Zoning issues topic of public hearings

Published 7:00 pm Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Exceptions to zoning ordinances could lead to some churchgoershaving a new place to worship and shoppers on Highway 51 Northcould have a new place to cool their favorite beverages.

Officials from the Brookway Church of Christ are seeking a specialexception to the city’s zoning ordinance, which would allow thechurch to build a new facility on Natchez Drive, near Brookhill onNatchez.

“From what I understand, they’re wanting to build a biggerfacility,” said Chip Gennaro, building inspector. “They’re wantingto get on a bigger piece of property.”

The church, which is currently on Brookway Boulevard, is hoping tobuild in a restrictive residential district, which the principaluse of land is for single-family dwellings.

However, the ordinance allows for special permission related torecreational, religious and educational facilities. The church, ona minimum three-acre lot, could be granted permission to relocateas a special exception after a public notice and hearing, andapproval by the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

“I don’t see it being a problem other than having to wait until themeetings have passed,” said Gennaro. “I don’t see this being anytrouble.”

The board of adjustment will conduct the public hearing todetermine if the church qualifies and meets the requirements as aspecial exception Tuesday at 9 a.m. in city hall.

Gennaro added that the church has not yet purchased the land it isseeking to relocate to, but has made plans to acquire the ground ifthe city allows for construction of the church in the restrictedzone.

A special provision to the city’s modular and commercial buildingsordinance, which was adopted by the city in June, will also be putto the test in a public hearing on Tuesday by the board ofadjustment.

Brian Price, affiliate with Eden Street Icehouse, is requesting aspecial exception to move a modular building next to StatewidePools Inc. on Highway 51 North.

“He’s got another one in another town that’s not doing well, and hewants to move it here,” said Gennaro.

Price is hoping to move the block and crushed ice distributor intoa C-3 commercial district, which is not allowed because it is amodular building unless an exception is granted.

Gennaro said that when a health clinic moved in front of SearsHometown Stores, it caused the city to rethink its zoningpolicies.

“There were quite a few people that didn’t want that happening, andwe didn’t have any legal way to stop that from happening.”

Section one of the modular and commercial buildings ordinanceallows special exception for the placement of a modular ormanufactured building after review by the board of adjustments withfinal approval by the city board.

The provision continues to stipulate other standards for modularand manufactured building placement such as appropriateconstruction materials.

“They didn’t do this to restrict modular buildings,” said Gennaro.”They did this to control their use, appearance and where they’replacing them.”

While each building will be the topic of discussion during publicand board meetings, Gennaro thinks ordinances are in the bestinterest of the city and its residents.

“They’re really out to protect neighbors and property valuable,”said Gennaro. “Keep the neighbors happy