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Kraker development clears zoning hurdle

April 10, 2012

By STEVEN NALLEY
citybeat@bellsouth.net

The Starkville Planning and Zoning Commission voted to recommend approval of a preliminary plat for Michael Kraker’s PUD (planned unit development) located on a recent extension of Garrard Road at its meeting 5:30 Tuesday at City Hall.

Kraker’s PUD, The Cottages at Creekside, is a compact “pocket neighborhood” of 23 detached, single-family residences slated to become one of the first developments on the Garrard Road extension opened in August 2011. When Kraker first requested a zone change from R-1 (residential) to PUD in August, the development became the subject of extensive discussion and debate throughout fall 2011.

This time, Kraker’s plat for the development was approved with minimal discussion and no public comment. The board recommended approval in a 4-1 vote, with commissioner Ira Loveless against and commissioner Jason Walker absent.

When Kraker and his team received the chance to address the commission, his wife, Gayle Kraker, said she was happy with the project’s progress.
“We’re just excited we have gotten to this point and hope that we have met all the conditions,” Gayle said. “We met with the department heads last week, and they all made their comments. They had a few little things I think we were changing. Otherwise, they all approved.”

Commissioner Dora Herring raised one of the few discussion points, asking if most of the PUD’s buildings would have two stories. Gayle said this case was unlikely.

“At this point I’m not thinking they will be,” Gayle said. “The designs that we’re contemplating are not (two stories).”

Also, a clerical error in the minutes from the commission’s March 13 meeting led Herring to ask City Planner Ben Griffith to investigate R-M zoning regulations. In these minutes, R-M was designated as allowing for “(Mobile Homes/MHP/MHS),” and at Herring’s request, Griffith explained the two acronyms stand for “Mobile Home Parks” and “Mobile Home Subdivisions” respectively.

“(Those two uses are not) really appropriate for R-M, but that’s how it’s (rendered) in our zoning ordinances,” Griffith said. “When you read the intent and read the definition, it does not include a provision for parks or subdivisions. It’s intended for single lots. It’s a little misleading.”

Herring said she had conducted extensive research and found Griffith’s assessment to be correct, but she said she wanted Griffith to conduct his own research and assessment and report back to the board at the next meeting.

“Herring said. “Nowhere (do previous documents) mention the way we’re listing it here, and I’m wondering if we shouldn’t make that correct. Going forward, if it is wrong we need to correct it, because it would be appropriate for many of our people (with mobile homes on their own properties), especially in the annexed area.”

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