An office development proposed for Thompson Bridge Road is on its way to City Council review after the Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board made its recommendation Tuesday to require a 25-foot buffer.
Plans to develop a 7,700-square-foot building with parking on a .67 acre property across the street from the new Wal-Mart grocery store will go before the City Council in May.
The proposed development includes one access drive from Thompson Bridge, with parking in the front and rear.
The city’s planning staff had recommended a few conditions be met before the development can proceed, including substantial buffers to protect nearby residential homes.
Applicant Chris Patton asked the planning board to reduce the buffer requirement to 15 feet, and also scrap a condition requiring an eight-foot vinyl fence be constructed on the property’s northern boundary.
The board opposed reducing the buffer, though it did support an amendment to eliminate the fence.
Planning board member Eddie Martin cast the lone dissenting vote, saying he preferred a 30-foot buffer and requiring the vinyl fence be constructed.
Located at 1510 Thompson Bridge Road, the property is vacant, with a small driveway and some vegetation.
The property was rezoned from residential to neighborhood business in 1998, and a demolition permit was issued to remove a home on the property in 2012.
A final condition recommended by staff and approved by the planning board restricts the land’s use, which means a convenience store, coin laundry or tattoo parlor cannot be developed at the site.
Owner and developer Richard Toth told The Times last month that there is no timeline for construction and that he does not yet have a specific tenant or client lined up to occupy the office space.
While an office development is already an approved use for the land, Toth may face another hurdle along the way.
According to staff reports, “Based on the current concept plan, it appears the applicant may be required to file for a variance in the future to vary the frontage landscape strip, sidewalk, access aisle width and impervious surface coverage requirements.”