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A city council will vote on a site plan, which is the next step for construction of a new three-story storage building along South Rutgers Avenue near Walmart.

Watch the live stream of the Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission meeting at 5:30 p.m. at The meeting will take place with the participation of the Planning Commissioners electronically by videoconference or audioconference.

The city council voted to rezone the site, so developer RealtyLink could construct a storage building. The building is expected to include three floors of personal storage lockers with a design that resembles some of the stores at the nearby Main Street Oak Ridge mall, which is also land owned by Greenville, South Carolina-based RealtyLink.

Now, the Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission will vote to approve, deny, or approve with comments the site plan, which shows the layout of the storage building and its surroundings. The building as planned would total 106,950 square feet.

A feature that will accompany the storage building in the site plan is a sidewalk and crosswalk connecting the Woodland neighborhood to the Main Street Oak Ridge Mall. The city’s senior communications specialist, Lauren Gray, said it would specifically be a connection between the existing sidewalks in front of Burkes Outlet‚ inside the mall and the existing public sidewalk on the east side, from the side of apartments, from South Rutgers. Curb ramps would be included at crosswalks.

Oak Ridge Community Development Director Wayne Blasius, left, and Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission Chairman H. Stephen Whitson discuss the next steps for the development of Main Street in Oak Ridge.

Other items

The Planning Commission is also due to vote tonight on a site plan for 18 one- to three-bedroom apartments at 689 Emory Valley Road. Like the site plan for the storage unit, this site plan will also include a new sidewalk for the public to use, in this case along Emory Valley Road.

Other items on the agenda include whether to allow more homes than originally planned in an area of ​​The Preserve, a subdivision west of Oak Ridge.

How to comment

The Municipal Building Hearing Room will not be open to members of the public to attend the Planning Commission meeting in person. Citizens who wish to speak on a particular agenda item at the business meeting may register with their name, address, telephone number and email address by sending an email to commdev before noon today, April 15.

In the e-mail, citizens must specify which point of the agenda they wish to speak about. A link to the meeting, along with login information, will be provided to each registered citizen prior to the meeting. Written public comments regarding agenda items, which are received by the Community Development Department by noon on the day of the regular business meeting, will be provided to the Planning Committee for consideration. Contact the Department of Community Development at (865) 425-3531 or visit for more information.

Ben Pounds is a reporter for The Oak Ridger. Call him at (865) 441-2317 and follow him on Twitter @Bpoundsjournal.