By QUINT QUALLS
The widening of Main Street may not necessarily mean the removal of an old silo on a property slated for development in north Spring Hill.
Residents rallied around the tower after development plans were announced for a property near the intersection of Main Street and Wilkes Lane that included removal of the well-known silo. Not long after, the developer of the new retail and drive-thru restaurant space planned for the property confirmed the silo will remain.
However, the developer also revealed that the silo would be in the right-of-way dedicated to the city, meaning it could be in the way of future road improvements to Main Street.
According to Alderman Jonathan Duda, the city could potentially accommodate future improvements to Main Street while also preserving the silo.
“Yes, it would be in the right of way,” he said. “But the typical right-of-way section doesn’t incorporate all of the assets of a property or the specific conditions of properties, and it is further back.”
The typical right-of-way section includes space for pavement for the road, with curb, gutter and storm water facilities, as well as sidewalk and slope easements.
“The bottom line is it is a significant cultural aspect of our community,” Duda said. “Our city started and for hundreds of years it was an agrarian community, it was a community of farmers, and that silo on the main road essentially represented ‘coming to Spring Hill,’ and it was recognized for a long time as unique.
“We should evaluate every opportunity to save it. If not, certainly the needs of the road are going to trump some things, but at the same time, even with the additional right of way we set aside for an arterial like U.S. 31, it was only just inside the new right of way. So instead of having a sidewalk, maybe it goes on the other side from the silo.”
The developer of the silo property requested sketch plan approval at last month’s planning commission work session for two multi-tenant buildings comprised of 20,400 square feet of retail space and 5,700 square feet of restaurant area with two drive-thru spaces. The site already has the necessary zoning of B-4 Central Business District.
The commission will take the sketch plat approval request for the new retail and restaurant space up for a vote at its Sept. 12 meeting.
Quint Qualls covers Spring Hill for Home Page Media Group. Reach him at email@example.com.