Tempers flared and emotions ran high Feb. 4 during a public hearing over an 81-unit housing development proposed for Clayton’s Town Center area.
After the Planning Commission denied the multi-story senior housing project in December, three residents and developer William Jordan filed appeals to the City Council. By the close of the Feb. 4 council meeting, city staff and Jordan had homework regarding parking concerns to complete before the March 3 meeting.
“There is a limit to what we can demand, but there is not a limit to what you can propose,” Mayor Julie Pierce told Jordan. “If you can make the project more viable to prospective tenants because there is more than one parking space per unit, it makes it more financially viable.”
“The Olivia on Marsh Creek” is planned for three adjacent parcels at the southwest corner of High Street and Marsh Creek Road. Previously, Jordan expressed confidence that the project would eventually gain council approval as “it meets city and state laws to a T.”
One-by-one, however, opponents cited the inadequate number of parking spots for residents and the negative spillover to surrounding neighborhoods.
Councilwoman Tuija Catalano lauded Jordan for adding five parking spots in his proposal, but she believes there could be more if he were willing to tweak where the buildings would be situated.
She cited the potential for at least six tandem parking spots and up to 14 on Site 3 if the planned building were moved. Similarly, Catalano said the available setback on Site 2 could accommodate up to 16 parking spots if that building were moved.
Pierce also offered an idea to get over the parking hurdle by pointing to the adjoining AT&T Switching Station, with a lot that seems to get little use. She proposed that city staff reach out to the company to begin discussions about a leasing arrangement that would accommodate visitor parking to Jordan’s project.
The appeals hearing will continue at the Mar. 3 Council meeting at 7 p.m. at the Clayton Library.