Monday, May 9, 2016

Restaurant zoning proposal causing Heights buzz

Posted By on Mon, May 9, 2016 at 2:08 PM

click to enlarge TARGETED FOR REZONING: Homes on Cantrell at University.
  • TARGETED FOR REZONING: Homes on Cantrell at University.

The Heights Neighborhood Association membership is buzzing about a recently filed rezoning request for commercial zoning of  land now occupied by two single-family residences on the northwest corner of Cantrell Road and University Avenue.

A developer has asked for C-1 zoning for 6100 and 6108 Cantrell  for a restaurant. No specific type of restaurant is identified. C-1 zoning, if granted, could be used for a wide variety of commercial enterprises. The land is currently zoned R-2, for single-family residential. The Planning Commission will consider the proposal June 2. Final approval will rest with the City Board of Directors.

The property is just south of a parcel along University where, over many neighborhood objections, rules were changed to allow a branch bank.  The city staff and Planning Commission unaniomously rejected the plan, but the City Board approved it. Several critics predicted then that the change could affect other neighboring land uses. Cantrell, or Highway 10, is solid single-family from University west to Hughes Street. Commercial zoning lines Cantrell on its north side east from University for several blocks, with a branch bank on the northeast corner of Cantrell and University across from the houses in this proposal.

The rezoning request was filed by Grant Cox, a lawyer in the Quattlebaum firm, on behalf of Casper Acquisitions, which  has the land under contract with the two owners and wants to build an "inside eating establishment." He said he couldn't provide more information about the developer at this time, but said there isn't a specific development plan.

Opposition can be expected. Norman Hodges, president of the Heights Neighborhood Association, said the idea was "hideous." He said he'd been sounding out the board and they were unanimous. "We do not want this change."

Cox said the potential developers didn't want to "change the nature" of the neighborhood but hoped for a commercial venture in keeping with many nearby commercial uses, which range from retail to restaurants and other services. 

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