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Planning Commission To Consider 6-Unit Spartanburg Ave. Project

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PLEASURE ISLAND - The corner of Spartanburg Avenue and S. 3rd Street may soon be home to a six-unit Planned Unit Development. The Carolina Beach Planning and Zoning Commission will consider a request for permission to construct a proposed project consisting of three 2-unit buildings at their upcoming April 11, meeting at 6:30PM.
The applicant, Bill Gilligan is requesting a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to construct three 2-unit residential buildings with three bedrooms in each at 216 Spartanburg Avenue. The property is located in the R-1 residential zoning district. Planned Unit Developments are allowed in the R-1 under a CUP.
The property is 14,000 square feet and properties in the R-1 district are allowed up to 40% lot coverage that includes the footprint of the buildings, decks and steps. The total lot coverage proposed for the project is 38% and the buildings will not exceed 50' feet in height. The buildings will located in a flood zone and will require elevation.
According to Town Senior Planner Jeremy Hardison, density of units allowed in the R-1 district is 15 units per acre or 4.8 units for this project. The applicant would like to request an increase in the density. The ordinance may allow for an exception to the density of up to 1.25 times the maximum allowable for the district under the Planned Unit Development criteria. This would increase the applicant’s density to six units.
Hardison explained it is at the discretion of the Town Council to allow the 1.25 multiplier. This allowance was created in 2000 when the zoning ordinance was rewritten. It is not stated in the ordinance, but Hardison said in past discussions with the Planning and Zoning Commission the multiplier could be used to give density back to a lot that has been reduced to the loss of wetlands. There are no wetlands indicated on the proposed lot.
Hardison explained the applicant is proposing 7.5 feet between onsite structures. The minimum separation between onsite structures is 15 feet, unless otherwise recommended for approval or denial by the Town's fire marshal and meet extra provisions as provided by the fire marshal and must be recommended for approval or denial by the Planning and Zoning Commission and formally approved or denied by the Town Council.
A Planned Unit Development has never been approved for less than 10 feet between structures and to provide non-combustible (hardy plank style) siding and fire protection sprinkler systems installed.
Hardison explained the property was previously approved along with the adjacent property to construct 11 units (three triplex units and one duplex unit) on June 14, 2005. The developer did not complete the project and only built two triplexes for a total of six units.
The remaining property was sold off and now the applicant would like to get approval separate from what was previously approved.
Hardison explained the ordinance was changed to prohibit triplexes in the R-1 zoning district since the project was originally approved.
The Town's Technical Review Committee reviewed the proposal and does not recommend upholding a requirement for curb, gutter and sidewalks in that area due to not being identified in a transportation plan showing a need for sidewalks in that area.
Hardison explained the proposal meets other criteria for parking requirements, refuse and water and sewer service. Also, that the project is consistent with the character of the surrounding area and the vision outlined in the 2007 Land Use Plan.
Hardison explained the Technical Review Committee (TRC) reviewed the project in February and recommended the proposal be sent to the Planning and Zoning Commission for review prior to consideration by the Town Council.
The TRC committee recommended waiving requirements for curb, gutter and sidewalks and that all buildings be sprinklered if the reduction of 15 foot separation between buildings is approved.
The Fire Chief does not recommend the proposed 7.5 foot reduction and has never been an approved distance between buildings.
TRC also recommended landscaping materials between buildings be noncombustible vegetation if the reduction of 15' separation between buildings is approved and non-combustible materials shall be used on the exterior between structures.
The Planning Commission will consider the proposal at their upcoming April 11, meeting at 6:30PM at Town Hall in the Council meeting room.