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VOL. 132 | NO. 174 | Friday, September 1, 2017

New Union Ave. Bank Branch, Whitehaven Wastewater Facility Seek Design Variances

By Patrick Lantrip

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Pinnacle Bank is seeking a set of variances from the Memphis and Shelby County Board of Adjustment to build a new branch at the corner of Union Avenue and Rozelle Street.

According to its application, Pinnacle wants to build a 4,172-square-foot bank with drive-thru service at 1651 Union Ave., a property that has remained vacant since the former Sean’s Café burned down last year.

Because the project falls under the Midtown Overlay portion of the Unified Development Code, the bank must seek variances with the board of adjustment for the orientation of the drive-thru, an alternative streetscape layout and the use of a 20-foot setback.

“The drive-thru will operate far less (often) than many of the other nearby fast food restaurants with drive-thru lanes adjacent to the residential zones, with the proposed schedule being from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and closed Saturday and Sunday,” Brendan Boles with Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc., who is representing Pinnacle, said in a letter of intent to the Office of Planning and Development.

Pinnacle Bank is seeking variances from the Memphis and Shelby County Board of Adjustment for a bank at 1651 Union Ave., a property that has remained vacant since the former Sean’s Café burned down last year. (Daily News/Patrick Lantrip)

A similar variance request to bring a Domino’s with a drive-thru to the nearby corner of Union Avenue and Rembert Street was delayed for 30 days at last month’s board of adjustment meeting after it was hotly contested by neighbors.

In that case, residents on Rembert who opposed the project argued against the delay, saying they had a strong case and would still be opposed to any plans that call for a drive-thru, but the board ultimately felt it was best to give the developers more time to work through their plans.

Pinnacle’s case will be heard at the board’s Sept. 27 meeting.

In addition to Pinnacle, a Michigan-based environmental services company is seeking a variance with the board of adjustment to bring a wastewater reclamation and recycling facility to Whitehaven.

In its application, Valicor Environmental Services is seeking a special-use permit to allow for the refining of petroleum, liquefied petroleum gas and coal products.

“Valicor Environmental Services provides a commercial wastewater treatment option for the area’s industrial-manufacturing sector,” Valicor representative David Baker with Fisher & Arnold Inc. said in a letter of intent addressed to Office of Planning and Development director Josh Whitehead. “Valicor treats and recycles oils and oily wastewater not permissible for discharge into the local municipal sewer system.”

Currently, Valicor operates seven plants offering various versions of wastewater treatment services in Ohio, West Virginia, Alabama and Missouri.

The company is seeking to open its eighth location on 5 acres located on the south side of Brooks Road, east of Gemini Drive. A 40,000-square-foot structure currently exists at the location, according to its application.

In his letter of intent, Baker said Valicor is basing the special-use request on the “existence of the building and similar usage dating before the passage of this code.”

Valicor is planning to operate the plant 24 hours a day Monday through Friday and be closed on the weekends.

The new plant is expected to employ 20 workers with an annual payroll of about $800,000, adding an economic impact of roughly $100,000 a month to the Whitehaven economy.

PROPERTY SALES 41 308 2,265
MORTGAGES 47 379 2,607
BUILDING PERMITS 128 1,018 6,068
BANKRUPTCIES 53 255 1,787