In a last-minute move, May Town Center developers asked for a request for a rehearing to be withdrawn from Metro Planning Commission's Thursday agenda.
The developers had been asking the panel to rehear the request for a zoning plan that was voted down June 25 . The withdrawal — which passed unanimously — means the applicant has 60 days to bring a request for a rehearing.
An affirmative vote on the zoning change from the Planning Commission would bring the proposed $4 billion, 520-acre May Town Center a giant step closer to the rolling hills of Bells Bend.
In a previous letter, developer Tony Giarratana asked the commission to defer  the decision on whether or not to rehear the May Town motion because Planning Director Rick Bernhardt and several commissioners were absent.
However, as the meeting opened, the commission was informed the applicants had asked to withdraw the request for rehearing rather than defer.
“If we approve the withdrawal, they would have a few more weeks,” Commissioner Stewart Clifton clarified during the meeting. Clifton then asked if the commissioners had the authority to disprove a withdrawal, but was informed by the department staff the commissioners did not.
Whereas a deferral pushes the request back onto the agenda of a later meeting, a withdrawal removes the request from the agenda but gives the applicant an opportunity to bring back a different proposal within the 60-day time frame, according to the Planning Department's Craig Owensby.
Approval from the planning commission is important for developers because with a approval the zoning will need just 21 of 40 Metro Council votes. Without approval, the plan would need 27 votes.