The Planning Commission met at 6 p.m. to consider changes to the development plan of the Covenant Classical (pre)School next to Publix, off Green Springs Highway. The amended plan includes dropping a drive around the building and adding 1,500 square feet to the one-story professional office building on the grounds near the preschool. Also, 10 additional parking were spaces added–six to the front and five to the rear of the professional building–eliminating one space from existing parking. The developers are interested in adding a second story to the professional building, which would require another request before the commission.
Members present: Billy Higginbotham, chairman, Fred Hawkins, council Liason, Battalion Chief Nickolas Hill (new), James Riddle, and Mark Woods.
Absent: Fred Asbik, Mike Brandt, vice-chairman, and James Ponseti.
Staff present: Vanessa McGrath, Greg Cobb, Donna Bridges
Audience attendance: 2
Approved an amended development plan: John Bres, of Homewood CCS Development, LLC, 151 Covenant Way, presented an amended development plan for a new Covenant Classical School property. Mr. Bres presented a revision of the north section designed to increase the parking lot size. A total of 88 parking spaces are proposed– 60 spaces for the daycare, and 28 for the professional building (80 spaces are required by ordinance.)
Mr. Bres presented the floor plan of an expanded one-story professional building, which he proposes to lease out for part medical/part other professional office space. The plan seems to still be forming. He asked if a two-story building was possible in this space and whether there were any height or additional requirements to accommodate such an expansion. After the explanation of amended changes with some discussion, Mr. Higginbotham opened the public hearing for comment. Speaking first, Mr. Belser, of 2937 Self Avenue South, Suite 106, in Birmingham, who represented a Mr. Lee, owner of the Asian grocery store on Carr Avenue, who lives in Fernando, Fla., expressed concern about possible water run-off from the developed site. Mr. Cobb assured him that a detention pond would catch water run-off headed toward businesses near the new preschool. Mr. Belser seemed satisfied with this promise, and the public hearing was closed.
Mr. Woods asked how the developers intended to prevent office building traffic flow from interfering with daycare operations. Mr. Bres said they intended to label parking spots and enforce reserved spaces. Mr. Woods asked if a “gentleman’s agreement” was reached with Publix and other store owners to use their parking lot space to accommodate overflow at daycare events, with the answer that there is no such agreement. Mr. Woods reiterated the need for the preschool to discuss parking lot use before further planning to obtain some agreement. He said the commission didn’t want to deal with complaints after the fact.
Discussion continued again about the possibility of adding more parking spaces to accommodate a two-story building. Ms. McGrath said a written agreement from Publix-area merchants would suffice to ensure that there would be parking spaces available for expanding a professional building to two stories. When asked about the height restrictions, Ms. McGrath noted a 45-foot height limit in the GURD (Green Springs Urban Renewal District), which would accommodate a second story. On a suggestion from Mr. Bres to use space on the east end of the grounds for more parking, commissioners found no problem but reminded him it would require another formal request before the commission.
It appears that the developers are interested in further developing the leased professional property business, and building two stories instead of one.
The meeting adjourned 6:30.