Town Couoncil discusses zoning of residential area in Killarney

A proposal to change the zoning of a residential area in Killarney was discussed at the May meeting of the Town Council. Changing the zoning of the area known as Reeks filling station would involve a material variation of the Town Development Plan. While the planners had no objection to the rezoning, members of the council expressed several serious concerns particularly in relation to the height of any new development on the site.The area at Cleeny roundabout was described by Town Planner Fiona O`Sullivan as a major gateway into Killarney. It is currently residential, but at the request of a developer, a proposal to rezone the area as ‘mixed development’ is being considered. Such a move would allow for pubs, banks, restaurants, offices, as well as dwellings in the area. The Planning Authority has no objection to the rezoning, but identifies 3 issues of concern – impact on the town centre, traffic implications and building heights.Cllr. Sheila Dickson said the proposal was ‘town zoning for an out-of-town site’, and would seriously detract from the vitality of the town centre. Pat F. O`Connor said he believed a ‘futuristic development’ was being ‘floated’ for the site. He said it would amount to ‘a rival town centre’. The height of buildings in any new ‘mixed’ development was a universal cause of concern to members.Cllr.s were also mindful of the need for local authority housing. Many felt this was being used as a ‘carrot’ to coax them into agreeing to the rezoning. A motion to defer any decision on the re-zoning, pending a height restriction for the site, and other more detailed information was passed by 7 votes to 2. The issue will come before the newly elected council, which will meet after June 11th.