GIBRALTAR: Overlay district plans in motion for waterfront

GIBRALTAR: Overlay district plans in motion for waterfront

GIBRALTAR —Wade Trim consultant Chip Smith presented an overlay district plan to the Planning Commission on Tuesday.

Instead of rezoning the entire city, Smith presented a plan that would allow the city to spe-cify what new businesses look like and where they are placed on lots.

Smith said the overlay district would create better access to the waterfront and encourage pedestrian foot traffic, which are the city’s overall goals.

He noted parts of the city’s current ordinances that should be altered in order for the new overlay district to work.

Smith said the number of parking spaces required per square foot of business is twice as much as needed. He also said the marinas must have one space per boat, which is far more than necessary.

Smith suggested requiring three parking spaces per 1,000 square feet of gross leasable area. The retail standard in Gibraltar is about seven spaces per 1,000 square feet.

The City Council would have to vote on any ordinance changes.

“Redevelopment is a number of projects over time,” he said. “(It is) the way to go.”

Smith said an overlay district allows for a more gra-dual change rather than requiring new businesses to comply with the new standards.

He said businesses would get incentives, for example, an additional story, in exchange for a certain amount of waterfront area for public access. Continued…

Smith said new businesses could follow the underlying zoning requirements if they choose.

There was a question about taller buildings.

“Can we fight a four-story fire?” Planning Commissioner John Wood asked.

City Council Liaison Patrick Valentine said the Fire Department does not have a big enough ladder yet, but it would have to get one if taller buildings were built on the waterfront.

Smith will supply the commissioners with the overlay district language recommendation at the next meeting Nov. 20.

‘I think you brought something important to the ta-ble,” Commissioner Jeff Read said.

After the Planning Commission meeting, the Downtown Development Authority approved replacing two fiberglass flagpoles with a yardarm at the Gil Talbert Community Center, 29340 S. Gibraltar Road.

City Administrator Derek Thiel said of the three flagpoles, one of the fiberglass poles is gone and another one is about to break. The third pole, made of aluminum, could support all of the flags if the city purchased a yardarm for the pole.

Mayor James Gorris said a yardarm would look good at the community center because of it is nautical nature.

Thiel also said it would be a lot less costly to purchase a yardarm for the existing aluminum flag pole instead of replacing the two fiberglass poles. Continued…

The DDA will fund the project, not to exceed $600.

Thiel hopes to get the flagpole complete before Veterans Day, which is Nov. 12.

Thiel said wayfinding signs should be installed in about two to three weeks. He said the city is waiting on the poles from Mans Lumber. He hopes the signs will be installed before the next meeting, which is Nov. 20.

Thiel said the engineering is under way on the West Jefferson water main replacement from Middle to North Gibraltar roads. The city wants to extend the water main 300 feet north of North Gibraltar Road depending on how much the project will cost. He expects the bid process to be complete within the next two months and the project could begin in the winter.


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GIBRALTAR: Overlay district plans in motion for waterfront

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