Planning Commission, Feb. 2, 2016

A tap-room venture eyeing property near Dawson.

A tap-room venture is eyeing property near Dawson.

The most interesting discussion tonight came in the pre-commission meeting and touched on a possible brewery/tap-room business being considered for the Edgewood Repair Shop building next to Dawson’s parking deck. (Also being considered for Dawson’s parking deck are a series of 8 foot cell phone antenna panels, but that’s for another meeting.) Unfortunately for this venture, the Edgewood Urban Renewal District–which stretches along Oxmoor Road from the parking deck to Edgewood Presbyterian Church–prohibits any bar or tavern, defined as businesses taking more than 50% of revenue from alcohol sales. Ms. McGrath said the new West Homewood (Village) District is less restrictive, and asked if the Edgewood zoning might be changed to allow a tap room. There is no case set yet.

Will the Waffle House be the first West Homewood development in the new "Village" district? If so, that sign will have to go.

Will the Waffle House be the first West Homewood development in the new “Village” district? If so, that sign will have to go.

Also of note was an upcoming meeting of the BZA this Thursday in which the Waffle House on Oxmoor Road is asking for variances, with plans to remodel the building in compliance with the new West Homewood village zoning. The restaurant chain objected to the imposition of the new zoning in 2014 and has delayed its BZA presentation for several months. Important to some in the area, if the Waffle House rebuilds in the village zone, it will have to take down its tall, but brightly lit, yellow sign.

There was one case tonight, with a scheduled rezoning presentation for the Lakeshore Foundation carried over by the applicant to the March meeting, where the zoning staff said 4-5 complex rezoning issues will be taken up.

Members present: Chairman Billy Higginbotham, Fred Azbik, James Riddle, Fred Hawkins, Battalion Chief Nickolas Hill.

Members absent: Jeffrey Foster and Mark Woods.

Vacancy: Jamie Ponseti resigned following the November meeting. Mr. Ponseti was the “mayor’s designee” on the commission, and the mayor can take the seat himself or find a replacement.

Staff attendance: Donna Bridges, commission secretary, Greg Cobb, city Building, Engineering and Zoning Department, and Vanessa McGrath, city engineer/zoning.

Audience attendance: 3

818Columbiana

Boundaries of a 6-unit townhouse development between Columbiana Road and Green Springs.

Approved a final plat, with some hesitation, for the townhouse development planned on Columbiana Road. The proposed development, now called Edgewood Place, passed the second-to-last hurdle before construction can begin on the 6-unit townhouse development and street in what is a small wooded area on Columbiana Road. The developers have been before the council and Planning Commission for a rezone,  the BZA for variances and back to the commission for waivers to the subdivision rules, including a narrower road with no turnaround, reduced lot areas, and restricted size of the right-of-way. Developers had also previously agreed to install special curb ramps to allow a fire engine to turn into the street without breaking or eroding the corner. In describing the project, staff said the developers ultimately want the road to become public.

The townhouses would look something like this, according to the architect.

The Edgewood Place townhouses would look something like this, according to the architect.

Before voting to approve, Mr. Hawkins asked why a drainage pipe didn’t connect to a concrete ditch, or flume, that ran close by and emptied into the creek. The engineer said the concrete ditch was on private property just over the property line, was not within an easement, and was protected by a low retaining wall that would have to be cut into. His plan was to let water drain into a depression that ran parallel to the ditch. The estimated amount of drainage from the property was 1 cfs or 1 cubic foot of water per second, he said. Mr. Hawkins asked the developers nevertheless to investigate tying into the existing drainage or risk problems later, such as eroding the ground support around the wall. In either case, the plan was approved with no further change.

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