To support GEHA’s parking needs for its employees of its nearby office building, this parking lot, containing roughly 500 spaces, was constructed a number of years ago. It’s accessed by a single driveway off N. Atherton which also features a stoplight and pedestrian crosswalk. This rezoning action encompasses only the southern portion of the property which is covered by the parking lot. The northern portion of the property will retain its O-1 zoning and must be subdivided from this property through the minor subdivision process. The applicant has no plans for development of this northern piece.
According to the applicant’s letter, one of the potential tenants for the GEHA building across E. Atherton is a truck driving school associated with major freight company. This company will conduct classroom activities in the GEHA building and utilize this parking lot for the actual semi-truck driving portion of its program. The National Guard may lease part of the site for storage of its vehicles and equipment in conjunction with its office in the adjacent GEHA building.
Sewer, water and electrical service are available on, or near, the site. As the existing stormwater infrastructure is not within any easements, it must be privately maintained. The underground storage facility must remain intact and be evaluated by a professional engineer to ensure that additional activities will not compromise the integrity of the underground structure.
The O-1 zoning classification allows for some multi-family dwellings, child care centers, churches, restaurants, offices, banks, and hair salons. The proposed I-1 zoning classification allows for manufacturing, warehousing, wholesaling, indoor sports facilities, construction services, shelter and veterinary services, universities, daycare, art spaces, business equipment sales and maintenance, business support services, communication services, gasoline sales, office space, carwashes, and recycling centers.
Comprehensive Plan: The City’s new Comprehensive Plan, Image Independence, designates this site for Office uses.
Review Criteria: Recommendations and decisions on rezoning applications must be based on consideration of all of the following criteria:
1. Conformance of the requested zoning with the Comprehensive Plan – The new Imagine Independence plan envisions Office uses for this site.
2. Conformance of the requested zoning with any adopted neighborhood or sub-area plans in which the property is located or abuts – There are no sub-area plans for this site.
3. The compatibility of the proposed zoning with the zoning and use of nearby property, including any overlay zoning. - Although the site is zoned Office/Residential, it was used on a limited basis as a parking lot for an adjacent office use and had a minimal impact on nearby residential properties. If zoned I-1, and used for a semi-truck training school with its accompanying noise and related impacts, it may not be compatible with the surrounding neighborhood.
4. The compatibility of the proposed zoning and allowed uses with the character of the neighborhood – The proposed I-1 zoning would not be compatible with the neighboring residential properties.
5. The suitability of the subject property for the uses to which it has been restricted under the existing zoning regulations – This property is more suitable for residential, office, and perhaps light commercial uses than industrial uses.
6. The length of time the subject property has remained vacant as zoned – This parking lot has not been used since GEHA moved from the neighboring site about two years ago and is now gated off.
7. The extent to which approving the rezoning will detrimentally affect nearby properties –If zoned I-1, the proposed zoning wouldn’t be compatible with the surrounding neighborhood as other classifications such as C-1 (Neighborhood Commercial).
8. The gain, if any, to the public health, safety and welfare due to denial of the application, as compared to the hardship imposed upon the landowner, if any, as a result of denial of the application – If the rezoning is denied, it would have a negative financial effect on the owner.
Planning Commission Action: At its May 22, 2018 Planning Commission meeting, the motion for approval failed with a 2 – 2 vote, after consideration of the following facts:
- That, the rezoning is inconsistent with the review criteria listed in Section 14-701-02 of the City Code.
- That, a public hearing was held pursuant to a notice duly published according to law at which time all interested parties were given the full opportunity to be heard.
- The O-1 zoning classification allows for some multi-family dwellings, child care centers, churches, restaurants, offices, banks, and hair salons. The proposed I-1 zoning classification allows for manufacturing, warehousing, wholesaling, indoor sports facilities, construction services, shelter and veterinary services, universities, daycare, art spaces, business equipment sales and maintenance, business support services, communication services, gasoline sales, office space, carwashes, and recycling centers.
- That, this property has been zoned O-1 since 1985.
- That the rezoning of the property to I-1 would allow the applicant to use the property for the storage of National Guard vehicles and part of the driving portion of a semi-tractor trailer driving school.
- That the newly adopted ‘Imagine Independence’ Comprehensive Plan recommends office uses for this site.
- That, at the Planning Commission hearing, no one spoke in opposition to the rezoning application.
- That, at the hearing, no protest petition was submitted in opposition to the application.
Draft Planning Commission minutes are attached to this Council agenda item.