Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The area in question

The area in question is 2.56 acres of undeveloped property. The land is between a one story church and a one story bait store. Directly across the street is a rock house with a historic overlay, which means it can’t be touched. Around the area are houses, condos, apartments and small commercial establishments. The property buyers (Dr. Travis Pardue and his posse) want to put a three story medical building on the said land. I will have pictures soon. You won’t believe your eyes! A three story building will look totally out of place in this area, not to mention traffic is already problem on this two lane road.

Okay, I’m jumping ahead…. I just get frustrated….

In 2005, the owner of the property, Merry Land Holdings, LLC, requested an amendment to replace the 11,700 square feet of office, with 31,920 Sq. Ft. of office and retail space. The request was approved, and the property was also rezoned from RM15 (Mult-Family Residential) to MUL (Mixed Use Limited). The approved plan at that time met the Community Plan Policy (Hermitage Neighborhood Design Plan) and proposed a small professional building with retail on the first floor and office on the second floor. The building was to be situated close to Central Pike to help create the pedestrian oriented center that the Community Plan envisioned.

I am extremely mad at myself because this is when we should have begun the fight.

On January 25, 2007 the property owner requested an additional 3,280 sq. ft. and proposed for the development of a 35,200 Sq. Ft. medical office building. A Metro Planning Commission staff member researched the request, history of the land, and the Community Plan Policy. At the Planning Commission Meeting the staff reviewer recommended disapproval of the additional square footage on the basis that it did not meet the Hermitage Detailed Neighborhood Design Plan. The staff reviewer cautioned that the new plan “proposes a car oriented building that is separated from the public spaces by a parking lot and surrounded by parking lots on all sides.”

After debate at the planning commission meeting—even though staff recommendation was to disapprove—the Metro Planning Commission approved the additional Sq. ft. (6-4).

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