Plan Commission: Charis House; Clay and Jefferson Strip Mall

The Charis House matter was before the Plan Commission this afternoon.  On Thursday, The Board of Zoning Appeals will be hearing an appeal of a Zoning Enforcement Officer’s determination regarding group residential facilities as permitted uses in industrial districts.  This appeal has been made by the Wells Corridor Business Associated and Scott and Mary Ann Waikel, owners of Lot #9 along Fairmount Place.  The appeal goes directly to the heart of one of the main arguments regarding the proposed Charis House projects.  It was reported in tonight’s meeting that the BZA will have to make a decision on Thursday night, unless the matter would be continued.  This is according to State statute.

The site committee’s report on the plan had been completed, but it was decided not to go into the specifics until the project is moving forward.  Planning staff stated, “We do continue to support the project.”  The Plan Commission decided to hold off approval of the site plan for the Charis House until the BZA’s decision is reached.  This means it will probably be put off until June, at the earliest.  If the BZA were to defer the matter for more information, this would put final approval for the Charis House project back to July.  Charis House officials have repeatedly said they need to get the approvals so construction may begin as soon as possible for them to be in the facility by winter.

You may download an audio file of the Charis House portion of the meeting here.  I would point you to Plan Commission President Connie Haas Zuber’s comments regarding last Thursday’s public hearing which begin at the 4:25 mark.  She stated she was appreciative of the public’s involvement and reading of the CDAPs to the Commission.  Councilman Tom Smith who is also a Plan Commissioner had some follow-up comments as well.  If I have some time tomorrow, I’ll write out a transcript of her comments.

Clay and Jefferson Strip Mall

The developers of this project released some concept renderings of the property.  If the renderings end up anywhere near reality, this will be one beautiful project when done.  Planning Department staff reported that the developers were very eager to make the project compatible with the surrounding area and were very responsive.  Let’s just say I was impressed with what I saw as well as several of the Commissioners – including former City Councilman Don Schmidt.

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  1. Any chance of getting the plans for the “Strip mall”? Hopefully the design changed and prospecting another Gas Store / Convenience Mart / regular suburban strip mall have been scratched

    • I’ll see what I can do. The Plan Commission received them last minute yesterday. The developer really took some pains to dress the area out, adding brick work and landscaping. It looked pretty sharp and this was echoed by the PC members as well. I’ll see what I can do.

  2. Also, the mini-strip mall (for lack of a better term) at Hanna and Lewis is operational. At least, the new Cap-n-Cork. It appears a gas station/convenience store is going in at the corner. Any idea what will be in the other two spaces?

    • I need to go over and take a look at this one. It seems I was by it when it was under construction so I have no idea what it looks like. If I can, I’ll pull the audio from last night’s meeting and post it because it really sounded like the developer of the one at Clay and Jefferson was bending over backwards to make this fit in instead of sticking out like a sore thumb.

      I’m sorry, I don’t know what’s going in. Thank you for your comment, Paul!


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