City council will meet at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 10 in the last-but-one session of the current council. Newly-elected council members Keith Young, Brian Haynes and Julie Mayfield will be sworn in and begin their terms of office on Dec. 1 at 4 p.m.
In its consent agenda, council will vote to rename city Fire Station 8, located at 904 Tunnel Road, in honor of Jimmie Edward Trent, who died on Nov. 13, 1975 after suffering a heart attack while fighting a fire at the Red Chair Restaurant at 1 North Pack Square.
Council will hear comments from members of the public on a proposed self-storage facility at 852 Hendersonville Rd. The project owners have requested conditional zoning for the three-story, 90,000 square foot facility, which straddles two lots.
One of the lots, which has frontage on Hendersonville Road, is zoned highway business, which allows self-storage uses and a total maximum building size of 100,000 square feet.
The second lot, which abuts Cornell and Forrest Streets, is zoned office, which does not allow self-storage uses and permits a total maximum building size of 8,000 square feet.
Citing the Planning & Zoning Commission’s unanimous vote to deny approval for the project, along with concerns about the proposed building’s scale and its inconsistency with the city’s comprehensive plan and the Shiloh community plan 2025, city planning director Todd Okolichany recommends denying the conditional zoning request in a report to city council.
Eagle Market Place
The troubled Eagle Market Place housing development will ask council to modify city loans and conditions to help the project reach completion.
The project, which will add 62 housing units to the city’s historical African-American business district (“The Block”), hit a major snag last October when a crack developed in the concrete slab of the structure’s second floor. Construction stopped while engineers, architects, contractors, sub-contractors, attorneys, insurers and the project’s major development partner Mountain Housing Opportunities tried to sort out what had gone wrong, who was at fault and how to fix the problem.
Construction resumed in October. In documents attached to the city council agenda, Eagle Market Place LLC says that it is pursuing arbitration to recover the costs associated with fixing the faulty slab. However, the documents continue, waiting for the results of arbitration would delay project completion and further increase costs. Therefore, the project requests modifications to loans already pledged by the city to enable the developers to secure an additional $3 million construction loan.
Requested modifications include changes in the numbers of affordable vs. workplace housing units, disbursement of a $2.9 million loan at 50% construction completion, alterations to the schedule of disbursement for committed Section 108 loans and a reduction in the interest rate of a loan from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund from 2% to 0%, effective immediately.
Boards & Commissions
Council will review applicants for vacancies on city boards and commissions and decide which, if any, applicants council will interview.
The next meeting of city council will be on Nov. 17 at 5 p.m. in the council chamber on the second floor of City Hall. It promises to be a busy session, with public hearings for two potentially contentious topics on the agenda: an amendment to zoning ordinances for utility substations and proposed changes to city regulations on Homestays, a type of permitted short-term rental within a resident’s primary dwelling.
The full agenda for the Nov. 10 meeting can be found here.