The Sanford City Council voted Tuesday night to approve a 131-home high-density subdivision off of Cool Springs Road, to the dismay of residents in the nearby Westlake Downs and Brownstone neighborhoods. 

The council voted 5-2 in favor of the Glen at Cool Springs, whose homes will sit on quarter-acre lots on the 53-acre site. Council members Chas Post and Byron Buckles were the two dissenting votes. 

In approving the subdivision, the council voted that the proposal made by Daniel Koeller of Atlantic Coast Land Development and property owner Forbes Forest Land Property Management LLC was consistent with the city’s long-range plan. The motion also stated the proposed zoning map amendment was “reasonable and in the public interest” as a “large-scale single-family development that is walkable with a high degree of transportation between neighborhoods.” 

The vote was originally scheduled for the council’s first February meeting, but was tabled after dozens of public comments from residents of the neighboring communities voiced opposition to the proposed map. The citizen-led Sanford Planning Commission also voted against recommending the plans to the city. Commission chairman Fred McIver said his group walked the property and studied the plans carefully before reaching its decision.

“There’s a big difference in house sizes, land space between homes and density from the homes in [nearby] Westlake Valley,” McIver told The Rant in January. “These homes just didn’t match what would be around it.” 

Sarah Womack, a resident of nearby Southern Road, which will also border the Glen, called the subdivision “out of character and compatibility” with its surrounding neighborhoods. 

“It is our firm belief that this development will have an irreversible, negative impact on the existing property owners, not just on the perimeter of the property, but throughout the surrounding neighborhoods,” she said. 

In his proposal to the city, Koeller described the Glen at Cool Springs as a community that will compliment its surroundings. 

“The vision for the Glen at Cool Springs is one of tree-lined spaces and sidewalks on both sides of the road to foster a sense of place,” the proposal read. “Common green space within the neighborhood provides places for gathering and conversation. Glen at Cool Springs will be the perfect place for someone to call home.”

No timetable has been stated on when clearing of the land will begin or when construction of homes will begin.