Local Government City moves closer to more loft apartments; new traffic lights going up on Hwy. 31, Hwy. 157 | CullmanSense

Local Government

City moves closer to more loft apartments; new traffic lights going up on Hwy. 31, Hwy. 157

Council President Pro Tem Jenny Folsom, Councilman Clint Hollingsworth and Mayor Woody Jacobs at Monday night's Cullman City Council meeting / W.C. Mann

CULLMAN - The Cullman City Council on Monday voted to amend the city’s zoning ordinance, paving the way for more loft apartments in the city. It also took measures to have a new traffic light installed on US Highway 31 South, in front of the old Cullman Chrysler Dodge dealership.

Loft apartment ordinance

After a public hearing, the council had the first reading of Ordinance 2018-22 to amend the zoning ordinance related to loft apartments in Cullman, which received a favorable recommendation by the City of Cullman Planning Commission.  The existing ordinance required that all hybrid business/apartment buildings in city business zones have at least 50 percent of their space dedicated to business/retail use.  The proposed new wording of Ordinance 62-517 read:

In all business zoning districts: B-1, B-2, B-3, and CBD – apartments, loft apartments, efficiency apartments, and similar residential occupancies may be constructed in new and existing business occupancies as a secondary use. All such uses must be approved by the planning commission under rules established by the board. These occupancies shall also strictly comply with all building and fire protection related codes in their construction. The primary use of all commercial buildings located in the B-1, B-2, B-3, and CBD zoning districts shall be those uses listed as permitted uses and conditional uses in the zoning district in which the property is located. The ground floor of the structure must be used for business or commercial purposes and not residential use. Spaces above or below the first floor may be either business or residential use subject to compliance with all adopted codes and ordinances.  

This modification allows the construction of multi-storied buildings with only the ground floor used for business.  Basements and multiple upper floors could be developed as living spaces.  Though this was the first reading of the ordinance, the council voted to suspend rules of order, and then approved the measure.

As many as three developers may already have plans in the works for multi-story business/apartment hybrids in the city.

Traffic signal on Hwy. 31

The council approved two resolutions related to Ming Enterprises’ development of Cullman Row East and Cullman Row West at the sites of the old Cullman Chrysler Dodge dealership and Sticks N Stuff on Highway 31 South.

Resolution 2018-26 to enter into an agreement with ALDOT for the installation of a traffic signal on US Highway 31 at the entrance of the Old Dodge dealership.  This light would allow a pedestrian crosswalk to be created between the two related shopping/dining centers.

Resolution 2018-28 to award a bid for the installation of a traffic signal on Highway 31 at the Old Dodge dealership to the lowest responsible bidder, Inline Electric Supply Company, Inc., in the budgeted amount of $33,895.  Inline was the only company to submit a bid.

Ming Enterprises purchased the two properties, the site of the old Cullman Chrysler Dodge dealership and the property across the street, which was home to Sticks N Stuff and Trader Bob's Flea Mall, in January. Owner Bill Ming said the first three new tenants, after renovations are complete, will be Firehouse Subs, Marco's Pizza and Diablo's Southwest Grill.

"What we're going to be doing is redeveloping both of those buildings to where they look brand-spanking new and have kind of a unique architectural style that's popular with redevelopment projects now," said Ming. "We're calling the projects Cullman Row East for the Chrysler building and the one across the street, we're calling it Cullman Row West."

The three new restaurants will be in Cullman Row East.

See more at www.cullmantribune.com/articles/2018/01/25/ming-enterprises-bringing-3-n...

The council approved several special event requests, including:

- A request from Melissa Aaron of East Elementary PTO for a special event permit to hold a 5K run and 1-mile fun run in the neighborhoods surrounding East Elementary School from 7-11 a.m. on Saturday, March 17 to raise money for playground equipment at the school. The 5K will be a color run, and both runs will start and finish at East Elementary.

- A request from Louise Cole of Cullman County Bosom Buddies Foundation for a special event permit to hold a Colors of Cancer 5K run or walk from 7-11 a.m. on Saturday, April 7 at Sportsman Lake Park and the Cullman County Fairgrounds.  The council passed the motion on contingency, noting that Sportsman Lake Park is County property and that the foundation must get permission from the County to use that facility.

- A request from Louise Cole of Cullman County Bosom Buddies Foundation for a special event permit to hold a charity motorcycle ride with registration starting 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 7 at POB 2 on the back side of Cullman Regional.  The route will be approximately 110 miles, and will take riders through the Bankhead National Forest.

- A request from BreeAna Goodwin of 909 Ave. D SE for a special event permit to hold a wedding at the Festhalle and a reception on First Avenue Northeast in the Warehouse District, from the current Rumors Deli location to Flavors Bakery, starting 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27 and ending at noon on Sunday, Oct. 28.

- A request from Cali Tidwell of Desperation Church for a special event permit to hold the annual fireworks festival in Heritage Park on Wednesday, July 4.  The festival will include games, inflatables, food vendors and music.

- A request from Trent Dean of Cullman High School’s cross-country track program for a special event permit to hold the Bearcat March Mile starting at the Festhalle on Saturday, March 10 from 7-11 a.m.  This will be a cross-country event with categories geared toward younger runners.

The council also approved the following ordinances and resolutions:

- After a public hearing, the council had the first reading of Ordinance 2018-21 to vacate and surplus a 50-foot right-of-way beside 1816 Teakwood Drive SE, which received an unfavorable recommendation by the City of Cullman Planning Commission.  The unfavorable recommendation was based on a statement from the owner of adjacent property that the right of way would be necessary to create access to his land.  According to Councilman John Cook, that property owner subsequently withdrew his objection, so the council approved the ordinance.

- Ordinance 2018-23 to annex property located at 1405 County Road 1466 at the request of the property owner, Neil Rainwater, into the city limits of Cullman as B-2 Business District, which received a favorable recommendation by the City of Cullman Planning Commission.

- Resolution 2018-25 to award a bid for building improvements at Fire Station No. 1 to the lowest responsible bidder, Murphree’s Unlimited Installation, Inc., in the budgeted amount of $16,912.65.  Two other companies submitted bids: O.F. Richter & Sons, Inc. Cullman, $28,008 and Walker Brothers, LTD Baileyton, $28,315.

- Resolution 2018-27 to enter into an agreement with ALDOT for the installation of an emergency traffic beacon on Alabama Highway 157 at the Waldrop Street Northwest intersection for the city’s new Fire Station No. 3.

The Council also voted to reappoint Peggy Harris and Jan Barnett to the City of Cullman Tree Commission.

The Cullman City Council meets in the Cullman City Hall auditorium on the second and fourth Monday evenings of each month at 7 p.m.  The public is invited to attend.

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