Vols Knock Off Florida Gators, 38-33, To Start Season 4-0

Mayor Weighs In On Apartment Request By Historic Fort Wood

Monday, August 8, 2022

Mayor Tim Kelly sat in as a Planning Commission member on Monday long enough to take part in discussions of a request for 20 apartments on a small lot next to the historic Fort Wood neighborhood.

The mayor, noting he lives in Fort Wood a short distance from the site at Central Avenue and Fourth Street, said he strongly supports affordable housing. However, he added, "As a resident, I do share concerns about the aesthetics of the project."

The project is planned on a 0.3-acre site that would yield 52 dwelling units per acre.

Melissa Mortimer of the Historic Zoning Commission said the property is just outside the boundary of the historic district.

She expressed concern about a limestone wall that runs along Central Avenue, saying it continues on into the district.

Other residents said there would be in adequate parking provide on site and the residents and visitors would spill over onto nearby streets.

David Hetzler, who has lived at Fort Wood for almost 50 years, said, "The strongest part of our neighborhood has been single-family, not high-density. Encroaching with high density properties will just harm our neighborhood."   

Hal Baker, another longtime Fort Wood resident, suggested that the project design be run through the Historic Zoning Commission, and the mayor also mentioned that idea.

Mr. Baker said, "If you have a four-story aluminum-clad building it definitely will be a detriment to Fort Wood."

Architect Thomas Palmer, Planning Commission member, said the project is "very large for this site. I feel like 20 units is a big ask."

Developer Eric Emery said the building height would be 35 feet.

He said the limestone wall would be retained, and he said it would not be a metal building.

It was decided to defer the case for 30 days for more clarification on what the project will look like and entail.

 


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