By STEVEN NALLEY
The Starkville Planning and Zoning Commission will hear a second presentation on a proposed urban renewal plan for form-based code districts and hold a public hearing on a C Spire Wireless communications tower at its meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.
Tripp Muldrow, a consultant with Arnett Muldrow and Associates, will follow up on a presentation he gave at June’s zoning meeting. At that meeting, he said the city needed to adopt an urban renewal plan before it could empower a redevelopment authority to own property, establish public-private partnerships, issue bonds and use other powers set forth in Mississippi code.
Muldrow’s presentation raised several questions, and in a letter packaged with the e-packet for Tuesday’s meeting, Muldrow addressed several of these questions. For instance, he said, some commissioners raised concerns about inaccuracies on the map and the difficulties of reading it in black and white.
“(Some commissioners) expressed concern about publishing specific conditions for properties, while others expressed concern about what the conditions coding meant,” Muldrow said. “I recommend removing the map from the plan showing conditions ... The plan itself in no way connotes or condones that properties coded in a certain condition must, may, or will be improved. Additionally, we will include detailed description of what constitutes a major and minor repair for point of clarification.”
Muldrow said the new plan draft would also only identify the percentages of buildings within the districts which require minor and major repairs. He said the new plan will also include less specific language regarding compliance with the city’s comprehensive plan.
“The (urban renewal) plan cites very specific passages within the existing comprehensive plan to demonstrate the relationship,” Muldrow said. “The comprehensive plan is due for an update, and citing specific passages may undermine the relationship between the two plans.”
The proposed C Spire tower the commission will discuss would be located at 403 Abernathy Drive in Stark Crossing. Previously, C Spire representatives came before the commission as well as the Starkville Board of Adjustments and Appeals concerning a different location near Pinelake Baptist Church.
C Spire’s request faced opposition from RMR Investment Company, LLC in Memphis, Tenn., which owned 300 acres adjacent to C Spire’s proposed location.
Representatives from RMR expressed concern about the tower adversely affecting its property value and suggested the new location currently up for discussion. Dave Miller, public relations manager with C Spire, said C Spire conducted studies and discovered it could still meet its objectives of increasing coverage and network capacity with the new site.
“The previous location was on the west side of Highway 25,” Miller said. “This particular site is on the opposite side. There’s quite a bit of development in that area, so there’s a lot of demand for services. To date, we’re not aware of any opposition to the permit request.”
Miller said the pole’s height has also been reduced from 125 feet to 100 feet due to setback requirements, but it will still meet C Spire’s needs. Campbell Street Development, LLC, a subsidiary of RMR, will also lease the tower property to C Spire, he said.