Planning Commission, Aug. 2, 2016

planning & zoning(1)The Planning Commission approved a preliminary drawings of the Columbiana condominium plan and gave an update on the fate of building height, lot width and minimum square footage and other zoning changes they recommended in April.

Members present: Billy Higginbotham, chair, Fred Azbik, Mike Brandt, Jeffrey Foster, James Riddle,

Members absent: Fred Hawkins, Battalion Chief Nickolas Hill, and Mark Woods.

Vacancy: Jamie Ponseti resigned following the November meeting. Mr. Ponseti filled the “mayor’s designee” spot on the commission. The mayor or a new designee can be named to fill the vacancy.

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

Audience attendance:  5

Approved minutes of June and July, 2016 meetings.

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

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

Approved the Preliminary Plat for the Columbiana Condo development, pending rezoning approval by the council: Developer Eric Rogers presented the preliminary site and construction drawings for the 10-unit condominium project at 818 and 822 Columbiana Road. The plan was originally rezoned from commercial to residential for 6 units; A second lot was purchased and is in the process of being rezoned for a building with four additional units. The two buildings will face each other across a private drive that will come off Columbiana Road.

822 Columbiana Road The property fits inside the irregular shape of 818 Columbiana and adds four more units facing the original six that have been approved earlier.

822 Columbiana Road
The additional four condominium units will be built on this parcel, which was purchased later and fits inside the irregular shape of 818 Columbiana, marked in red.

The road is closed to through traffic now while Jefferson County repairs a collapsed sewer main that crosses the property. The developers explained before the meeting that the collapse happened behind the convenience center, just upstream from the condo site. The county found other problems and has been diverting sewage past the break and into another manhole. Construction on the condominiums will begin when the county’s work is complete.

Building regulations update: Following this case, Ms. McGrath gave a report on the status of the building and lot width and area amendments approved by the commission on April 5. Those recommendations were substantially relaxed as a result of discussion in a July 19 planning commission sub-committee meeting and public forum, which was held because builders and others disliked the proposed limits. Those limits were relaxed again in a council Planning and Development Committee meeting on Monday, with a 25-foot height for lots 55 feet and under raised to 32 feet and the height for larger lots raised from 35 feet to 36 feet. A resident (myself) asked if the matter shouldn’t now come back to the Planning Commission for review, since it had been so significantly changed. The commissioners said no, because their vote is outweighed by the council anyway.

The meeting was adjourned.


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