Posted: August 1, 2018

Minutes - Planning and Zoning Meeting on Tuesday, July 3, 2018

 Approved Minutes

Call to Order – Chairman Roland Morris

Roll Call – Chairman Roland Morris
All present except for Mr. Lange

Approval of March 6, 2018 Minutes
Motion to approve made by Mr. Bourg, seconded by Ms. Stafford, motion passed with all present in favor.

Item 1
Mr. John Cerniglia, Premier Properties Northshore, will present plans for redeveloping the Friends restaurant into luxury condominiums. Mr. Cerniglia will also be seeking approval to rezone Lot 5 on St. Tammany Street to the same C3 zoning as Lots 3 and 4 as well as approval on the preliminary re-design of the existing structure and the construction of a second structure.

Mr. Cerniglia presented his plans for converting Friends Restaurant to condominiums. He would like to bring the roof line out to widen the units, would like to rezone lot 5 to the same zoning as lots 3 and 4, would like option to go as high as the existing structure with a second structure to be constructed on Lot 5, and that he may need a small variance to the number of required parking spaces.

Mr. Bourg stated that lot 5 would need to be rezoned to C-1 (Commercial) to be consistent with lots 3 and 4; that is, lots 3 and 4 are C-1 and not C-3. Mr. Bourg noted that extending the existing structure on the street side may result in the building encroaching on Town property. Mr. Cerniglia clarified that the extension is only to close in the existing porch. Regarding the height of the second structure, Mr. Bourg stated he could not agree to anything above 40 feet. Mr. Cerniglia stated he would like to know what the P&Z would require as he may need to go to 48 feet to make the project financially feasible and to make it a win-win. Ms. Stafford asked if Mr. Cerniglia has had inquiries regarding the condos. Mr. Cerniglia stated “yes”. Ms. Mendow asked about the price range. Mr. Cerniglia stated the average unit would be about 2,300 square feet and sell for $425,000 to $450,000. In response to a question from Ms. Stafford, Mr. Cerniglia stated the complex would be gated with security. Mr. Morris stated he liked the idea of the project. In response to Mr. Bourg’s questions, Mr. Cerniglia stated the renovation of the existing structure would take about six months and in response to Ms. Mendow, he stated that construction on the second structure would begin very soon after the first phase was completed. Someone from the audience asked about storm drainage.  Mr. Cerniglia stated that although concrete would be used for the parking lot and under the second structure, there would be adequate drainage. In response to Mr. Bourg’s question, Mr. Cerniglia stated that he planned on using the same type of materials as the existing structure.

Someone from the audience asked about building boat slips by the bulkhead. Mr. Cerniglia stated he planned on constructing an arched dock (half-moon) that could be purchased or leased by only the residents.

Mr. Bourg, Ms. Mendow, and Ms. Stafford all stated that although they like the project, they are cautious as the existing Friends was pitched as a beautiful project. There was additional discussion regarding Base Flood Elevation and square footage of each floor. 

Mr. Bourg stated that the P&Z would need more information. Mr. Cerniglia stated he wanted to feel out the P&Z to determine if there was any give in the existing requirements to determine if he could make the numbers work. There was continued discussion regarding submission of plans to the Fire Marshal, motorcycle parking spaces counting toward parking requirements, and making the second structure aesthetically fit with the existing building and the style of the Town. Mr. Cerniglia stated that the structure would need to have some contemporary feel and that it would cost $5.5 million to make it work. Although all P&Z members present are interested in the project, Mr. Bourg emphasized that the P&Z would be happy to entertain the project when more exact information is provided. Mayor Pelloat present in the audience requested that Mr. Cerniglia present the project at the July 11th Council meeting to obtain the Council’s feeling.

Item 2
Ms. Erin Schaumburg, EROS Home & Clothing, requests variance to construct a retail establishment in excess of 3,000 square feet at 405 Covington Street. The property borders St. Paul, Cedar and Covington streets. The property is zoned C-Neighborhood Business (Commercial) District.

As Ms. Schaumburg is out of Town for the July 4th holiday, Mayor Pelloat presented her request. He stated that Ms. Schaumburg has a purchase agreement for the vacant property located on the corner of Covington, St. Paul and Cedar Streets.

He shared drawings received from Ms. Schaumberg and said that her agreement to purchase the lot expires on August 10, 2018. He also stated that she is moving her existing successful business with approximately $1.8 million in sales from Mandeville to this location in Madisonville, that she will have more parking than required, and is not asking for any height, set-back, or parking variances. The only potential variance is the building square footage. The zoning ordinance regarding C-Neighborhood Commercial allows 7,000 sq. ft. for existing buildings and a maximum of 3,000 sq. ft. for new buildings according to an ordinance document dated June 10, 2010; however, another ordinance document dated June 11, 2008 reflects a maximum of 5,000 sq. ft. In light of this, Mayor Pelloat asked if there would be a challenge to give a variance, if necessary, to allow Ms. Schaumburg to construct a 4,300 sq. ft. building. Mr. Bourg and the rest of the board agreed that they could approve a variance up to 5,000 sq. ft. as necessary. Mr. Morris stated that the drawing makes the building look like a house. There was discussion around traffic issues and only one business operating out of the building. Mayor Pelloat and others familiar with the business (EROS) stated that only 3 to 5 people would visit the business at a time and therefore, there will be no traffic issues. It was also confirmed that only the EROS business would be operating out of the building. Mr. Bourg made a motion that the building be approved for up to 4,500 sq. ft., Ms. Stafford seconded, motion passed with all present in favor. 

Other discussion:
Mayor Pelloat reported that he had spoken with Ms. Kathleen Loup regarding converting the Dendinger house to a Bed & Breakfast or possibly a Boutique Hotel (small hotel not connected to a chain). The property is presently zoned as Neighborhood Commercial under which any residential district use is allowed. 

A B&B is an allowed use in residential district. Ms. Stafford emphasized that the owner needs to live on site for a B&B. Mr. Bourg stated there is a very nice Boutique Hotel in Abita Springs should anyone be interested in seeing one. There were no objections by the P&Z board in regards to Ms. Loup’s plan.

Mayor Pelloat stated that he could not imagine a better use for the building and that there would be no addition to the present building structure.

Motion to adjourn made by Mr. Bourg, seconded by Ms. Mendow, motion passed with all present in favor.

Wayne C. Morlier, Town Clerk