Planning Agency Staff Opposes Rezoning For Commercial Project At 1821 Gunbarrel Road

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Regional Planning Agency staff is recommending denial for a commercial project on Gunbarrel Road by developer Bassam Issa.

The staff said the development would set a precedent for the incursion of commercial into a residential section.

The site is at 1821 Gunbarrel Road.

The request is to ezone R-4 Special Zone to C-2 Convenience Commercial Zone.

It goes before the Planning Commission on Monday at 1 p.m. at the County Courthouse.

 • Proposal: Develop site with a commercial use.

• Proposed Access: Access is from Gunbarrel Road and adjoining lot. Site Analysis Site Description

• Location: The site is located on the west side of Gunbarrel Road approximately 500 feet south of the Gunbarrel Road and Igou Gap Road intersection.

• Potential Access: Access is available from Gunbarrel Road.

• Current Land Uses: To the north is a multi-story office building with a commercial use on the ground floor. To the east is a large strip center with commercial outparcels. To the west are single-family detached residential uses. To the south are professional offices. Zoning History

• The site is currently zoned R-4 Special Zone.

• The site was rezoned from R-1 Residential Zone to R-4 Special Zone in 2003. (Ordinance #11500).

• The properties to the west are zoned R-1 Residential Zone. The properties to the north are zoned R-4 Special Zone and C-2 Convenience Commercial Zone. The properties to the east are zoned C-2 Convenience Commercial Zone. The property to the south is zoned R-4 Special Zone and O-1 Office Zone.

• The abutting property to the north (1825 Gunbarrel Road) applied to rezone from R-4 Special Zone to C-2 Convenience Commercial Zone in 2011 and was denied by City Council.

• Property located at 1503 Gunbarrel Road to the south on the same side of the road as this request was rezoned from R-4 to C-2 by City Council in January 2017 (Ordinance 13145). Plans/Policies/Regulations

• The Hamilton Place Community Plan (adopted by City Council in 2001) recommends office use at this site. The plan identifies Igou Gap Road as the southern boundary of commercial uses on Gunbarrel Road. Office helps protect the residential edge of neighborhoods from commercial expansion.

• The Development Policy from the Comprehensive Plan 2030 update (Called the Renewing Our Vision and adopted by Planning Commission in 2016) identifies this site as being in intensity level 3. Level 3 describes the development potential appropriate for low-to-medium intensity development based on the limited infrastructure.

• The C-2 Convenience Commercial Zone permits most commercial uses and would require a 20- foot wide landscape buffer where adjacent to a residential zone.

• The R-4 Special Zone permits residential uses, bed and breakfast establishments, dormitories, and low intensity commercial uses such as professional and medical offices, or banks. Restaurants and Drug Stores are allowed in buildings 4 stories or greater. Key Findings • The proposal is not supported by the recommendations of the adopted Land Use Plan for the area as it recommends office uses for this site. The area is considered a “pressured site” so it is important to balance commercial demand while protecting the existing neighborhoods. Any new development should continue to maintain a high level of buffering against adjoining residential properties and should be at a scale that is compatible with adjoining residences.

• The proposed zone allows for uses which are compatible with surrounding residential and office uses. C-2 Convenience Commercial Zone allows for indoor amusement establishments, vehicular repair facilities and washes, commercial signs and billboards, motels and hotels, and mini warehousing uses which would be incompatible with neighboring uses.

• The proposal can be consistent with the development form of the area is curb-cuts are limited and building height is limited.

• Some of the more intense uses allowed in the C-2 Convenience Commercial Zone could pose a concern for location, lighting and other nuisances to the residential homes behind the property.

• The proposal would not be an extension of an existing zone on the western side of Gunbarrel Road. There is C-2 Convenience Commercial Zone across Gunbarrel Road.

• The proposal would set a precedent for future requests by allowing the establishment of C-2 Convenience Commercial Zone south of where the plan current describes the limits of commercial uses abutting this residential community. Other Departmental Comments

• Chattanooga Department of Transportation notes curb-cuts should be kept to a minimum on Gunbarrel Road.

Staff Recommendation Deny

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