Cullman Planning Commission approves additional use of cell tower, site development for expanding and new businesses, including Escape Cullman

W.C. Mann

Representatives of the Serra Nissan construction project answer questions from the commission.

CULLMAN – On Monday evening, the City of Cullman Planning Commission met at city hall to consider several proposals, including the addition of extra equipment to a cell phone tower, development of a used car facility for a local dealer and the development of a new entertainment venue called Escape Cullman in downtown Cullman.

First on the agenda was a request by Dover Construction to subdivide a lot on Warnke Road Northwest, to allow construction of single-family dwellings.  With favorable reports from city departments, the request was approved.

Next was a proposed site plan for a used car facility for Tony Serra Nissan on Broadway Drive Southwest, behind and adjacent to the dealership’s Cherokee Avenue facility.  Questions were posed about entrance spacings that were not marked on the site plan, drainage of water from the site (which currently receives runoff from two adjoining sites), routing of electrical conduits into the site and potential problems for a gas pipe running under the site.  Representatives of Serra Nissan and the construction team were present to answer questions, explaining first that water flow through an existing ditch on the site will be reduced by the development (a positive point for city planners).  After the commission was satisfied with their answers, the plan received approval with the condition that the site plan be updated with proper information.

The third proposal considered came from Verizon Wireless, who requested the colocation of its equipment among other companies’ equipment atop a repurposed radio transmission tower at 1407 Walnut St. NW.  There was initial concern that no engineer’s plan was submitted to show that the tower would support extra weight.  After the commission found that such a plan had been subsequently submitted to the building department, and that the department had given the plan a favorable review, the request was approved.

The last proposal was a conditional use request for 103 Third St. SW, suites D and E, to allow the development of an escape game entertainment venue.  Developers for Escape Cullman were present, and explained to the commission that the business will operate two rooms of multi-player puzzles, in which players must find clues and solve a mystery in order to escape.  The developers offered assurances that no player would actually be trapped inside the game rooms at any time, and that operating hours (evenings and weekends) would not create parking problems for other local businesses.  After receiving favorable reports from city departments, the request was approved.

The planning commission meets at 5:30 p.m. on the first Monday of each month in the city hall auditorium.  The public is invited to attend.

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