The Midway City Council denied a zoning request for a new shopping center at its July meeting.
In May, the council gave property owner Heather Brannen preliminary permission to begin engineering work for the 6,500-square-foot building to be placed on the 1-acre tract at the intersection of Islands Highway and Isle of Wight Road. The need for a frontage road and other traffic improvements was discussed at that time, as was the requirement of approval from the Liberty Gateway Design Review Board.
When Brannen returned to the council, she had a recommendation for approval from the Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission and was supported by LCPC engineer Ebrahim Nadji and the LCPC’s Gabriele Hartage and Alissa Davis.
The council only was asked to approve sites for the building and parking, but questions immediately were raised.
When told that parking would be at the side and rear of the building, Councilman Terry Doyle asked, “What’s the front and what’s the back?”
Doyle received unsatisfactory answers and had made a motion to reject the plan when engineer Trent Long arrived. Supporters, opponents and council members asked for a public hearing to permit Long and others to speak.
Long said the front of the shopping center was intended to face Highway 84 (Islands Highway) “as your ordinance calls for.”
Long added that there also will be an entrance on Isle of Wight Road.
Long told council members that they might not have the most recent drawings for the shopping center.
“We can only act on what is before us ... If you want a more recent plan approved, that plan must be presented to the council,” Mayor Dr. Clemontine Washington told Long.
The council’s vote was 2-2; Washington broke the tie by voting to deny the recommendation.
In other business:
• a presentation by two representatives from CenturyLink on possible new telephone services for the Midway Police Department ended in confusion. The MPD had requested the ability to identify incoming calls even if the caller has blocked that information. A Century Link representative said the police department already had that service.
• attorney and lobbyist Dan Lee with Piedmont Public Affairs explained the Opportunity Zone Job Tax Credit Zone to the council. He said the program would attract industry by giving a $3,500 annual tax credit for each job created in an opportunity zone. Tradeport East already has the designation in partnership with Industrial Developments International, which has built a 500,000-square-foot building at TPE, which has never been occupied. Lee was to return with a draft resolution that included Midway in the zone.
• Washington announ-ced final approval of the Cay Creek Wetlands Interpretive Center grant. The city will pay about $6,000 in cash match for educational signage at the site.
Washington said a newspaper’s reporting that infrastructure and a building were included in the grant was incorrect.
• after a closed session, the council unanimously voted to discipline a police officer for errors in judgment.