Planning Commission GXX

Danville City planners are tapping the brakes on a developer’s plans to turn an old church building into rental apartments.

Berean Bible Church wants to renovate the original Lutheran Church on West Main Street.  They filed for a Special Use Permit to convert the 80-year old building. It would feature three units for short-term rentals and two for long-term rentals.

Benjamin F. Moomaw III told the Danville Planning Commission Monday they want to fit right into the historic Old West End neighborhood.  “Our desire obviously is to preserve the historic nature of the building.  We see no changes externally,” Moomaw told the Commission.

The city’s Planning Department says the project would need to provide at least five parking spaces. Moomaw said that was one of their top priorities. “We have an agreement with Ascension Lutheran Church across the street to rent us five parking spots in their parking lot.”

But several neighbors were not impressed.  Several told the Commission that there was no way the city could enforce lease agreements, which restricted parking to the church parking lot. Bella Huson, who lives across the street at Danville’s original Sacred Heart Catholic Church, said parking was just one of many concerns.

“It’s too dense, they have no outdoor space, and they have no dedicated parking,” Huson told the planners.  “What if they have a falling out? They’re definitely going to be parking on the street.  There’s going to be no other option,” she added.

The Planning Commission voted unanimously to table the issue for a month, allowing the planning division and developers to agree on a list of conditions to their use permit. The issue could be revisited at their February meeting.

            In other items, the Commission voted to deny a request for a variance from Mark and Karen Davis. They wanted a variance to allow for a deck that was built without permits on to their legal non-conforming home on Mount Cross Road.

            The Commission unanimously approved a rezoning request filed by Gerald Kelly on behalf of TriCor Properties LLC.  They are recommending the property at 1113 Franklin Turnpike be rezoned from N-C Neighborhood Commercial District to “Conditional” HR-C Highway Retail Commercial District.  The applicant proposes mini-

storage warehouses on the property.

Planners Monday also voted unanimously to adopt a Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment filed by Dharma Pharmaceuticals LLC.  It will add a cannabis dispensing facility to the list of permitted uses in the HR-C Highway Retail Commercial zoning district.

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