Northland Community Council development committee representatives unanimously endorsed zoning amendments Feb. 27 for several parcels along North Hamilton Road.

The changes to existing zoning text for the commercial properties at 4845, 4940, 4950 and 5150 N. Hamilton Road were needed because the city purchased 10 feet of right of way in anticipation of a widening project along the street, according to attorney Craig Moncrief, who represented the four owners of the properties.

The loss of those 10 feet means the developed lots are no longer in compliance with the parking-lot setbacks and landscaping requirements in the approved text for the original development of the sites, some as far back as 1990, Moncrief told committee members.

"Those are the only changes," he said. "That's all we're looking to do is just amend the text."

"They were really just kind of curing the imposition that had been hoisted on them," said Dave Paul, chairman of the development panel.

Moncrief suggested more such cases may be headed the committee's way as a result of the right-of-way acquisitions, but Paul isn't certain that will happen.

"I just don't know," he said. "For one thing, I'm not sure whether more recent zonings may have already anticipated the need to potentially expand the right of way and so may not have incorporated them into the zoning cases with insufficient setback. More recent cases may have already made accommodation for that."

Cooper Road parcel

Also at the meeting, committee members voted to recommend approval of a rezoning request and variance for a recently annexed parcel at 5603 Cooper Road.

Architects David Bullock and Juliet Bullock, representing Lifestyle Communities, said the development firm wants to build a storage facility on what had been the site of an office building. The parcel doesn't permit enough parking under the code, although David Bullock said there won't be much traffic on the property.

Committee members voted 14-1 to recommend approval but added restrictions on the types of materials that can be stored on the Cooper Road property, according to Paul's report. Exclusions include clothing, cotton, drugs, ice, machinery, rubber, tobacco, wood and petroleum or volatile oils.

"We just didn't think that that structure as it was being described was really going to be appropriate for other than storing doors and windows, etc. so we didn't really want to someone to set up shop there and engage in other kinds of storage operations," Paul said.

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