Planning Commission, Oct. 7, 2014

Full-MoonIt was a full moon tonight, which might explain two instances of good news coming from one Planning Commission meeting. The first is the night’s only case, a resurvey that takes a strip of one person’s back yard to enlarge the side yard of a lot on a Berry Avenue cul-de-sac. The second, which followed adjournment, will be a gift from Twin Construction to many West Homewood residents, as Ward 2 representative Fred Hawkins pointed out.

Members present: Billy Higginbotham, chairman, James Riddle, Fred Hawkins, Jeffrey Foster, James Ponseti, and Mark Woods. NOTE:  Jeffrey Foster, who already serves on the BZA, replaces Joe Falconer, who resigned earlier this year. Rules allow only one person two serve in this dual role on BZA and Planning Commission.

Members absent: Fred Azbik, battalion Chief Nickolas Hill, Mike Brandt

Staff attendance: Donna Bridges, commission secretary; Greg Cobb, manager, Engineering, Planning & Zoning Department; and Vanessa McGrath, engineer, Engineering, Planning and Zoning Department.

Audience attendance: 3

Approved a resurvey giving 7 feet from one homeowner to a neighbor: Charles Williams of 320 Sterrett Avenue appeared tonight with his backyard neighbor on Berry Avenue, to whom he was giving a 7-foot strip of his back lot in order to enlarge his friend’s side yard. The two lots are perpendicular to each other, with Mr. Williams’ lot being particularly long, and his neighbor’s being particularly narrow. “This gives him more yard and gives me less grass to cut,” Williams said.

The lot being reduced still meets the dimension requirements for Neighborhood Preservation District.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 6:20 p.m.

This vacant lot opposite Hall Kent Elementary, characterized as an "overgrown eyesore" by one commissioner, has been approved for four, two-story houses with driveways long enough to discourage any off-street parking.

This vacant lot opposite Hall Kent Elementary, characterized as an “overgrown eyesore” by one commissioner, was been approved for four two-story houses with driveways long enough to discourage any off-street parking. The number of houses planned may now be reduced to three.

In post-meeting conversation, however, Ms. McGrath made known that Twin Construction builders had decided to alter their Cobb Street residential development plan and reduce the number of houses from four to three. The case was probably the most controversial planning commission matter so far this year after the Exceptional Foundation, with the majority of West Homewood residents–and one ranking school system employee–opposed to building so many houses on such a small parcel, and directly across from the Hall-Kent Elementary parking lot.

Although the paperwork hasn’t been filed, when asked where this news fell on the spectrum of idle talk to “sure thing,” Ms. McGrath said it reliable information.

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