 17 story building and YES- my children DO attend public schools right here in Ridgeland and am very proud of our schools in Ridgeland. I take my children to school every morning and the 8 o'clock traffic is bad enough around the round a-bout and interstate as it is without adding the traffic associated with a 17 story building. While I understand there are future plans regarding the traffic situation that this building would bring, we all know how slow it will be in coming to fruition.

As far as the people who have bought homes in the neighborhood that will have the view of this building from their homes - one said in the newspaper and on here that they should have known something of this nature would be eventually constructed there- well, that is why there is an ordinance in place that would prohibit that. As far as them being able to sell their home to people working in that building and making a huge profit from the sale- that is absurd. I can assure you that people working in that building will not want to buy a home with a 14-17 story building seen from their front or back yard. This will have an adverse effect on ther property values. I understand that an appraiser has said otherwise- but an appraisal is an opinion- especially when it comes to future marketability of a property with an outside influence such as this. I, also, question whether or not the attorneys who own homes in Ridgeland in this area that would occupy the proposed building will keep their residences here or move a little further north into Madison to get their families away from it.

Another question I have is where are these people that will work in this building actually "walk" to eat? Does this mean that we are going to have fast food resturants pop up everywhere around here now?
The e-mail that is circulating about the mayor of Madison stating that if Ridgeland lets this go that they will be glad to take it up- well anyone that has been arould south Madison county for any time knows that Madison will never stand for a 14-17 story building that will tower over subdivisions. If you have ever heard their mayor speak- Madison always has been and always will be about their homeowners and what is best for them.

As far as one of the tenants threatening to pull out of the building if this exception is not granted does not give me a warm fuzzy feeling about them coming here. If a business wants to come into a community with the attitude that "if I don't get what I want- I won't play at all" makes me wonder what other rules will they want to bypass. I would think that the businesses and the developers would want to work with the community and not against them.

The comment has also been made that these businesses are "cream of the crop" and we want them to come to Ridgeland. I know that these are high caliber firms but there are other "cream of the crop" businesses in the metro area, Mississippi, and other places that might one day want to move their businesses to Ridgeland. Are we going to allow 14-17 story buildings and higher for them to come in, too? If we grant it for one- you cannot deny it for the next "cream of the crop" business that want to move into our wonderful city.

Bottom line-- Ridgeland is NOT FOR SALE!!! I urge the mayor and our aldermen to not give into this heavy hand and vote NO-- for the wonderful citizens of Ridgeland.

P.S. There have been many comments about how bad the opposition acted, but there have been demeaning comments made here and in the newspaper from those in favor of granting this petition. We are all proud citizens and although we are on opposite sides of this issue, there is no reason for either side to act ugly-in person or in print.

Anonymous said...

This is in response to Mr. Darryl Breland’s comment in support of the Renaissance expansion. You sir, Don’t Have A Dog In This Hunt, living in Madison. I can only hope for your sake another developer doesn’t intend to locate a high rise building up against Ashton Park, because my comment would be SO WHAT!!
This situation needs to be handled with careful consideration within the confines of Ridgeland, without interference from outsiders.
The residents in this area decided to locate here on the assumption zoning laws were intended to prevent such problems as this.

Anonymous said...

BLOG MODERATOR...maybe you should start a new topic about the TIF.

Why does the opposition keep bringing up the TIF when its a done deal? The city of Ridgeland has to pay back the 35 million with or WITHOUT the proposed 200 Rennaisance being built.

So would they rather pay the 35 mil back in higher taxes from their own pocket books? I don't understand it.

Anonymous said...

@ Your Concerned Neighbor said...

"...well anyone that has been around south Madison county for any time knows that Madison will never stand for a 14-17 story building that will tower over subdivisions."

Thats right, a brick-clad building that tall would be atrocious.

As a young professional, living and working in Ridgeland, I have carefully weighed both sides of this arguement, being careful to see the pros and cons. I live closer to the proposed Valencia Hotel project than the Renaissance at Colony Park. I hope that he Harbor Walk development will be another jewel for Ridgeland when it's complete. As for the traffic increasing, its fine by me as long as adequate measures are taken to distribute the extra flucuation of cars. Same goes for Renaissance at Colony Park. Multitudes will be flocking to the new shopping center causing a traffic increase. Appropriate measures are being taken to ease this burden of more cars.

If you want to make an unofficial height change to C-3 and C-4 zones, then I say allow larger structures to occupy land certain distances from the I-55 corridor. Then, these oh-so-tall "sky scrappers" won't infringe to badly. The word(s) "sky scrappers" to label 200 Renaissance is absurd. I am ALL FOR the proposed 13-story structure. It's a beautiful structure and would be the first LEED (GREEN building) Certified high-rise in the state. Twenty years from now I hope we see taller and more efficient buildings dotting our landscape. It reflects a progressive community and Ridgeland is the perfect candidate for growth.

Anonymous said...

"sky scrapers" geez its been a long day

Madison County Herald said...

Oct 11, 2007
Ridgeland reader against 200 Renaissance

Whether to build a 13-story building on Ridgeland's Highland Colony Parkway is not just about Ridgeland. It's about the whole metro area. Wherever you live, you have an interest in whether this building should be built.

None of the surrounding areas should attempt to replace Jackson as the major city. Ridgeland's own master plan, currently being developed, (www.rampupridgeland.com) recognizes Jackson's importance as the metro core; Ridgeland being the first ring, and Madison, the second ring. Businesses must think twice before leaving downtown Jackson, which must remain healthy for us to do the same. Everyone in the metro area should insist that these priorities be maintained!

Just as we must protect the metro area, we in Ridgeland must protect our neighborhoods. There is no need to toss out our master plan, zoning ordinances, approved procedures and neighborhoods to accomodate a developer's fantasy of a building too tall to be allowed by our laws.

Ridgeland residents must ensure that our city leaders uphold the law. No one should be allowed to force inappropriate change upon us. Regardless of threats, money or political influence, Zoning Ordinances Need Enforcement!

Katherine Youngblood

Ridgeland

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