If the recommendation from the Cordova Planning Commission is approved, the former site of Piggly Wiggly and several adjacent properties will become part of the downtown business district.
The local post office and an abandoned grocery store next door, which are currently zoned for residential use, will be placed in the B-1 business district, which has more restrictions under the city’s new alcohol ordinance.
A home on Massachusetts Avenue that was rezoned shortly after the April 2011 tornadoes in order to house a restaurant will revert back to the medium density single family residential district.
Mayor pro tem Ed Earp expressed concerns during Tuesday night’s meeting about the reasons for the changes.
“Is this rezoning being done to bring about the proposed apartment complexes downtown?” Earp said following the presentation by long term recovery manager Steve Ostaseski. “What I’m getting at is the property the Piggly Wiggly was sitting on is where it is proposed for the townhomes to go. Everyone is not in agreement with that. I’m not in agreement with that. That is why I am trying to get a better understanding.”
The Woda Group, an Ohio-based developer, has expressed an interest in constructing high quality affordable housing in downtown Cordova.
In January, the city council sold several parcels of land to WODA for $5,000, which allowed the firm to apply for new market tax credits that are needed to fund the development.
Ostaseski noted that the rezoning of the Piggly Wiggly property is being done at the request of the current owner.
Council member Warren Branch asked about the site being in a flood zone, a problem discovered after the tornadoes that prevented a grocery store from being built back there.
Mayor Drew Gilbert said the property was taken out of a flood zone following a reevaluaton by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last year.
It is currently zoned for residential use.
“I don’t have a problem with that Pig property being rezoned. My problem lies with rezoning to make apartment complexes out of it because I don’t think that is in the best interest of the city,” Earp said.
The public hearing about the rezoning will be held Tuesday, May 13, at 6:30 p.m.
In other action, the council:
•learned that a gate was installed this week near the city’s skate park. Only pedestrian traffic will be allowed beyond the concession stand.
Gilbert said the parking lot that serves the two ballfields, the playground and the skate park will be marked with stripes in coming weeks.
Also, signs will soon be posted noting that the park will be closed after dark, and members of the Cordova Police Department will increase patrols in the area.
•accepted a new business license for the Texaco service station on Horsecreek Boulevard.
•accepted a bid of $400 for a city vehicle that was declared to be surplus property.
•accepted a bid from Jasper Oil for fuel at a rate of $0.12 above cost.
•hired Andrew Bingmon as a part-time employee in the Street and Sanitation Department.
•recognized police officers Aaron Moseley and Tony Reid for their work on 13 narcotics cases in April.
•heard about a grant that Cordova Fire and Rescue received recently that will be used to buy forestry equipment for the department’s brush truck.
•were informed of a clean-up day at Cane Creek that will be held Saturday, May 3. Volunteers will meet at Disney Lake at 8 a.m.