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Cotton District project takes next step with city

April 10, 2011

By PAUL SIMS
sdnnews@bellsouth.net

A project granted a variance by a city panel last month will go back before the Starkville Planning and Zoning Commission Tuesday.
The developers of the High Cotton project sought and received a density variance from Starkville’s Board of Adjustment and Appeals March 24.
They’ll proceed Tuesday with a request before the planning board to recommend the Board of Aldermen accept a preliminary plat for the 0.26-acre site.
The proposed four-unit development is 300 feet east of Jarnigan Street on Russell Street’s north side and across from the Cotton Crossing shopping center. The project is located in a R-5 high-density, multi-family zoning designation.
High Cotton – located in the Cotton District area – previously went before the zoning panel for the plat consideration. However, the city’s attorney recommended the developers seek out the variance to “err on the side of caution,” City Planner Ben Griffith told the Adjustment and Appeals board last month.
As proposed, High Cotton exceed the city’s maximum dwelling units standard of 15 with a figure of 15.38 units per acre.
The approval High Cotton obtained came with several conditions, including that the project not exceed its four proposed units, that the project be sent back before the planning panel within 60 days of the variance approval and that project officials get a building permit and begin work within six months of the Board of Aldermen’s acceptance of a final plat.
Board member Milo Burnham asked the definition of “dwelling unit.”
During last month’s Adjustment and Appeals meeting, Burnham said he thought the project has “absolutely” no green area. But Griffith replied the project did meet city standards. A note on the plat shows the project meets the city’s expectation of 565.25 square feet of green space – or 5 percent – with 1,224.67 square feet of green area.
Two nearby residents – Dennis Nordin and Board of Adjustment and Appeals Board Member Bill Poe – indicated their support of the High Cotton project at the March meeting.
The commission will take up the request from Boardtown LLC when the panel convenes Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in the City Hall courtroom.

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