Planning Commission, Jan. 8, 2013

planning & zoning(1)The Planning Commission met at 6 p.m. at City Hall auditorium Jan. 8 to discuss three items of new business and one item of old business.  Items of interest included the final development plan for the Rec Center, and parcel resurveys on Cobb Street and Irving Road.  The meeting lasted until 7:15. All votes were unanimous unless otherwise noted.

Members present:  Fred Asbik, Mike Brandt, Mark Woods, James Riddle, James Ponseti, Randy McCombs, Billy Higginbotham. Fred Hawkins arrived late.

Absent:  Joe Falconer

Staff present:  Vanessa McGrath, Donna Bridges, Greg Cobb

Audience attendance:  10

Old Business item #1 was moved to the end of the meeting.

Approved with one abstention: Commission members voted to resurvey and consolidate commercial parcels at 501, 505, and 511 Cobb Street into one lot for sale to Big #1 Motorsports.  The applicant and property owner, Joey Belmont and William J. Belmont, Jr. made the request. There were no comments from the audience. Mike Brandt abstained, with no explanation.

Approved:  Applicant Riverston Builders, owner Don Whaley, Sr., asked to divide four lots on 1106 Irving Road into six smaller lots, 48 ft. X 135 ft., to recoup costs of tapping into Jefferson County sewer. Several residents objected, including Robin Litaker of adjacent property on Grace Street, Kyle Lewis of Gainswood, and Mary Ellen Snell of Stuart Street. These and other residents spoke in favor of the improvements, but had questions about the size and style of houses to be built, preserving trees, traffic congestion, building setbacks, and erosion control. There are currently abandoned houses on the property.  Builder representative Keith Hall, a Homewood resident, said the houses would in the $450,000-$500,000 range and be built in a Craftsman style.  A commission member clarified that the builder doesn’t have to commit to a certain design. Mark Woods made the motion to approve, seconded by Ponseti.

Approved 7-1:  The applicant/owner Homewood Parks and Recreation Board,  requested review of the final development plan for the new recreation center at Central Park on Oxmoor Road.  The only change from the preliminary plan was a change to the buffers for surrounding neighbors.  The plans would leave a curb and natural areas as a buffer, including bamboo, but add a 10 foot wood fence.  Ms. Williams of Hanover Street was concerned about buffer and was shown plans that answered her concerns.  Mr. Michael Hallman (city councilman) asked about hours of construction, which Higginbotham stated to be between 7am-7 pm Monday – Saturday.  No work on Sunday.  Hallman complained the Park Board is not following these regulations and a complaint was made to the mayor about a Dumpster on park property being serviced at 5:30 am regularly.  Mr. Brandt asked Hallman to see him after the meeting.   There was more discussion among the audience before the hearing was closed. Riddle made a motion to approve the plans, McCombs seconded.

Voting no:  Fred Azbik

Old Business Item #1 Review of  Zoning Ordinances

Ponseti’s subcommittee followed an informal process in working on changes which have already been submitted to the city council.  Some are pending approval, some have been passed.  The changes were not identified in the meeting.   The requested revisions have all been submitted at this date.

The Planning Subcommittee will set a new meeting schedule for 2013  soon, which will then be posted on the city website.

After a motion to adjourn, the meeting ended at 7:15.

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