HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Residents of the Jones Valley area of Huntsville are not pleased with plans for a new apartment complex to be built at the intersection of Four Mile Post Road and Garth Road.

People who live in that area packed Tuesday night’s Huntsville Planning Meeting, with hopes of sharing their concerns.

On the agenda for the meeting, was the discussion and vote on 220 apartment units to be built at the intersection of our Mile Post Road and Garth Road, part of the Lendon development.

A public hearing on the item was not permitted, by state regulation.

Members of the Planning Commission explained that the 41-acre tract of land where the apartments would be built is on land that is part of the Lendon development, which is a Planned Unit Development (PUD).

“A Planned Unit Development, what that entails is a complete design of the streets, houses, open spaces, greenspace, square footage and so all the terms of the design is agreed to,” said Kevin Bernard, a City Planner.

The original PUD plans were approved back in 2012. Part of those plans included zoning for various transacts or T zones.

The 41 acres that are proposed to be turned into apartments have been zoned as a T-4, which accommodates multi-family since the PUD plans were approved in 2012.

The proposed layout of apartment buildings.

A member of the Planning Commission asked Bernard, “Was it clear during the public stages of that [in 2012], that was allowed in each one of the transects?” Bernard said “yes” and was immediately met with a “no, no, no” from members of the crowd.

“Multi-family has always been a component since the beginning,” Bernard said.

However, there appeared to be confusion among community members, and even members of the commission, about where exactly multi-family units would be built, as part of the Lendon development.

It would appear initial renderings and marketing materials of the Lendon development indicated there would be single-family homes in that tract of land, not apartments.

The vote by the Planning Commission was to approve the new layout.

Members of the commission said their hands were really tied since that’s what the land was already zoned for. However, many did express sympathy for people who aren’t happy about the development.

“You guys bought houses and bought land based on a layout that was approved, you had no way of knowing that the layout would change,” said Les Tillery, a member of the commission.

“I am of the passion of that just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should do it,” said commission member Kyle Collins. “We can only vote whether it’s in compliance or non-compliance, and so it’s a raw deal,” he added.

Image provided by the City of Huntsville.

Planning Commission member and Huntsville City Councilman John Meredith also expressed frustration over the vote, saying he would not vote to approve the new layout.

“I will be voting against this, because I hear you, and I know your city councilperson has heard you as well, so while it’s probably not going to affect the outcome, I want you to know that your elected council members have heard you,” Meredith said.

The Planning Commission voted 5 to 4 on the agenda item.

As soon as the vote happened, everyone in the audience at the meeting got up and left, prior to the meeting’s conclusion.

News 19 spoke with several frustrated residents afterward.

“I grieve for my neighbors on Garth [Road], they will have to look at this [the apartment buildings] every single day,” said James Yates.

Another resident, Roy Brasswell got emotional while speaking with News 19. He explained that he and his wife were in the process of building their “dream retirement” home in the Lendon neighborhood.

He’s upset that the apartments will be built so close by.

“I will be able to throw a rock from my front porch and hit the back of the apartment, that’s how close they’re going to be,” he said.

He said prior to purchasing land and building a home in the Lendon neighborhood that he and his wife had both asked what would be built on the empty tract of land at Garth Road & Four Mile Post Road.

“We were specifically told those were going to be nice houses, or townhomes,” he said. While holding back tears, Brasswell added, “We are devastated, we’ve been lied to and the planning commission can’t help us because of some state law.”

Another man who lives nearby the build site said he is worried about property values going down.

“These will be high-end apartments I’m sure, but it’s not single-family residences,” said Ken Dunn. “Apartment complexes tend to decrease the value of our single-family apartment homes” he added.