Feedback Sought On Change From Shipley Donuts To Potbelly Sandwich
A property owner seeking to change his tract from a townhouse district to a commercial zone, tear down the existing structure and build a new location for a national chain restaurant will go before West University Place residents on Monday to get feedback about his plans.
Bob Orkin owns a tract at Kirby Drive and Tangley Road, which he leases to Shipley Donuts. Since the store’s lease expires in December 2010, Orkin is asking the city to rezone his land to allow him to construct a new building for a prospective tenant, Potbelly Sandwich Works.
The tract is designated as a townhouse district, although it has been used for commercial purposes as long as anyone can remember. The Shipley Donuts is allowed to operate there as a pre-existing, non-conforming use. Orkin would be allowed to switch tenants as long as he didn’t make significant changes to the building or property, changes to the building footprint, but that will not work.
“New tenants coming in prefer not to shoehorn themselves into that tiny little building. Even if we put lipstick on the pig.” said Orkin’s attorney, Reid Wilson, when first presenting the plans to the Zoning and Planning Commission on Nov. 12.
It’s possible that residents with adjacent properties may take issue with the rezoning request due to concerns about additional traffic, parking, noise, and possible foul odors from garbage.
But Orkin and Wilson said the new building would actually have more parking, would comply with all the city’s commercial building ordinances, and it would be more aesthetically pleasing than Shipley Donuts. Councilman George Boehme in December said he is “excited” that the building would comply with city ordinances.
The public hearing about the rezoning application is Feb. 8 at 6:30 p.m. in the West U. City Council Chambers, 3800 University Blvd. The city council and the Zoning and Planning Commission will be present.