August 28, 2014

Plannning commision approves expansion of medical offices

Danedri Thompson
dthompson@gardnernews.com
Planning commissioners questioned whether a planned expansion to Gardner Family Care should include a sidewalk on frontage at Center Street and at Cherokee Street.
Commissioners were asked to approve the expansion, which will add 3,551 square feet to the existing 6,732 square foot building, on the consent agenda during the April 24 meeting. Traditionally, the consent agenda is used to pass items that are considered non-controversial and routine as one business item.
However, commissioner Dan Popp asked that the item be removed and discussed during the meeting.
“Shouldn’t they have a sidewalk?” Popp asked.
He explained sidewalks have been a requirement of other developments.
Mark Huggins, a civil engineer consulting on the expansion, told commissioners that designers hadn’t really discussed adding sidewalks. He also voiced concerns that adding sidewalks may require other alterations in order to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“We’ve required everyone else to have (a sidewalk). It makes sense to have a sidewalk on Cherokee Street, but parking for that walking trail is on Center Street,” he said.
Popp also asked if the addition required the planned 80 parking spaces.
“Is there any reason why we have 80 parking spaces?” he asked. “Do they need them? I’m all for grass instead of pavement.”
Huggins said the parking lot at the medical office is often full so the additional parking spaces are needed.
“There’s no reason to have that much parking if you don’t need it, but apparently they do,” Popp said.
Planning commissioners agreed that the expansion should include the addition of at least one sidewalk, especially on Cherokee Street near where the construction will be.
“They’re not really disrupting the front part of this. I don’t think we should either,” commissioner Tory Roberts said of adding sidewalk along Center Street.
In other business, planning commissioners:
Approved a final plat for a QuikTrip convenience store to be located west of Price Chopper on Main Street.
Approved a five-year special use permit for a cell phone tower located near Singh Food and Gas on Gardner Road.
Discussed amendments to the city’s sign and landscaping codes.
For more information about the meeting, visit. Video of the meeting will soon be available at.
The planning commission is next scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. on May 22 at city hall.

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