Planning Commission, Sept. 3, 2013

planning & zoning(1)In a meeting lasting only 20 minutes the commission addressed a single case and approved a conditional amendment to Samford University‘s Development Plan to include a new Brock School of Business building. The building, designed by Davis Architects, will be five stories and exceed the city’s height regulations by 33 feet, 9 inches in BROCKPEGorder to, as a design document says, match the height and character of campus buildings that were built before the current regulations were enacted. The request for permission to add extra height will be presented before the BZA at its next meeting, Thursday, Sept. 5.

Members present:  Chairman Billy Higginbotham, James Ponseti, James Riddle, Mike Brandt, Mark Woods, Battalion Chief Rusty McCombs, and Joe Falconer.

Staff present:  Donna Bridges, board secretary, and Greb Cobb and Vanessa McGrath, Homewood Building, Engineering and Zoning staff.

Members absent:  Fred Azbik and Fred Hawkins.

Audience attendance: 12

Approved a conditional amended development plan, with one abstention:  After a public hearing in which no one commented, the commission approved an amended plan for Samford University, to include a new business school building at 840 Montague Drive. Curtis Eatman, a principal of LBYD Civil and Structural Engineers,  presented a summary explanation of the project:  The new building will be located next to Smith Hall and will be 120,000 square feet with five levels.  There will be 79,000 square feet of parking allotted, a storm water detention pond and cut-off light fixtures on the property.  There being no public comments, Mr. Higginbotham closed the hearing and commented that the commission had all project details necessary before a vote.

Mr. McCombs stated that he had already worked through details of the development plan with the engineer and had no problems with the project.  Ms. McGrath said that any approval of the commission tonight was contingent on the BZA variance request to change height requirements for the proposed building.   With the commission having no further comments or questions,  Mr. Falconer made the motion to approve, which was seconded and approved by the commission, with Mr. Brandt abstaining.

Abstaining:  Mr. Brandt did not provide an explanation for his abstention, however, he has business dealings with Samford University.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:20.

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