Planning Commission, Nov. 6, 2012

planning & zoning(1)This is the Planning Commission’s first meeting since the council swearing in, with liaison Fred Hawkins (Ward 2).  The panel considered and approved the preliminary recreation center plan at the 60% completion stage as well as passed a measure for Dunkin’ Donuts in Brookwood and a Hollywood lot division. Hawkins and member James Ponseti exchanged ideas about project priorities, including a downtown trolley versus commercial development in West Homewood. All votes were unanimous.

Members present:  Chairman Billy Higginbotham, vice-chairman Mike Brandt, Joe Falconer, James Ponseti, James Riddle, and Mark Woods. Also present was City Council liaison Fred Hawkins.

Absent:  Fred Azbik, Vance Moody

Staff present:  Greg Cobb, Donna Bridges, Battalion Chief Rusty McCombs, Vanessa McGrath

 Audience attendance:  12, and members of Davis Architects Group

Previous meeting minutes were not approved or discussed.

Old Business:

Discussed with no action: Request to Review Zoning Ordinance- James Ponseti (still in process of being updated by sub-committee).  Ponseti said ordinance revisions are time-consuming and will be presented for a public hearing when complete.

New Business:

Presented:    1632 Oxmoor Road Rec Center – Amended Preliminary Development Plan  Representatives from Davis Architects presented.  The building is proposed to be 57,000 square feet.  The architects said one row of parking will be provided for the Exceptional Foundation during demolition.  There will be no access to Central Park from the current parking lot during construction.  The plans for the development of the site are 60% complete, and final plans will be submitted to the Planning Commission at a time TBA.  Architects cited the following items addressed with the city and public to this point: The Board of Zoning Adjustments had  previously approved a variance for 83 additional parking spaces on the proposed site; the natural treeline buffer was discussed with the surrounding neighbors and a fence and temporary gate will be constructed for security.  There are umbrellas but no permanent shade structure at the pool.

Approved:  Adding a Dunkin’ Donuts to connect to a Shell station at 505 Brookwood Blvd. Dunkin’ Donuts’ requested commercial addition to the Shell Station at 505 Brookwood Blvd.

Approved:  505 Yorkshire Drive lot divide.  A resident asked about providing a privacy buffer during construction; another neighbor asked about the zoning set-back ordinance/ buffer requirement for neighboring privacy.  The setback provides for 9 feet from the property line for a one-story structure, and 10 feet for a two story structure.  No buffer is required in the ordinances.

Rejected. Item 4.  Request to Review Zoning Ordinance article that limits more than one family per lot- McGrath The main purpose of this ordinance is to limit more than one family per lot.  The commission decided against a proposed 20-foot minimum space requirement between accessory structures and stayed with the current, less stringent rule. The Board of Zoning Adjustment will hear any future hardship claims involving this article.

Motion to pass by Hawkins, second by Ponseti.

Approved.  Item 5.  Request to Review Zoning Ordinance- NPD- Neighborhood Preservation District- James Riddle

There was some pointed discussion between Fred Hawkins and James Ponseti regarding a proposed Trolley Project downtown, and the fence ordinance. Ponseti also advocated for updating the city’s Master Plan and recommended to Hawkins that the Council de-politicize issues such as fences and send these cases to the Planning Commission.  He said the idea behind the Trolley project was to provide an alternative to busing through Homewood and supplement “walkability.  Hawkins countered that more attention should be paid to his proposal to focus on redeveloping Wildwood and West Homewood, and the Interstate 65 project.

Due to the number of city projects currently in planning phases, Vanessa McGrath suggested the city help residents keep track of their status with updates on the city website, including a planning calendar with email notices to the public.

Motion by Mike Brandt, second by Mark Riddle.

Meeting adjourned at 7 p.m.

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