The company had taken all the necessary steps: review by the city’s planning commission, a public hearing, meetings with affected residents, a two-month long wait to complete and review a detailed traffic study, passage of a revised concept plan and a second reading to rezone the property.
In the vast majority of similar situations, approval of a third reading virtually is a done deal.
Attempts to reach Jeff Pape, GBT’s shopping center division senior vice president, were unsuccessful, but city officials said they had no reason to believe some nefarious discovery or last-minute requests had anything to do with the two-week delay.
“He did not share with us whether there was anything specific,” Johnson City Mayor Ralph Van Brocklin said Monday. “It sounded to me like they may have some things to get squared away. But he’s not going to change the plan, and I’ve not heard anything that would indicate to me anything’s out of order.”
Van Brocklin said he does expect a third reading Thursday.
The City Commission’s first vote on a concept plan came Oct. 3 after lengthy review of a comprehensive 429-page traffic study conducted by another Nashville-based company, Gresham Smith and Partners. The count: 4-1 with Vice Mayor Clayton Stout voting against the move. The second vote proceeded without much conversation. This hurdle was a second reading of an ordinance to rezone the parcel from MS-1 (Medical Services) to B-4 (Planned Arterial Business). Again, the count was 4-1 with Stout opposing the move.
“I asked (City Manager Pete Peterson), and he said there were just a few things they were concerned about,” Commissioner Jenny Brock said. “I don’t see anything that’s changed.”
The center, when fully built out, would have 705 parking spaces, accommodate about 82,000 square feet of retail space, 59,500 square feet of grocery store space, 7,000 square feet of bank space, 18,000 square feet of restaurant space and house a fuel center associated with the grocery store.