By DANIEL SUDDEATH
NEW ALBANY —
The New Albany City Council approved a zoning change on initial readings Thursday that will allow a medical office to be constructed at the intersection of Daisy Lane and Green Valley Road.
The nearly 14,000-square-foot facility would initially be occupied by one physician, though an attorney speaking on be behalf of the developer, ONC LLC, said the hope is that more doctors will practice at the office after it opens.
The request is to change the zoning of the property from urban residential to a Planned Unit Development District.
“The council had previously approved this exact plan in 2008,” said New Albany Plan Commission Director Scott Wood.
But the previous proposal to construct a medical facility at the location failed to come to fruition due to the recent economic recession, Wood said.
The PUDD request was approved 7-1 by the council, and it will require a final reading that will likely be held on July 1.
Councilman John Gonder voted against the measure, and Councilman Kevin Zurschmiede was absent from the meeting.
Traffic at the intersection and drainage issues are some reasons for concern about the development, Gonder said.
But his main point of objection to the proposal was the amount of impervious asphalt that will be added for parking.
The parking lot as designed would hold 83 vehicles, and that amount falls within the city’s zoning ordinance.
But Gonder — who has raised concerns about the size of parking lots for developments in the past — asked Wood how many spots he would suggest if the codes were different.
Wood said he would likely suggest between 60 and 62, if not less.
Though ONC’s plan calls for drainage to be retained underground on the site, Gonder said pavement increases heat in the atmosphere.
“If we have the ability to dial that back, I think we have a responsibility to do that,” he said.
But the plan was approved on second reading with the 83 parking spots included.
Other council members suggested the addition of a turning lane on Green Valley Road at the Daisy Lane intersection be included in the project and footed by the developer.
The attorney speaking on behalf of ONC said the developer would need to see a copy of the plan to determine if it’s feasible.
Access to the facility would only be from Daisy Lane. Some council members said the intersection is already plagued by traffic backups at certain parts of the day and that a turning lane would be beneficial.
Wood said he would provide the council with a rough design of a turning lane on Green Valley Road in time for the July 1 meeting.
PAVING BIDS TO BE ACCEPTED
The city held a pre-bid meeting this week with contractors interested in submitting proposals for the 2013 paving campaign.
“The bids are due in Tuesday,” Street Department Commissioner Mickey Thompson said. “Obviously we’ll take those under advisement to see which is the best bid.”
In May, the council appropriated $2 million for paving this year.
Thompson asked council members submit paving-request lists to him soon so that they could be incorporated in the resurfacing plan.
He said he’d received three lists from council members as of Thursday.