The Planning Board voted on six amendments to Granada Pointe
There was a bump in the long road to development for Granada Pointe on Jan. 10 as the Planning Board did not give their approval for a car wash at the site. The Planning Department staff had recommended a “no” vote, saying it did not fit with the city’s comprehensive plan for that area. Representatives of the developer and car wash company emphasized the positive environmental aspects of the business, saying all used water and chemicals are removed from the site. There would also be a lower traffic count compared to a fast-food restaurant with drive-through which was originally planned.
A drive-through restaurant is allowed at the Granada Ponte site at the corner of West Granada Boulevard and Tomoka Avenue because of an exemption in the Planned Business Development that was approved last year by the City Commission. The PBD was the subject of arguments on social media throughout 2018, and the cleared land was the catalyst for a hard-fought election where all commission seats were challenged. All of the incumbents retained their seats in the election.
In a four-to-three vote, the Planning Board voted to reject the amendment that would allow the car wash.
The Planning Board is an advisory group, and the final decisions on the car wash and five other amendments to the PBD requested by the developer will be up to the City Commission at two meetings tentatively set for Feb. 19 and March 5.
Car washes were never intended to be located in the Residential-Office-Retail land use category, Planning Director Steven Spraker told the board. They are considered automotive service and are found in areas that have a Commercial designation.
But Paul Holub, managing member of Granada Pointe LLC, said there would be no detailers or others working on the cars. The cars drive through a tunnel, and the customers can vacuum the interior in an area hidden by landscaping.
In making a motion to approve the car wash, G.G. Galloway said he considered it a personal service and not automotive service. He said the closing time should be 8 p.m., as opposed to 9 p.m.
However, most of the other board members agreed with Spraker.
Voting yes were Galloway, Al Jorczak and new board member Mike Scudiero. Voting against the car wash were Lori Tolland, Angeline Shull, Doug Thomas and Harold Briley.
There were also objections to the look of the car wash with a big opening facing Granada Boulevard. As part of his motion, Galloway recommended a different architectural style. He had found a different style the company had built in Naples, and Holub agreed that the company could use that style for the Ormond Beach business.
The discussion included the fact that a Shell station has a car wash on West Granada Boulevard, but it’s an accessory use and much smaller than the proposed operation at Granada Pointe, Spraker said.
HISTORIC TREE A DANGER?
Another amendment rejected by the Planning Board was the removal of a 43-inch, historic live oak tree that leans out toward the street at the entrance on the north side of Granada Boulevard. In the development agreement last year, 15 historic trees were removed from the area south of Granada Boulevard (four were considered poor condition and 11 healthy) and all 19 historic trees on the north side were to be preserved.
Holub explained to the board members that the tree would lean directly over the mast arms of the traffic signal that will be installed as part of the development and could damage it if knocked down in a storm. However, he did not object to the city leaving the tree in place, saying he only wanted to be on record as saying the tree could be a danger.
Spraker said city arborists declared the tree healthy and recommended denying the request to remove the tree. The board was unanimous in voting to save the tree.
The other four amendments to the Planned Business Development were unanimously approved by the Planning Board.
The wall height limit was raised from six feet to eight feet. A resident on a street to the south of the development had made the original request.
Eight parking spaces in the north parcel that had been planned for usage for the Three Chimneys site were removed. The Ormond Beach Historical Society had said they do not want unfettered public access so declined the offer. The Historical Society will receive $10,000 from the developer to spend how they choose.
It was clarified that there are three parcels to the west of Tomoka Road. The change was made because the planned grocery store will be smaller than expected, and will allow for another business. Spraker said staff was in favor because the grocery will be smaller so an additional business would not affect the traffic count.
In other business, Doug Thomas was re-elected chairman and Harold Briley, vice-chairman. Thomas said this would be his last term as chairman.
HOTEL GETS OK
The Planning Board unanimously approved a Planned Business Development for an Extended Stay America hotel with 124 rooms at 275 Interchange Boulevard. The PBD is necessary because the property owner, Southwest I-95 Partnership LLC, seeks to have 39 fewer parking spaces than required in city code. Hotel representatives said they do not need that many spaces. The City Commission will make the final decision on the matter. The rates would range from $69 to $110 per night.