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Commission mulls condos

May 9, 2011

By PAUL SIMS
sdnedu@bellsouth.net

A local developer will return to the Starkville Planning and Zoning Commission today with a revived plan to convert former hotel rooms into condominiums along Highway 12.
Representatives of Tabor Properties will ask the panel to consider recommending to the Board of Aldermen a conditional use request to permit multi-family residential condominiums in a C-2 – or general business – zoning area on 2.42 acres.
The hotel – constructed as a Ramada Inn in the 1970s but operating most recently as University Inn – closed in January 2010, according to background information in the planner’s report for today’s meeting. Tabor bought the ground, tore down the former lobby structure and started construction on a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant on the lobby site.
The developer plans to change 100 rooms located in two buildings into 52 luxury condominiums, put in a privacy fence, develop landscaping and improve the driveway and parking areas.
On May 11, 2010, the commission tabled action on Tabor’s first request on this matter to allow the full panel to review it, then held a special called meeting May 20, 2010 with all members present and unanimously agreed to recommend aldermen approve the request.
On June 1, the Board of Aldermen decided to send the request back to the commission over concerns about the application and whether adjacent property owners had been notified.
The commission convened June 29 and again voted unanimously to recommend approval. An adjacent property owner appealed the decision on July 9 and 11 days later, the Board of Aldermen denied the request.
Tabor revised the plan to develop an extended-stay hotel and started work on the property on March 3, then submitted a new application for the condominium concept, the planner’s report reads.
On an unrelated project, Apartment Equity Solutions I will put forward a planned unit development preliminary site plan for property where a mixed-use project previously known as “Stateside” was planned off University Drive. The commission approved the proposed development in November 2008 but developers asked that the application not be sent forward to the Board of Aldermen until they addressed outstanding matters and the development never progressed, the planner’s report on the project indicates.
The property has changed hands since the Stateside project was put forward. The developer presenting the new plan for the property intends to develop “State View at the Cotton District,” a student housing project with 208 units on 8.27 acres of land, creating a density of about 25.15 units per acre.
The portion of the former Stateside property under consideration for development is situated at the southwest corner of the College View Drive interchange with Highway 12.
A letter from Bill Kibler, Mississippi State University’s vice president for student affairs, is included in the packet of information related to the project.
“By Fall 2012, we expect the enrollment at Mississippi State University to be between 21,000 and 22,000 students and the unmet demand for on-campus housing to exceed 1,000 students. Thus we predict a significant unmet on-campus housing need at MSU by Fall 2012,” Kibler said in the letter.
Also, the commission will consider a request from Emma Belk to rezone 2.86 acres of land from an R-1, or single-family residential, zone to R-6, which is largely made up of mobile homes.
R-1 doesn’t permit mobile homes by right and Belk intends to allow her brother to reside in the manufactured home. A mobile home previously existed on the property on the site picked for the manufactured home but was removed five years ago.
The commission will meet at 5:30 p.m. today in the City Hall courtroom.

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