Who knew? The former Mountain Brook Inn on U.S. 280, demolished in 2008, was never in that Tiny Kingdom. Developers are taking first steps to build another hotel on the site, which will be dominated by a 10-story office building and a parking deck.
Another Edgewood house is slated for demolition to make way for two new houses.
Members present: Jeffery Foster, James Riddle, Fred Hawkins, Mike Brandt, Billy Higginbotham, chairman, James Ponseti and Fred Azbik,
Members absent: Battalion Chief Nickolas Hill and Mark Woods.
Staff attendance: Donna Bridges, commission secretary; Greg Cobb, manager, Engineering, Planning & Zoning Department; and Vanessa McGrath, engineer, Engineering, Planning and Zoning Department.
Audience attendance: 13
Carried over an amended development plan for the Islamic Academy: An earlier request to present an amended development plan was carried over to the Jan. 6, 2014, meeting at the request of the applicant.
Conditionally allowed a preschool to divide a parcel near Publix: Applicant John La Breche of Covenant Classical School, 151 Covenant Way, asked the commission to approve a resurvey that would partition the school’s lot into a separate parcel for a doctor’s office. That plan hasn’t reached the development stage, he said, but the school wanted to go ahead and divide the property. The preschool is nearly finished and faces west on a Publix shopping center outparcel that sits between Columbiana Road and Green Springs Highway. The resurvey carves out a smaller lot for the doctor’s office on the school’s north side. Mr. La Breche said he expected to add a strip of parking across the drive from the school’s entrance. The unanimous approval is conditioned on meeting parking requirements for both separate developments and submitting a shared parking agreement to attach to the property.
Divided a residential lot on Hambaugh Avenue: Applicant David Siegel of Twin Properties plans to divide a single corner lot at 401 Hambaugh Avenue and build two houses where there is now one house standing. The two resulting lots, though narrow, meet size requirements for the original subdivision and won’t require BZA approval, according to Ms. McGrath. Commissioners approved the plan without question. The house across the street was on the BZA docket last month to build a covered patio.
Conditionally approved a preliminary development plan for a hotel on the old Mountain Brook Inn site: Jeffrey Brewer of Goodwyn, Mills, & Cawood, an architecture firm handling the project, presented a preliminary plan to develop a 10-story multi-tenant office building, a 150-room hotel, and 5-story parking deck on 5.7 acres on U.S. 280 near Mountain Brook Office Park. The former Mountain Brook Inn was demolished in 2008. Despite its name, the property was originally in unincorporated Jefferson County and later annexed to Homewood, where it stood for the last decade or so.
Three residents of nearby Belmont Road [lower right of photo] studied the plan during the public hearing and asking questions about lighting. Two residents said they weren’t bothered much by the old Inn, which was situated farther away from residences than the planned office building. One resident said lighting from the Mountain Brook Inn buzzed and kept him from enjoying his back yard, and he opposed any similar lighting at this site. Mr. Cobb said new light standards and city ordinances regulated commercial lighting so it couldn’t “leave the property,” meaning it would be visible from off-site, but not project off the property to the point that it cast shadows.
The estimated parking requirements are 791 spaces, which will be provided by the deck and existing surface spaces.
Mr. Brewer said the development’s traffic impact has been given informal approval by Skipper Engineering, which wrote the U.S. 280 Master Plan, and also by ALDOT. It will not require building an interchange, although there is no left turn allowed. However, Mr. Foster asked about a road marked “optional” ingress/egress on the plan. The road would be cleared between the hotel site and the Office Park building adjacent, to the north [drawn in on the photograph]. If this road is built, it would allow traffic to turn left on U.S. 280 by cutting through the other lot to Office Park Drive and then to the signaled intersection.
Commissioners asked questions about the office building height; Ms. McGrath said the height met standards for the current zoning, which is C-4B. Mr. Brandt said he would move to approve, conditioned on confirming that C-4B allows these specific types of buildings, which wasn’t certain at the time of the vote.
Mr. Brewer said the land is under contract. Construction could begin on the office building as soon as this summer if the commission approves future steps in the development plans. The owners are listed as three corporations, MX 2800 LLC; Highpoint, Ltd.; and 124 Jet Plex, LLC.
Before adjourning, the commission set the 2015 calendar.