THE CLEARWATER DEPOT BUILDING at 340 South Walnut Street.

Clearwater Depot issue resolved

Subhead: 
Staff Writer
Ken Francis
The Clearwater City Council last week agreed to help a dental business relocate in the Clearwater Depot building at 340 South Walnut Street.
Wayne Elam from Commercial Realty Solutions told the council he had a purchase agreement for the property but some language in a deed restriction was holding up the closing.
Back on Dec. 11, 2012, after receiving approval for a variance for a lot split between the Depot building and the storage building behind it, a deed restriction was recorded to prevent any future development or expansion of the Clearwater Depot building.
Elam said Dr. Battikhi wanted to move his dental clinic to the site. The closing was scheduled for June 26, but the buyer’s attorney did not agree with some of the language in the deed restriction.
The language in question states, “any future use of the property may not result in the intensification of the use of the two restricted parcels.”
“Intensification” in the deed restriction is defined as “change of existing uses which would result in increased vehicular traffic,” as one of the conditions.
Elam said since the building is 80% vacant, the attorney believed use of the building for a dental clinic would result in an increase in vehicular traffic.
“From his perspective, since the building has been vacant or 80% vacant for so long, anything that happens at the property is intensification,” Elam told members of the council. “His concern was his client would buy the building, move his medical practice over there and it would be an intensification of the use and traffic.”
Elam said the attorney had drafted a proposed amendment to the deed restriction for the council Depot Continued On Page 5
to review and approve.
That amendment changes “Intensification” to mean “increase in building square footage; increase in existing non-conforming aspects of the building and/or lots, and/or change of use of the property to production, manufacturing or wholesale storage.”
Mayor Pete Edmonson told Elam staff had reviewed the deed restriction and recommended not changing the restriction.
A memo from Zoning Administrator Deb Petty said the deed restriction uses the phrase “change of existing uses,” which refers to allowable uses of the building as defined in a conditional use permit (CUP) approved in March, 2008.
Under the CUP, professional offices such as attorneys, medical practices, insurance professionals and similar service businesses are considered allowable uses. So a dental office would not be changing an existing use.
Elam asked the council if they could have a letter drafted on official City of Clearwater stationary outlining Petty’s conclusion. He said he believed that would satisfy the attorney and his client. He also asked for confirmation in writing that the CUP would transfer to the new owner.
Council directed Administrator Heidi Eckerman to draft the letter.
 

photos


George I. Florek

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