Murfreesboro’s Planning Commission will hold public hearings for several projects, including one involving the Amazon.com site, at its Wednesday night meeting.
The Amazon Fulfillment Center along Joe B. Jackson Parkway is moving towards completion, and the site will need signs to direct traffic to and from the warehouse. When application was made for sign permits, it was determined that some of the signage was not allowed under the sign ordinance generally applicable to land in the heavy industrial zone, according to the meeting agenda.
Because of the scale of the development and types of signs that are being proposed, the city’s planning staff said they believes this property and development is an excellent candidate for zoning as a planned signage overlay district. However, the PSO is not currently eligible in the heavy industrial or light industrial zones, explained Margaret Ann Ely, principal planner with Murfreesboro’s planning department.
Planning and building and codes staff said they believe it is appropriate to allow the planned signage overlay district in large industrial sites and has agreed to initiate an amendment to the zoning ordinance to allow the PSO in these districts.
Amazon site owners have also made application for PSO zoning that will be the subject of a separate agenda item and public hearing.
This request is two parts: one, to allow PSO zoning in areas zoned heavy or light industrial and, two, for Amazon to request a PSO zone for its site.
Ely explained how The Avenue Murfreesboro, Stones River Mall and Middle Tennessee Medical Center all have planned sign zoning because of their nature and need for numerous signs. One requirement for a PSO zone is a good management program that can oversee the specifications before it reaches the planning department. In the case of The Avenue, management can explain to retailers the guidelines and ensure they are met before meeting with planning staff.
“We also want to make sure it is enforced internally,” she said, adding it is much more easily done with a unique project, as opposed to a retail strip center.
Also on Wednesday’s agenda are amendments to the zoning ordinance regarding parking for multiple family developments and hotels/motels. Most notably, this item involves reducing the number of required parking spaces from 1.1 to one per rentable room.
This subject came about after the Planning Commission was presented with an initial design review on Aug. 15 for Residence Inn Marriott to be constructed near Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center on Medical Center Parkway. The project is slated for a final design review at the Planning Commission’s Sept. 19 meeting.
The 112-room, extended stay hotel features four floors of suites with kitchenettes, according to Ely.
Several other hotel projects had been proposed for the area before the economy took a nosedive, including Hyatt Place and Drury Inn. This is the first project to come to fruition since the economy began a road to recovery, which shows developers’ confidence in Murfreesboro, Ely continued.
The holidays -- and Christmas tree sales -- are just around the corner, and now it will be easier for groups to get the appropriate permits to sell those evergreens. Special use permits require a $500 deposit to ensure proper post-sales clean up, but that amount can be high for some groups who use Christmas tree sales as a fundraiser.
“Many of these organizations are relatively low budget and the amount of the deposit is viewed as being very burdensome to them,” the meeting agenda states. “Staff is proposing to eliminate the deposit requirement provided that the (property) owner will assume the responsibility for the cleanup should the applicant fail to do so.”
About seven years ago, Jajesh Aggarwal wanted to build a development consisting of a 139-room rooming house along Old Lascassas Highway. According to Ely, this type of residence is basically an apartment that lacks a kitchen. Aggarwal obtained approval to rezone 2.4 acres from multifamily residential to planned residential.
He has since changed his plans and would like to rezone the property back to its original multifamily residential zoning and develop the land with a more traditional multiple family development. Under the proposed RM-16 zoning, the property could be developed with 38 multi-family dwelling units. This item will also be open for a public hearing.
Last on the meeting’s public hearing agenda is a street renaming study for a portion of County Farm Road to be renamed Joe B. Jackson Parkway.
“The City of Murfreesboro is tentatively scheduled to begin construction of the Joe B. Jackson Parkway extension from I-24 to South Church Street/Shelbyville Pike in the fall of this year,” the agenda states.
“The construction project is scheduled to be a 24-month project and will be funded jointly by the State of Tennessee, the City of Murfreesboro, and Rutherford County. This project was included on the City’s 1995 Major Thoroughfare Plan, which was approved and recorded in 1998. In addition, it is also included in Rutherford County’s Long Range Transportation Plan.”
There exists a half-mile segment of the existing County Farm Road that will be reconstructed in conjunction with the Joe B Jackson Parkway road improvement project. About half of this segment of roadway is located in the city limits and half is located in the unincorporated County. Despite that it is not currently named Joe B. Jackson Parkway, it is a continuation of the segment of Joe B. Jackson Parkway that is located in the Stevens Bend Subdivision.
“After the road construction project is completed, it will be even more easily recognized as part of the same roadway, as it will be constructed to look more uniform than it does now,” the agenda states. “It has been anticipated for a number of years that this segment of County Farm Road would be renamed to Joe B. Jackson Parkway as the road construction project neared.”
If both the city and county approved this renaming, 22 addresses would be affected, two of which are located in the city limits and 20 of which are located in the unincorporated county. The property numbers are already in sequence, however, and would not have to be changed. For example, 197 County Farm Road would change to 197 Joe B. Jackson Parkway.
Following all of the public hearings, planning staff will bring the matter to the City Council for ratification.
By: bota on 9/4/12
The reduction in parking requirements dosen't seem to make sense. It means that in the 112 room Marriott project there is no parking for visitors. The 1.1 ratio was there for a reason. Maybe this story is just under reported.