Supervisors approve 409 Rentals Commercial development

Published 10:30 am Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The Lafayette County Board of Supervisors approved a request for conditional use permit for a new project from 409 Rentals during Monday night’s meeting.

Located on Highway 6 East near County Road 409, the project consists of three commercial spec buildings, which will feature a small office space and a garage area with a rolling door. The challenge the supervisors faced concerning the conditional use request is the fact that, because the buildings will be rented out, the uses for them are not yet known.

County building inspector Joel Hollowell explained the dilemma, saying each renter will have to go to the board to request conditional use permits individually, because of the differences between C1 and C2 districts and the wide range of businesses they allow.

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“This property is zoned A1 as one of our rural districts. As a conditional use in the A1 district, our zoning ordinance will allow C1 and C2 uses,” Hollowell said. “If you grant the conditional use tonight, for the commercial buildings that we don’t know what those uses will be, when those uses come, they will have to come back for a public hearing on those conditional uses as well.”

For example, businesses zoned as C1 would be more akin to office buildings, while those zoned C2 would be more akin to a convenience store.

District 1 Supervisor Kevin Frye admitted he was not quite comfortable with approving a C2 use, because of potential complaints he might receive from those living nearby.

“Once the building’s built, it’s harder to say no. Looking at these buildings, they have a little office, they have a roll-up door that’s intended for having a business where you’re coming and going with construction materials or as a plumber,” Frye said. “That’s what it looks like to me and not a gas station. I think there’s going to be a lot of objection from the neighborhood if it’s a convenience store. I think there’s some things that could go on that are perfectly acceptable to the residents there. But I also think there’s some things that are the opposite of that.”

Frye also presented the point that the area the property is in is a rural development district, which is designed for commercial uses that are compatible with the surrounding area. With this in mind, the supervisors agreed to move forward, treating the request as a C1 use.

The supervisors approved the conditional use permit and preliminary site plan for the 409 Rentals commercial development, on the condition that the developer brick the front of the buildings, add landscaping and pave the entire driveway leading up to the buildings.