MCPC workshop preview of meeting
By Tara DeRock Mahoney
Senior Staff Writer
The Morgan County Planning Commission held informal discussion of upcoming agenda items at their regular monthly work session last Friday morning.
Morgan County Senior Planner Allison Moon and Madison Planner Bryce Jaeck discussed with the group two requests made of the county, one involving a double-wide trailer that a citizen wishes to move into the county, and one involving a variance request for a new Holiday Inn Express to be built in Madison.
The request for an older-than-permitted double wide to be brought into the county will certainly be considered in light of the attending hardship, namely a fire that destroyed the original trailer located on the site in question. However, feedback and requests from neighboring property owners is also expected to factor in the discussion.
The variance request for the hotel relates to the potential height of the structure; the applicant would like to create a four-story hotel in a smaller footpritg, rather than a three-story hotel in a larger footprint, according to Jaeck. But Madison law limits the height of most buildings to 35 feet, principally because of safety reasons—the city does not own a fire truck that is capable of rescuing people higher than 35 feet in the air.
The James Madison Inn in Madison did receive a variance allowing it to develop with a fourth story a couple of years ago, commissioners noted at the work session.
However, the upper floors of the James Madison Inn are residential in nature, meaning that anyone trapped by a fire could move to the street side of the building in order to be rescued.