In 2003 residents near this Oakhurst property asked the Decatur City Commission to deny a rezoning and subdivision for a nearby lot with an apartment building on South McDonough Street. One reason behind the request was the fear that approval of the South McDonough project would create a precedent for apartment buildings at 119 Lenore Street. One resident testified in 2003,
… in opposition to the application. She presented a statement in opposition (attached). She stated that she also believed that the site should be improved but that rezoning it was a slippery slope for the community. She stated that 119 Lenore Street was a similar multiple-family property and that rezoning 947 South McDonough Street would set a precedent to rezone that property.
The City Commission overruled the Planning Commission’s recommendation to deny the rezoning and the South McDonough St. apartments were demolished and replaced by town homes.
The next year, in March 2004, the Decatur City Commission approved a request to rezone 119 Lenore Street and a plan to demolish the apartment buildings there to accommodate 20 new town homes. The apartments subsequently were demolished and the property remained vacant for several years. Ultimately, the town house plans were scrapped because of the recession.
When the Decatur City Commission in 2004 rezoned 119 Lenore St. to Multiple Family Residential (RM-60), the ordinance mandated that the developer at the time set aside moderately-priced workforce housing:
The developer shall price the 4 flat-type dwellings at a level that an individual whose income is no more than 80 percent of the median income for the City of Decatur can qualify to purchase one of the dwellings. The developer shall make a good faith effort to market the 4 flat-type dwellings for a minimum of six (6) months to employees of the City of Decatur, the City Schools of Decatur, and/or persons who work within the incorporated limits of the City of Decatur. The developer shall coordinate its efforts to offer affordable housing in the development with the Decatur Housing Authority.
In February 2011, Decatur City Commission again approved rezoning the property, this time for high density single family (HDSF) residences. Construction for the new subdivision began in 2012 and it continues in 2014. The 2011 City Commission hearing and legislation resulted in three conditions being attached to the new subdivision:
… that each dwelling have a minimum of 1,500 square feet; that each dwelling be built in the Craftsman Bungalow style; and that the project be limited to and conditioned by plans substantially similar to those submitted with the application.
Unlike the 2004 plan, the 2011 plan did not include provisions for workforce housing or affordability.
The new nine-home development under construction is called The Bungalows at Oakhurst Village.