• 48°

Whitwell rezone topic of tonight’s meeting

The former Whitwell Elementary School on South Fifth Street will be the topic of tonight’s planning commission meeting as owner and developer Jack Hager wants it to be rezoned to Residential-3 status and turn it into apartments.

The former Whitwell Elementary School on South Fifth Street will be the topic of tonight’s planning commission meeting as owner and developer Jack Hager wants it to be rezoned to Residential-3 status and turn it into apartments.

 

Three years after failing to get approval to rezone the former Whitwell Elementary School, owner and developer Jack Hager hopes this year’s planning commission decision will be different.

Hager’s plans include turning the 11,000-square-foot school building into an apartment complex for senior citizens and veterans, but in doing so, needs the planning commission to rezone the building from a Residential-2 to a Residential-3.

With a status of Residential-2, Hager can still turn the building into apartments, but only for four units. With a Residential-3, the whole building can be turned into a multi-unit complex with around 20 apartments, which is what Hager wants to do.

Back in 2012, the idea was originally proposed to the zoning appeals board where it was then passed to the city planning commission. Although Hager has these intentions because of the city’s housing needs, there was some strong opposition to his plans from the school’s neighbors.

Mayor Rich Blankenship said he did not have any comments on the matter before the meeting.

“I’m going to wait until the meeting to see what Mr. Hager has to say,” Blankenship said. “The planning commission will vote on it and we’ll see if it gets approved or not.”

The planning commission meeting is tonight at 6 p.m. in the council chambers of the city building. It is open to the public, however, it is not in public forum, so everyone may not get the chance to speak.