Havana council members discussed a setback variance application at length Tuesday morning. The lot, located at 106 East 8th Avenue, is directly behind the Farm Bureau building and across from Subway and is owned by The Word Ministry Inc. (First Believers Christian Center). Leann Little addressed the council as questions about the variance arose.
Parking locations were talked about, with Mayor T.J. Davis saying the property owners were aware that customers of the proposed ice cream shop could not park either behind the Farm Bureau or at Subway.
The Apalachee Regional Planning Council that includes Gadsden in its district had originally recommended denial of the project based on the first submission of the business’ building plan, saying “the Town’s ordinance (dealing with setbacks) is extremely stringent and allows few variances to its regulations. (If the variance is granted, the proposed variance) is the minimum variance that will make possible the reasonable use of the land…the relief sought is the only relief necessary to permit the proposed use.”
Town planner Bruce Ballister said the request is the third application for development of the property and all of the others have failed due to setback issues. The proposed project is allowable with the variance, he told the board. Mayor Davis said he’d been told that neither Farm Bureau or Subway owner Eddie Bass had objections, and mayor pro tem Vernell Ross said he’d heard from town manager Howard McKinnon, who was out of town, that he was in favor of the project.
After more discussion, Bobby Miller made a motion to approve, with Shirley McGill seconding. It passed unanimously.