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Commission OKs Amphora Plan

Commission Approves Amphora

Planning Commissioners approved, for the second time, 4 to 0 with Ralph Beard, Paul LeReche and Robert Burk absent, a site plan to create a retail center on the existing Amphora restaurant property.

The site plan came before the commission earlier this year and was sent to the Town Council with a favorable recommendation. Council members voted against the application because of concerns about traffic jams along Alabama Drive and Elden street — the two outlets from the proposed commerce center. Council member Steven Mitchell was also concerned about the amount of buffering between the parking lot and the residential neighborhood to the back of the proposed site. Mitchell also questioned the town's definition of a sideyard and whether or not parking would be allowed in a sideyard as proposed for the Amphora site.

During the public hearing commissioners recommended approval with three conditions. Those included making two driveway points along the Alabama Drive side of the property. The closest entrance to the street light at Elden Street would be one way in, while the second entrance further down Alabama would be exit only. Commissioners believe this will help reduce an increase in traffic flow problems at the already congested intersection. They also requested a "porkchop" be placed in the median at the restaurant's existing Elden Street entrance and exit to prevent left-hand turns from the driveway onto Elden Street.

The proposed three-story retail center would be built next to the existing restaurant and would offer structured parking below parts of the combined office and retail space.

COMMISSIONERS ALSO unanimously approved, with Beard, LeReche and Burk absent, an application to subdivide a lot along Vine and Peachtree Streets.

The applicant and owner of the property, Steve Schantz, has proposed dividing the existing lot, tearing down the house and rebuilding two single family detached homes in its place.

The commission approved Schantz request to waive the curb and gutter requirements because the town has no plan to add curbs or gutters to Vine or Peachtree Streets. The building of two homes on the lot could also potentially improve the poor storm water drainage problem that currently exists on the lot, according to Schantz.

Along with granting the waiver, commissioners also noted a four-way stop should be looked into for the corner because of the increase in traffic in the neighborhood. Commissioners also required Schantz to include street lighting along the property where appropriate. But, they did not require him to follow town staff's suggestion of continuing the Village Streets Overlay zoning regulations that requires "acorn style" lights.