Thursday, January 22, 2015

Exceptionally large, 20-unit Salemtown development deferred for community meeting

The "Specific Plan" rezoning requests are now flying into Salemtown, with new ones barreling down the pike persistently, enough to make your head spin. Most of the "SPs" propose to expand the number of units currently existing on the properties, which is consistent with the priorities of planners (who strive to increase density) and those of developers (who strive to wring out every last drop of value that they claim to add to properties). Former Metro Council member Roy Dale has been the applicant of a number of recent rezoning requests; a sweet parlay on his part.

One development about which I have waved red flags early on is "The Row at 6th & Garfield." The plan is to demolish 8 existing units across 5 plots and infill 20 new ones. The Salemtown neighborhood association informed me before the plan came before the Planning Commission on January 8 that the developers were seeking to defer in order to hold community meetings on the project. The association gives no public indication that I can see (I am a member) that they have concerns about the project. The Planning Department's recommendation reflects that deferral:

Project No. Zone Change 2015SP-001-001
Project Name The Row at 6th & Garfield

Requested by Dale and Associates, applicant; Bryan Development, LLC, owner.

Staff Reviewer Birkeland
Staff Recommendation Defer indefinitely.
Zone change to permit twenty multi-family units.

Preliminary SP
A request to rezone from One and Two-Family Residential (R6) to Specific Plan-Residential (SP-R) zoning for properties located at 1700, 1702, 1706, 1710 and 1712 6th Avenue North, at the northeast corner of 6th Avenue North and Garfield Street, (1.01 acres), to permit up to 20 multifamily dwelling units

Existing Zoning
One and Two-Family Residential (R6) requires a minimum 6,000 square foot lot and is intended for single-family dwellings and duplexes at an overall density of 7.71 dwelling units per acre including 25 percent duplex lots. R6 would permit a maximum of 7 lots with 1 duplex lot for a total of 9 units.

Proposed Zoning
Specific Plan-Residential (SP-R) is a zoning district category that provides for additional flexibility of design, including the relationship of streets to buildings, to provide the ability to implement the specific details of the General Plan. This Specific Plan includes attached residential buildings.

Staff recommends an indefinite deferral at the request of the applicant.

The Planning Commission did indeed approve the deferral two weeks ago.

This week the neighborhood association sent out announcement of its next business meeting, Monday, January 26 (6:00p). That agenda included the item, "Developer Presentations (30 min.) [held jointly with Councilperson Gilmore]." No other details were listed and there is no clarification announced by Salemtown Neighbors, but I assume that the SP request for The Row at 6th and Garfield is to be addressed. It is not easy to see where SNNA's executive board stands on this.

Chances are, if Roy Dale is present on Monday, he will also be discussing the SP request at 4th Av N and Garfield (2015SP-002-001) which was approved by the Planning Commission on the January 8 consent agenda without any discussion by the commissioners. Even with that approval I am unaware of any community meetings having been held on this plan by developers. It would demolish 6 units and build 8. But again, specific plans require allowance of community input before final approval. The public hearing has not been held by Metro Planning, yet so there is still time to slow this down if community discussion does not happen at the association meeting on Monday. I have received no notifications from CM Erica Gilmore about upcoming community meetings on rezoning. I certainly hope she is doing her due diligence on these rezoning requests.

Here is the planning staff's recommendation for the 4th and Garfield plan:

Staff recommends approval with conditions and disapproval without all conditions.

  1. Uses within the SP shall be limited to a maximum of 8 residential units.
  2. If a development standard, not including permitted uses, is absent from the SP plan and/or Council approval, the property shall be subject to the standards, regulations and requirements of the RM20-A zoning district as of the date of the applicable request or application. Uses are limited as described in the Council ordinance.
  3. The final site plan shall include architectural elevations showing raised foundations of 18-36” for residential buildings.
  4. A corrected copy of the preliminary SP plan incorporating the conditions of approval by Metro Council shall be provided to the Planning Department prior to or with final site plan application.
  5. Minor modifications to the preliminary SP plan may be approved by the Planning Commission or its designee based upon final architectural, engineering or site design and actual site conditions. All modifications shall be consistent with the principles and further the objectives of the approved plan. Modifications shall not be permitted, except through an ordinance approved by Metro Council that increase the permitted density or floor area, add uses not otherwise permitted, eliminate specific conditions or requirements contained in the plan as adopted through this enacting ordinance, or add vehicular access points not currently present or approved.
  6. The requirements of the Metro Fire Marshal’s Office for emergency vehicle access and adequate water supply for fire protection must be met prior to the issuance of any building permits.

Given the rapid transition Salemtown is currently experiencing, we really do have to keep our eye on the ball. The sheer volume of rezoning requests in a short period of time could tip it out-of-hand completely if we are not vigilant.

UPDATE: both properties did come up for discussion and questions at the January SNNA business meeting. Developers of The Row at 6th and Garfield said that they plan to defer the proposal to the end of February. They also emphasized to those in attendance that SNNA could have some influence over the direction of this project, which is a hopeful sign as long as the association officers encourage input from members. I will post more information on the site plan here soon.

1 comment:

  1. Sherman's march through Nashville. A few years late but just as destructive.