By Andrew Edwards
At Tuesday’s Board of Zoning Adjustment meeting at Prattville City Hall, the BZA and representative from the Broadway Group, Kelly Steele, met to finalize the ‘compromise’ that the two parties have been working through for the past several months.
The Broadway Group, the construction company that will be tackling the Dollar General project in downtown Prattville, initially requested a variance in July of 2019 from the BZA and were denied. Within the past several weeks, the BG approached the BZA again to reduce the 94 parking spots, which abides by city ordinance, down to 52.
Essentially, the BZA agreed that they would approve the request as long as the Broadway Group agreed to a list of staff recommendations regarding the design of the building – all of which were laid out at the meeting. The BG agreed to all of the recommendations except for number eight on the list and part of number nine. The list can be seen below:
1. The front façade have a stone or stone-appearance base/foundation made from a durable material (stone, fiber-cement board, or similar)
2. The rest of the front façade have a brick or brick-appearance made from a durable material (brick, fiber-cement board, or similar)
3. The façade shall include a horizonal ‘stripe’ near the mid-point of the façade, made from the same stone material found on the foundation
4. The façade shall include periodic vertical ‘stripes’ or pilasters made from the same stone material found on the foundation
5. The front façade will include shutters, faux windows, or other similar element on the façade on either side of the entrance doors
6. The east and west exterior walls will be a continuation of the front façade design theme
7. The dumpster enclosure will be located behind the building
8. The sign will be black track letters
9. The freestanding sign will be clad in one of the same materials from the building
The Broadway Group could not agree to number eight, specifying that Dollar General would not allow them to change the track lettering to black. Instead, it will be the standard black and yellow sign.
As for number nine, the Broadway group agreed that the freestanding sign will be made of clad material (instead of a black pole), but wanted to make it clear that that sign cannot have black track letters either.
Also, it’s important to note that the diagram that depicts the store and surrounding parking lot shows a dumpster enclosure that’s not directly behind the building. Steele agreed that the construction company will modify that so that the enclosure is behind the building, hidden from street view.
After about an hour and half of back and forth between the BZA, Steele, and City Planner Scott Stephens, the committee unanimously approved the variance.
“The role of a municipality is to provide an environment for private enterprise to flourish. We work to control and manage growth through zoning and planning,” says Mayor Bill Gillespie.
Gillespie continued, “This is where the BZA has been utilized to work with developers to help provide a more aesthetically pleasing building prior to entertaining our historic district. I want to thank city staff for working with the Broadway Group on this project, and I appreciate the Broadway Group for listening to our concerns and working with us through this process as a Partner of Prattville.”
Construction will begin in the downtown area within the next few days, pending the weather.
*IMPORTANT NOTICE* The dollar general photo provided is not an actual rendering of the building that will be coming to downtown Prattville. Instead, the picture was used at the meeting to illustrate some of the recommendations brought forth by the BZA.