Planning Commission May 11 2021


Minutes – May 11, 2021

MEMBERS: Jonathan Eady, Chair; Juanita Carson, Secretary; Mike Ready, Jeremy Baker, and Mike McQuaide. Zach May was absent.

STAFF: Matthew Pepper, City Manager and Zoning Administrator.

GUESTS: Barbara and Nicholas Cole; Lynn Bohanan; Doug Hicks, Dean of Oxford College; Danielle Miller, Senior Associate Dean of Finance, Operations and Technology, Oxford College; Randy Simon, Director of Facilities Planning and Operations, Oxford College.

OPENING: At 7:10 PM, Mr. Eady called the meeting to order and welcomed the guests.

MINUTES: Upon motion of Mr. Ready, seconded by Mr. Carson, the minutes for the meeting of April 13, 2021 were adopted. The vote was 5-0.

ANNA KATIUZHINKSY DEVELOPMENT PERMIT APPLICATION (1202 Emory Street): The Commission reviewed the development permit application to pave an existing dirt driveway at 1202 Emory Street. During the discussion, the Commission noted that Sec. 40-875 lists the design requirements for paving.

Upon motion of Ms. Carson, seconded by Mr. Ready, the Planning Commission approved the development permit application to pave an existing driveway at 1202 Emory Street. The vote was 5-0.

AWNING DISCUSSION WITH BARBARA AND NICHOLAS COLE (1104 Emory Street): Barbara and Nicholas Cole requested a discussion with the Commission to install an awning for a camper on the side yard of their lot located at 1104 Emory Street. During the discussion, the Coles requested the Commission consider a variance (at a future meeting) for the awning. The Coles stated that the awning would be moveable. In addition, it would be located on the north side of the existing house. They confirmed that the existing house is 15’ from the property line. The proposed awning is 12’ wide. 

The Commission stated that Sec. 40-714 contains the criteria for a variance. The Commission explained that recommending a variance may not be appropriate given that the awning could be installed at another location on the property. When reviewing the criteria in Sec. 40-174, the Commission may have difficulty establishing the requisite externally imposed hardship. The Commission noted that there might be other ways to access the back of the property. Ms. Cole responded that it is not desirable to install the awning behind the house and access it from the north side of the property. They previously installed a shed in the back yard. Ms. Cole stated that they will not pursue installing the awning at this time.

MINOR SUBDIVSION DISCUSSION WITH LYNN BOHANAN: Lynn Bohanan requested to discuss with the Commission her plans to subdivide her lot located at 202 Fletcher Street. During the discussion, the Commission noted that Sec. 30-50 and Sec. 30-51 are the two code sections that state the requirements for a minor subdivision. In addition, Ms. Bohanan stated that the current lot is 2.11 acres. The Commission confirmed that Ms. Bohanan would propose to subdivide the lot north to south. The Commission also confirmed that a new dwelling would meet the setback requirements.

Ms. Bohanan asked if she would be able to connect to the existing sewer main on Fletcher Street. In response, the Commission stated that she could connect to the sewer main on Asbury Street using an easement across her existing lot. Ms. Bohanan stated that she thought the sewer main on Asbury Street was at a higher elevation than her existing lot. Mr. Pepper will confirm the location of the sewer main on Fletcher Street. He will share the information with Ms. Bohanan.

Ms. Bohanan asked if she should include the .46-acre lot located adjacent to the existing lot in her subdivision plat. The Commission responded that any lot within the city that is already an existing subdivided lot is an official permissible lot and therefore it is not necessary to include it in the subdivision plat. The Commission further explained that the existing dwelling, if it does not meet the dimensional requirements, is allowable as a permitted non-conforming use. However, if it is destroyed or suffers major damage, it would need to be rebuilt in conformance with the applicable zoning designation. In addition, the Commission stated that the costs of minor repairs and maintenance of a permitted non-conforming structure cannot exceed the value of the structure.

OXFORD COLLEGE DEVELOPMENT PERMIT APPLICATION (1205 Wesley Street): The Commission reviewed the development permit application to complete a full renovation of an existing outbuilding located at 1205 Wesley Street. During the discussion, Mr. Simon explained that the Commission approved a development permit application for this project in March 2020. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Oxford College chose not to pursue the project in 2020. The Commission confirmed that the project scope, as presented, did not change from the original application in March 2020. In addition, the Commission confirmed that the city’s building inspector has reviewed the construction plans and found no issues. Mr. Simon will acquire the requisite building permits prior to beginning work. 

Upon motion of Mr. Ready, seconded by Mr. McQuaide, the Planning Commission approved the development permit application to complete a full renovation of an existing outbuilding located at 1205 Wesley Street. The vote was 4-0 with Mr. Eady abstaining.

OXFORD COLLEGE STUDENT HOUSING DISCUSSION: Dean Hicks explained that Oxford College is expecting an additional 80 students to join the incoming class. Consequently, the college is seeking input from the Commission for the need to install temporary housing in the parking lot behind the Haygood Dormitory. The temporary housing request includes two 44-bed modular units. The request also includes a separate building that would serve as a common area. The modular units would be connected to utilities including power, water, and sewer.

Dean Hicks explained that the college is preparing to enter a two-year agreement with a company to provide the modular units. This request is time sensitive in that the college must commit to the units with the company within the next week to have them ready in early August. Ms. Miller explained that the college will prepare their formal development permit application in preparation for the Commission’s June meeting. The Commission noted that Table 4.4 allows the Commission to approve temporary uses and structures for lots zoned Institutional-Campus. In addition, the Commission noted that Table 4.6 contains the applicable design criteria for nonresidential zoning districts. They will use Table 4.6 to guide their review of the development permit application. 

Dean Hicks stated that the college would be willing to agree to installing the modular units for a 24-month maximum as a condition of the Commission approving the future development permit application.

DISCUSSION ON AMENDMENTS TO CHAPTER 40: The Commission will continue their discussion on amendments to Chapter 40 during future meetings. Prior to the next meeting, Mr. Pepper and Mr. Eady will share with the Commission the final draft of the proposed amendments to Chapter 40. They will share their recommendations with the Mayor and Council.

OTHER BUSINESS: The Commission did not discuss any item related to other business.

ADJOURNMENT: Mr. Eady adjourned the meeting at 8:30 PM.

Submitted by:

Juanita Carson, Secretary