Planners propose to annex property
by JOYANNA LOVE Banner Senior Staff Writer
Oct 23, 2013 | 678 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Corey Divel
Corey Divel

The Cleveland Municipal Planning Commission voted to recommend an owner-requested annexation during its meeting Tuesday.

If approved by the City Council, 14.05 acres of Young Road, off Dalton Pike, will be annexed.

City planner Corey Divel said the property is currently a vacant lot.

The planners also approved a plan of service for the lot. A report of services needed for the area stated water was already available to the site. However, a sewer system would need to be installed. The estimated cost to bring sewer to the site is $80,000

While the property is on Young Road, the road will not be taken into the city as part of the annexation.

Divel explained there would be no immediate impact on schools because there is no one living on the site. If an apartment complex was built on the site, there is the potential impact of 35 to 40 additional students. Exact plans for the property are unknown.

Current anticipated revenue if the property becomes a part of the city is about $956. The property is currently zoned General Commercial and would be zoned Commercial Highway if annexed by the city.

This 14.5 acre property is within the city’s Urban Growth Boundary.

A temporary hold has been placed on city annexation while practices are reviewed at the state level. However, annexations at the request of owners are still permitted.

Possible options to lend more flexibility within zoning were also discussed.

Developer Lisa Stanbery spoke to the planning commission about allowing contract zoning to give developers more options in redevelopment areas.

Under contract zoning the land use intended is expressed beforehand through a contract, in exchange for changes in or exemptions to the current zoning of the property. Stanbery said this would alleviate concerns of neighbors leery of rezoning because they would know exactly what would be built on the lot. She said the increased flexibility makes lots, whose best use might not fit with surrounding zoning, more appealing for development, and increases the chances of something being built on the site. Stanbery gave examples for residential development. She compared the flexibility to an extension of what had already been granted through Planned Urban Development zoning.

Commission member Dee Burris said contract zoning is illegal in Tennessee.

City Attorney John Kimball said it is illegal, but conditional zoning is legal.

To allow conditional zoning would require a change to the zoning ordinance, officials said.

Chairman Tim Henderson asked that Divel look into conditional zoning. He also asked Kimball to look at the possibility of approaching the state Legislature for them to consider legalizing contract zoning.

Kimball said conditional zoning allows flexibility in exemptions to the restrictions of zoning for a property in certain circumstances. Buffers would be required to ensure the property does not affect adjoining properties’ value.

Rezoning recommendations were also approved. Land, a little more than an acre, on for Huff Avenue was approved from Low Density Residential to Commercial Highway to bring the zoning in line with how the property is actually used. Divel said the land had been used for automobile repair or sales for 30 days.

A rezoning for Westland Drive from south of Grandview Drive to about 500 feet north of Lupton Lane was also approved. If approved by the Cleveland City Council, the approximately 51 acres will be rezoned from Light Industrial to Mixed Use. Divel said the change would affect multiple parcels of land. The change would “bring every present use within the zoning change area into compliance with the existing zoning. Additionally, the MU zoning would allow for a natural transition along the corridor from the properties to the north, which are explicitly residential, to the higher-intensity industrial and commercial uses surrounding the APD 40 bypass,” according to planning commission documentation.