By SUSAN T. LEATHERS
The first – and only – residential units in Brentwood’s original C-4/Town Center district came one step closer to reality on Monday night when the city’s Planning Commission unanimously approved a revised site plan for a proposed mixed-use building at the corner of Franklin Road and Town Center Way.
Two second-story residential units will be located above first-floor retail space in the 7,550 square foot building at 122 Franklin Road.
In February 2015, the planning commission approved the project’s original site plan. The following month, the Brentwood City Commission eliminated future residential uses in both the original Town Center zoning district, established in 2004, and an expanded Town Center boundary, approved in 2010.
The 2010 action allowed the now-completed, 393-unit Tapestry apartment development to be approved.
The site plan approval for 122 Franklin Road property, currently home to the Gold Rush store, was grandfathered and remains valid through Feb. 2, 2018.
On Monday, developer Ragan Smith Associates sought to revise the original plan in order to relocate the new building’s parking lot access from Pewitt Drive closer to Town Center Way.
The revised site plan application also mentioned a slight increase in the building’s square footage, but “the building area has not changed,” planning Director Jeff Dobson told the board.
Only one city resident expressed comment on the plan. Jason Grant said the request is an exception to the rule of the grandfathered plan. He also mentioned well-reported opposition to any new “high-density housing” in the city.
“We have two units. It’s certainly not high density.” Ragan Smith representative Brad Slayden said.
Commissioner Steven Pippen asked Slayden if the developer had considered any other use that did not include the two residential units.
Slayton deferred to David Stremic of Richland-South LLC, the property owner.
“We did actually explore that and look at other avenues to pursue,” Stremic said. “If we were to go retail or office, it would increase the number of parking requirements that simply aren’t there or available.”
The driveway relocation request garnered the most discussion. It is located on Pewitt north of Town Center Way, a private drive. Owners of Ace Hardware and The Juice Bar control the easements and are responsible for the road’s upkeep.
“The city has never recognized (this section of) Pewitt Drive as a public street but we all know it’s used as a public thoroughfare,” City Attorney Roger Horner said.
“Let’s say something happened on Pewitt Drive,” Commissioner Sandi Wells asked regarding road damage. “Who would be responsible?”
“The city would claim no responsibility,” Horner replied.
City Manager Kirk Bednar noted that Pewitt Drive south of Town Center Way to the Local Taco restaurant property is an official city street now. “And the rest is private,” he added, including the section from the Local Taco to Church Street. “It is what it is.”
After discussion, the commissioners unanimously passed the revised site plan as presented. It retains the original Feb. 2, 2018 expiration date.
In other business, the commission voted to recommend a change in zoning classification of 2.05 acres of land on the west side of Wilson Pike Circle that is currently home to Jim Johnson Landscaping from C-2 (Commercial retail) to C-3 (Commercial Service-Warehouse.)
The property’s owners, Bell Office Development Co., want to build a 100,000-square- foot self-storage facility on the property, which is not permitted use under its current C-2 designation.
A public hearing on the rezoning will take place at the Aug. 14 Brentwood City Commission meeting. A second and final reading of the ordinance scheduled for Aug. 28.