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Commission will discuss new retail building on Poplar

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A new retail building is being considered for construction at the southeast corner of W. Poplar Avenue and Byhalia Road.

The town’s Planning Commission is slated to discuss a 4,516-square-foot retail store on slightly more than a half acre at 795 W. Poplar Ave. on Thursday night.

The existing Shell convenience store and gas pumps on the property would be demolished to make way for the new brick structure, which would blend with the Memphis Pizza Cafe and Goodwill to the southeast.

Sam Gassaway with X-L Service, a local property management agency dealing with commercial and residential properties from around the greater Collierville region, is requesting a recommendation from the Planning Commission and Design Review Commission for a preliminary site plan for the new building.

The site plan includes 32 parking spaces and the dedication of .06 acres of right-of-way to the town.

Town staff has acknowledged that the lot is very narrow with two front yards due to being on the corner of Poplar and Byhalia. The developable area will be further reduced with the redevelopment because of the additional right-of-way.

If the property was unified with the surrounding development there would be no side or rear yard encroachment. The existing gas pump canopy already encroaches in the front setbacks. The proposed development will encroach less into the side setbacks.

Assistant Town Planner Nancy Boatwright said an identical request for encroachments and increased parking was approved by the Board of Zoning Appeals on Dec. 15, 2015.

The applicant needs to seek a new variance because that one expired due to a condition of approval at that time that stated they needed to have a site plan approved within 12 months, which they did not do.

This is why the applicant is back requesting the same variance.

The alternatives to the yard encroachment aren’t really practical. The maximum 23 spaces is not practical for redevelopment as a retail use and the existing building and parking are nonconforming. The lot is undersized and narrow compared to other lots in the area. If it was a unified development then there would be no encroachments and the parking would be shared. The encroachments and exceeding the parking maximum would not be injurious to other properties.

The existing gas station and convenient store were originally developed as Jack Billings Ford and then redeveloped as the Mapco C-Store in 1987. The parking for the store exceeds the maximum number of parking spaces allowed for the 3,090-square-foot retail store. The parking that exists there now is nonconforming.

If the lot were unified with the Byhalia Crossing shopping center that surrounds it, the parking would be less than required. She explained the amount of parking it should have if it were developed today.

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