Article Comment 

Rezoning could open door for housing project

 

Carl Smith

 

Starkville aldermen are expected to address a rezoning request Friday which would allow a residential development project to begin at Mississippi State University's Thad Cochran Research Park. 

 

The board will meet 4 p.m. tomorrow in special recess meeting in lieu of May 7's primary election. 

 

Aldermen will discuss rezoning a parcel located at 300 Research Boulevard from R-1 to B-1 on behalf of Technology Mills LLC, a company seeking to develop 8.77 acres of vacant land into a corporate housing development. 

 

The project, dubbed 300 Traditions, will offer 40 two-bedroom, two-bathroom luxury units 800 square feet in size, according to documents associated with the meeting's e-packet. 

 

Rezoning the parcel to a buffer district would reduce development restrictions and allow the development to proceed. 

 

The Starkville Planning and Zoning Commission previously added minor provisions to the original 300 Traditions request in October, but aldermen blocked the development in November after concerns emerged about the lack of provisions for such a development in the city's land-use chart. 

 

Oktibbeha County Economic Development Authority President Jack Wallace supported the development in a letter dated August 2012. 

 

"If we can add this, plus a restaurant, and reclaim the brownfield for recreation, we will be positioned for the expansion of the park for years to come," he said in the letter. "In addition ... this would improve traffic and save energy." 

 

Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman said the board faced the procedural issue because city officials previously used an inaccurate planning map when discussing the project. A rezoning request, he said, would remedy concerns raised last year. 

 

Developers have not established a timetable to complete the project if the board approves Friday's request, but Wiseman estimated the project could take 18 months to two years to complete. 

 

In other business, the city is expected to commit $837,353 for Bluefield Road and Gretta Lane sewage improvements. A $600,000 Community Development Block Grant and the city's matching portion will help fund the $1.4 million project.

 

Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch

 

 

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