Cleveland Municipal Planning Commission members voted to close 5th Street between Church and Parker streets Tuesday evening at the request of Lee University.
If the City Council goes along with the recommendation, the remainder of 5th Street will run two blocks between Parker and Walker streets. The university also owns about half of that property.
Lee requested the right of way abandonment to incorporate 5th Street into a large green space, which is part of the redevelopment of Pangle Hall (the old First Baptist Church facilities).
Commissioners also voted to abandon the right of way for a portion of 23rd Street N.W. between North Ocoee Street and Chambliss Avenue N.W.
At-Large Councilman George Poe, who is the Council representative on the commission, abstained from voting because he is one of three property owners.
Poe has owned property adjoining the street for 20 years. He abstained from the vote and stated he did not request the abandonment because of his position with the city.
The commission also recommended approval of the following agenda items:
- A request by April Brewer to allow for a continuation of nonconforming use at 470 2nd St. S.E. A house is located in an old industrial area near the old Whirlpool plant.
Under current conditions, the house cannot be rebuilt if it is destroyed, though the house was recently remodeled with new windows, paint, a new deck, water heater, kitchen cabinets, flooring, pantry storage, electrical panel, the original fireplace and plumbing fixtures.
“They pretty much have a new building there,” said senior planner Cory Divel. “They’ve put quite a bit of money in it, but no one wants to loan on it because if it burns down, it can’t be rebuilt.”
Approval invoked an application of special policy within the central city area to allow for continuation of nonconforming use.
- A recommendation to amend zoning regulations concerning setbacks requirements for infill development. The change would take into account the setbacks of other properties on the street where the new development is located. Under current regulations, infill setbacks are based on the average distances of other houses from the street.
- Recommended approval of a zoning amendment to allow substandard lot sizes for particular uses within the Commercial Highway zoning district. The change would affect parcels when the use is not intended for human occupancy, such as billboards or cell towers.