HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — A Village of Providence-style neighborhood in Jones Valley is moving closer to reality.
The Huntsville City Council on Thursday night approved a rezoning request sought by brothers-in-law John Blue and Peter Lowe, who plan to turn a 68-acre field beside the Valley Bend at Jones Farm shopping center into as many as 250 homes of varying sizes and styles.
Called Lendon, the high-end neighborhood will also have boutique shopping, outdoor cafes, a large clubhouse that doubles as a bed and breakfast for out-of-town guests, and narrow streets to encourage walking.
It will occupy one of the last undeveloped remnants of the sprawling Jones Farm on the south side of Carl T. Jones Drive.
Some nearby residents raised concerns this spring about the potential for increased traffic on Garth and Four Mile Post roads, but no one went to the microphone during Thursday’s public hearing.
The council agreed to rezone the property from multi-family residential to Planned Unit Development — the same flexible zoning classification used by the developers of Providence.
Lisa Leddo, an urban planner with the city, said Lendon will be a “densely-built, pedestrian-based” neighborhood with 6.6 acres of permanent greenspace. Some homes will border on the city-owned Jones Farm Park.
Blue, whose wife, Carolyn, is the younger daughter of the late Carl T. Jones, said the next step is submitting detailed layout plans to the city.
The real work — and expense — begins once the Planning Commission OKs the project. Blue said it will take several months to grade the site, install water and sewer lines, pave the streets, pour the sidewalks and turn a stagnant drainage ditch into a canal worthy of being a signature feature of the neighborhood.
Homes probably won’t begin rising until next spring, Blue said Thursday.
Lendon will include a wide mix of housing styles — carriage houses, garden cottages, brownstones, manor houses, estates and live-work units — based on traditional Southern architecture.
Blue said about 15 of the 60 homesites in the first phase have already been reserved.
“It’s gratifying to have people put up money to be a part of the project,” he said. “Lendon’s not going to be right for everybody, but hopefully it will be right for enough people to make the process work.”