Ordinance would re-zone parcel north of Highway 64, east of Bowers Road

The Oakland Board of Mayor and Aldermen has passed an ordinance on first reading that would re-zone property north of Highway 64 and east of Bowers Road.
Board members took the action during their Sept. 17 regular monthly meeting on a motion offered by Alderman Karl Chambless and seconded by Alderman Kelly Rector. The motion was passed by three affirmative votes, with Alderman Billy Ray Morris abstaining.
The proposed ordinance, recommended by the Oakland Planning Commission, is scheduled for a public hearing and final reading at tomorrow night’s board meeting.
It would amend the Municipal Zoning Map by re-zoning a 25.92-acre parcel from R-1, Low-Density Residential, to B-2, Highway-Oriented Business.
During discussion shortly before the vote, Mayor Chris Goodman said the property is located “directly across” Highway 64 from the Olympic Steak & Pizza Restaurant.
He noted that the “front part,” if re-zoned to B-2, would be developed as a “community or neighborhood” shopping center. Behind it would be a planned residential development.
Goodman said the “idea” is that residents who live in that area “could actually walk or bike over” to the shopping center.
While noting that this is a “common” type of development in certain areas, the mayor acknowledged that it would be “something new” in Oakland. He said there are “drawings” of the entire subdivision that the board members were “more than welcome” to examine.
When Rector asked whether the residents are aware of the proposed re-zoning and have “spoken in behalf” of it, Goodman said he had not received any comments, either positive or negative.
“At the end of the day,” he noted, “it all goes back to what’s developed and what’s put there, which would have to go through the planning commission.”
Rector concurred with the mayor’s comments.
“For me, personally,” he said, “I guess it would just really depend on what was proposed out front. But without a Design Review Commission, we don’t have a whole lot of control over what’s going to be out there, or what it’s going to look like.”
When Rector said he would be “anxious to hear” what the residents in that area have to say, Goodman said that is the purpose of the public hearing.
The mayor also noted that, in May, the board unanimously passed an ordinance that requires notification of landowners adjacent to properties proposed for re-zoning.
When an amendment to the Zoning Map is requested, the Oakland Codes Enforcement Office must send certified letters informing the owners whose properties are within 500 feet of the land that is the subject of the request.
The applicant must give the Codes Enforcement Office pre-addressed, stamped envelopes with sufficient postage for Certified Mail.
On the property requested for re-zoning, the applicant must post a sign instructing its readers to call the Codes Enforcement Office “for information about the proposed development.”
Town Planner Chris Pate said the applicant must provide the sign, envelopes and postage at least 15 days prior to the public hearing or the ordinance’s final reading.