Developer Of Publix Grocery At St. Elmo To Go Before Variance Board

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The developer of a planned Publix grocery in St. Elmo will go before the City Board of Zoning Appeals on Nov. 7 seeking three variances.

Mike Price of MAP Engineers said the grocery has been working with community members to try to come up with an acceptable plan for the site where the former Mt. Vernon Restaurant and Pizza Hut are located.

There has been controversy over whether the grocery should be up against the street in an "urban" format. Developers said that configuration would not work at this site.

The latest illustration does show some shops along Broad Street.

The grocery is shown facing toward Lookout Mountain with most of the parking in front of the building leading to the junction of Broad and St. Elmo Avenue.

The Riverwalk is being constructed along St. Elmo Avenue to a crossing of Broad Street.

Mr. Price in June said the grocery would apply for a variance to allow it under the current Urban General Commercial (UGC) zone.

He also said one of two driveways planned to cross the new section of Riverwalk along St. Elmo Avenue near Broad would be eliminated.

Mr. Price said plans were being formulated to add some space for shops along Broad Street.

The development team said earlier that Commercial-2 zoning was needed for the project and it was not feasible to add the shop space up next to the street.

The Planning Commission in July, in a split vote, approved one needed variance. 

Here are the variances which have been requested of the City Board of Zoning Appeals:

  1. Allow front setback from primary street (Broad Street) to be increased from 15 feet to 64 feet +/- for the main building.
  2. Allow parking between the building and primary street.
  3. Allow the percentage of doors and windows on the primary street facade of the main building to be reduced from 30% to 7.8% +/-.

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