By MIKE WILLIAMS
Pulaski Town Council last Tuesday tabled a request for the town to vacate an unbuilt portion of Eastman Street after discussion centered around future plans for Vuhvanagons, LLC.
Kevin Lindamood, owner of Vuhvanagons, LLC – the owner of some 300 Volkswagen Vans parked on the former Flower Shoppe property along Lee Highway in Pulaski – made the request.
Deputy Town Manager Nichole Hair told council that town staff had been working with Lindamood for about a year to develop the property by constructing buildings in which to store the vans.
During a review of the property, Hair said, it was discovered that a “paper” street – an unbuilt right-of-way owned by the town and named Eastman Street – is located on the property and is hindering the planned construction of one of the buildings Lindamood wants to build.
Two adjacent property owners – Dennis Turman and Jerry Haney – expressed concerns over the proposed closing of the unbuilt street because it would hinder access to their properties.
During the public hearing on the issue, Lindamood told council Turman’s and Haney’s concerns are “perfectly reasonable,” and that he is willing to maintain ingress and egress for both men’s properties.
Lindamood told council he has everything ready to go to begin construction of six Quonset hut structures in which to house his vans.
“I’m sure there are others not here tonight who have concerns about the appearance of my property, and I’m right there with them,” Lindamood stated.
Lindamood said he is asking the town to vacate the road simply to address right of way issues that would exist with any town street.
“Without vacation of the street, we can’t build buildings within 35 feet of either side of the road. With the vacation, we can build bigger buildings and house more vehicles,” he told council.
The Quonset hut structures, Lindamood said, are reminiscent of the original greenhouses laid out in way reminiscent of the original Flower Shoppe footprint. Lindamood’s grandfather, he noted, built the Flower Shoppe.
“We are eager to approve the appearance and usability of the property and maintain the value of our inventory,” Lindamood said.
Michael Gay of New River Properties in Dublin, who is working on the design of the project for Lindamood, said the Quonset hut structures planned for the site have stainless steel, arched trusses with a fabric shell.
Councilman Jamie Radcliffe quizzed Gay on a timeline for the project.
“The property is pretty full now,” Gay said. He said Lindamood has been keeping the area at the corner of Route 11 and Northwood Drive open and that is where the first structure will be built. Vehicles will be moved into the new structure, and the next building will be built where those vehicles had been sitting.
Gay said the project will be completed in six phases with each phase taking three months for the grading, building and placement of vehicles inside.
Radcliffe asked if the six structures could hold all the vehicles. Gay responded that the first three structures will hold 120 vans.
Vice Mayor Greg East asked how many vehicles are on the site. “I remember the original count was 300 or so,” he asked. Gay agreed, noting that the buildings will be of varying sizes.
“We certainly understand that if all the vehicles can’t go in the buildings they have to go away,” Gay said.
After a question from Councilman Joseph Goodman on maintaining the fabric covers on the structures, Gay noted that fabric structures are a proven technology and that the Dedmon Center at Radford University has a fabric roof.
Radcliffe again pressed Gay on a time frame for completing the project.
Gay replied that at three months per phase it would take about a year and a half to complete.
“We’ll start as soon as we get approval,” Gay said.
Town Manager Shawn Utt said in order to let Lindamood speak with Turman and Haney and possibly other landowners, he recommended tabling the closing question for now, and council agreed.