The developer behind a proposed 70-acre subdivision near downtown Rutledge has withdrawn his application. According to a letter dated Sept. 13, 2021, and signed by Spencer Knight, former Rutledge mayor and owner of Elgen Homes, Inc., the proposed subdivision is now off the books.
“I am withdrawing my rezoning application for Fairplay Street tax parcel R 01067 and 146 Williams Street tax parcel 0123133,” the letter states.
“My understanding is, it is a total pull out,” said Rutledge Mayor Bruce Altznauer Tuesday.
Knight had proposed carving out an approximately 40-home subdivision off an entrance on Fairplay Street across from Veterans Park in Rutledge. On July 22, the Morgan County Planning Commission voted 4-2 to approve two zoning changes that would have paved the way for the project. Knight was asking the commission to rezone a small section off Fairplay Street from Residential 3 to Residential 2 and a 67-acre tract from Agricultural-Residential to Residential 2. The zoning change would have allowed the denser lot configuration.
However, the project was not without detractors. At the Rutledge City Council meeting on Aug. 17, more than 100 people crammed into Rutledge City Hall, filling hallways and backrooms, during the city council’s deliberation on the project.
The council was scheduled to either approve or reject the zoning change recommendation at the more than two-hour meeting but instead tabled the request. More than 25 residents had signed up to speak against the subdivision and two spoke in favor of the project. At that meeting Knight said “I did not want to divide the community and I still don’t.”
Altznauer said when Knight delivered the letter of withdrawal he also expressed contrition for causing an uproar. “He came in an actually apologized for the grief,” Altznauer said. “He said he expected some pushback but not this much pushback.”
The council rescheduled a vote on the issue at its Sept. 21 meeting. Altznauer said Tuesday he expected the council would accept Knight’s letter of withdrawal. “It’s just a formality,” he said.