Another delay on Bridge Road vote

Published 10:56 pm Wednesday, September 17, 2014

City Council on Wednesday voted to give a two-month extension to a developer seeking a rezoning on a Bridge Road property.

Sam Cohen and John Iuliano, two of the developers, initially planned an office park at 3345 Bridge Road but have run into a tough market. Only one building has been built, and even that one has vacant spaces.

They had proposed a 144-apartment complex on the 18-acre site but also found that a tough sell — with city staff, the Planning Commission and City Council.


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City staff and the Planning Commission both recommended denial of the request, and City Council in June granted a three-month delay while making it clear they would not approve an apartment complex.

The three months having passed, the matter came back up for consideration Wednesday, but Cohen said after the meeting that no decision has been made on what type of development to propose for consideration.

An email from the developers’ representative to city staff on July 15 did offer that certain uses — boarding houses, dormitories, animal shelters and fertilizer and seed sales — would be prohibited. It also suggested a list of agreed-upon construction materials and a $3,000 cash contribution per residential dwelling unit for public schools.

A letter dated July 29 requested an additional 30-day continuance, while a subsequent letter on Sept. 10 requested two months.

“The letter advised that they do intend to amend their request to a conditional rezoning and they are in the process of obtaining the required signatures,” City Manager Selena Cuffee-Glenn wrote in a letter to City Council. “However, the applicants have not further advised what amendments may be requested and staff is unclear if the applicants intend to exclude the proposed multi-family garden apartment use from the application.”

Cohen said after this week’s meeting that, because of the multiple owners of the property, delays have arisen that necessitated the continuance request.

The two-month delay was approved 7-1, with Councilman Roger Fawcett in opposition. He had made a motion for a one-month continuance, but it died for lack of a second.