BY DAVID FISHER
DRESDEN (January 27) — Top items for discussion during the Thursday, January 27, meeting of the Dresden Municipal/Regional Planning Commission involved rezoning requests for residential and commercial construction.
Dresden Mayor Jeff Washburn stated, even before the extensive destruction of private homes and rental properties, which was caused by the severe storms and tornadoes that ripped through the City of Dresden on December 10-11, 2021, there was already a shortage of rental housing. He notes these residential and commercial structures need to be rebuilt and additional housing constructed. This will allow those displaced by the storm to return to Dresden and promote the influx of new citizens to the area.
Rezoning To Allow Warehouse Construction
As the meeting got underway, Tommy Wu requested to rezone his property at 340 Pikeview Street from R-1 (low density residential) to B-1 (neighborhood business). Mr. Wu stated he also owns property located at 350 Pikeview Street, adjacent to the property he is requesting to be rezoned, where a warehouse was damaged by the tornado. The rezoning request was made so the warehouse operation can be expanded to both properties.
During discussion, it was noted that the B-1 district is adjacent to this residential area, and use of the property as a warehouse does not appear to be a permitted use (or a use on appeal) in B-1 districts. The existing warehouse on the adjacent property is a non-conforming use, meaning it can be repaired, rebuilt or expanded on the same property.
But, in order to establish a warehouse on the landowner’s property zoned R-1, there would need to be approval of the warehouse use on appeal from the Board of Zoning Appeals and/or a text amendment could be requested to allow enclosed warehousing in B-1 districts.
A motion to rezone the property at 340 Pikeview from R-1 (low density residential) to B-1 (neighborhood business), made by Dick Tidwell, was seconded by Paul Hutcherson, and unanimously approved by the Planning Commission.
Tidwell also made a motion to amend the text of the zoning ordinance for B-1 districts to allow enclosed warehousing for merchandise. Joyce Hurt seconded the motion, which passed by unanimous vote.
Amending the zoning ordinance allows this and other properties located in B-1 districts (or R-1 districts rezoned as B-1) to be utilized for enclosed warehousing.
Rezoning Allows Residential Construction
The second item of business was to discuss a rezoning request from Richard Pritchett and Hjorfrid Pritchett to rezone the property located on Evergreen Street (Map 109 Parcel 14.01) from M-2 (heavy industrial) to R-1A (low density residential). The property is approximately 1.8 acres in size and is vacant. The lot is surrounded on three sides by property that is zoned M-2. There is residential property across the street, which is outside the city limits of Dresden.
The land, which is not large enough for industrial use, is proposed to be sold for the intention of constructing a residence on the lot.
A motion to approve the rezoning request was made by Paul Hutcherson, seconded by Joyce Hurt and unanimously approved.
Mayor Washburn discussed housing options with the Commission regarding his lots on the corner of West Main and Pikeview Street. It was noted there is a process he can go through to have a planned residential use for multi-family dwellings on these lots.
There was also some discussion regarding the commercial buildings being demolished in the downtown area that had apartments attached to them. The Commission asked Staff Planner Donny Bunton to research whether or not these apartments could be built back as stand-alone apartments, or if they must be attached to a business structure. A report will be given at the March meeting.
With no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned.