The consideration of the rezoning of property for commercial use in front of a museum in central Oak Ridge has been deferred, and the request is expected to be considered later, officials said Thursday.
The Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission had been scheduled to consider the rezoning request during a meeting Thursday evening.
The rezoning could allow commercial development on the 7.44 acres that is now mostly a grass field south of the American Museum of Science and Energy, at the intersection of South Illinois and South Tulane avenues. The site could be used by retailers, restaurants, or groceries, or for office space or multi-family developments, according to a zoning change request filed by the owner.
The request was filed by TN Oak Ridge Illinois LLC of Greenville, South Carolina. That company was set up by RealtyLink, the developer of Main Street Oak Ridge at the former Oak Ridge Mall.
The property includes a grass field along South Illinois Avenue between South Tulane Avenue and Badger Avenue. The northern portion of the property includes the southern part of the AMSE parking lot.
The rezoning request has been deferred at the request of the owner, the Oak Ridge Community Development Department said Thursday afternoon.
Officials said TN Oak Ridge Illinois LLC needs more time to develop a planned unit development overlay, which requires a preliminary master plan and the fulfillment of other items on a checklist.
There could be special-called meetings of the Municipal Planning Commission and Oak Ridge City Council to consider the rezoning request. But the property owner still hopes for a second and final reading at the October 9 City Council meeting.
The property is currently zoned RG-1 and O-2. TN Oak Ridge Illinois LLC has asked to rezone it to UB-2. That’s a unified general business district. It would allow retail businesses, office buildings, restaurants, hotels, and service establishments such as barber and beauty shops, among other permitted uses.
The city staff said multi-family apartments are only allowed in the UB-2 zoning district when they are part of a planned unit development, or PUD. The use of a PUD would provide greater flexibility for developing the property in a unified way, rather than lot by lot, the staff said. Also, a PUD would provide greater flexibility for parking and the design of vehicle access.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
See this previous story for more information.
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