LOUDON PLANNING OK’S TANGO
Distribution Center Dimensions: 1800 feet in length by 500' feet wide, One Million Square Foot on 23 acres.
GRADING & INFRASTRUCTURE PLANS
BY: PAT HUNTER
The Loudon Regional Planning Commission met on Wednesday Nov. 2 with the following members present: Ham Carey (Chair), Ken Brewster, Gene Gammons, John Cardwell, Kim Roberts, Debbie Hinds, Carlie McEachern, Councilperson Judy Sampson Jones; absent Dennis Brennan. Others in attendance: TV 10 but no local paper.
After the minutes were approved, Chairman Carey called the meeting to order. He read from agenda, “Request consideration of approval of a grading and utility development plan for a distribution warehouse on approximately 65 acres. Located at 1600 Centre Park Drive. Referenced by: Tax Map 40, Parcel(s) 105.06 and 105.08. Zoned M-1 (Light-Industrial District). Applicant: City of Loudon/Loudon County. Loudon County Planner Russ Newman made corrections, it was actually for 89 acres and it’s zoned M2 not M1, and it’s part of 105.06 and not parcel 105.08.
Newman asked LCEDA President Pat Phillips if he wanted to address the planning commission. Phillips wanted to emphasize that it was a proposed project, “No decision has been made we’re just going through the process” of getting some of these things completed including engineering. “It’s not a project yet” but we know that the community is interesting in it. This has been going on for three or four months he added.
Phillips then introduced Ben Berry, chief engineer with Miller McCoy, civil engineers Chattanooga. Berry explained that he was there to address questions from the planning commission. He wanted to clarify that this was for utilities and infrastructure and that he was not proposing buildings, parking or curbing. The project is split into grading and if everything went well he would be back later to discuss the site development plan, truck accessing and striping.
Basically it’s just getting approval for grading and infrastructure package related to this project and that he would be back for the final site plan (December or January) if the project happens explained Newman. He gave the location of the tract, which is on Centre Park Dr. facing the left side and interstate, on the western section of the Centre 75 Business Park. Most of the 89 acres would be graded. Customer parking would be located in the front, which Newman later said would be used for employee parking.
Newman described the proposed building dimensions, 1800 feet in length by 500’ width or a one million square foot building (23 acre site) for warehouse use.
The storm water runoff would be diverted to three different retentions areas. There would be three access areas including a cul-de-sac which was originally planned in the Centre 75 Business Park but was not built. However, as part of this infrastructure project this would be built so other industrial tracts could be accessed, and the cul-de-sac could also be used for truck traffic since truck parking would be located in the back of the property. The building would not require a variance but Newman advised the planning commission how a variance had been submitted to the Loudon Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) Agenda (Amended BZA Agenda) to reduce the parking space size from 10 X 20 to 19 X 19. Not the number of spaces Newman commented, but we haven’t calculated the minimum number of spaces because we would need to know the number of employees. We would have to address this with the site plan Newman added. Isn’t the variance getting ahead of itself then asked planning commissioner Carlie McEachern?
Planner Russ Newman asked Ben Berry to address the issue. Tenant criteria would require fifteen hundred (1500) parking spaces but the variance being requested is for parking spaces, which would go from 10X20 to 19X9; about ten percent. If he had to add 150 spaces that would be significant. Since the building is 1,800 feet long, an employee’s walk could be about one quarter mile long to the front door; it would be a long walk he explained. The drawing actually showed 1,100 spaces as Berry pointed to a drop off lane for employees but if that didn’t work out more parking spaces would be added. There would be a 200’ corridor along the building to accommodate high volume with trailer storage behind. When asked about the number of truck bays Berry explained how that had not been determined yet but he estimated about 60 truck bays.
Newman was asked about zoning requirements and he replied that one space was needed per three shifts but that no employment information had been provided so he didn’t know what it would be. “They told me what they need” and I’m sure it meets our standards added Newman. There would be two shifts according to Pat Philips.
If it’s one per three and he stayed with 1,100 that’s 3,300 employees replied Carlie McEachern.
We’ll be using the ordinance as the minimum added Ben Berry. You’re counting bodies not spaces Carey told McEachern, I can see it in your eyes. Space size is on the BZA Agenda. Newman argued the case for the engineer; they will need to know the size of the parking lot. Carey asked about the width of the cul-de-sac road and Phillips replied that the road would be built under the State Industrial Road Access Program (currently the State will only fund 24’) which would be designed and upgraded to curb and gutter (18 to 24) more than what the State requires.
Based on the plans submitted Planner Newman recommended approval of the grading and infrastructure development on the site, Carlie McEahern motioned and Ken Brewster seconded staff approval which was unanimously approved by the commission. No abstentions or nay votes.
We sure would like to know who Tango is asked Chair Ham Carey as everyone laughed. Click Related article TOP SECRET PROJECT TANGO
Loudon Regional Planning Commission
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