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Residents Oppose Neighbors Rezoning Request
by Ashley Murphy

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Last night's commission voting session also acted as a public hearing regarding a rezoning request on Blue Springs Road. The audience held several residents who greatly opposed the request and wished to make their voices heard.

Commissioner Mel Griffith, however, pulled the request from the agenda, due to many questions that yet to be resolved. Commissioner Ben Atchley disagreed and placed the item back on the agenda, so that the residents could voice their concerns.

Mike Keller, the owner of the property, and George McCoin, Keller's legal representation, opened the public hearing. McCoin stated that the property has been used as commercial since 1996, but was zoned FAR. He went on to say that they were not there for a zoning request, but to fix a mapping error from when zoning first went into effect and that not having this property zoned as C-3 could cause Keller to have to close his business.

Commissioner Jeff Yarber said that the business is grand-fathered in, meaning Keller can run his current business in the FAR zone. Then asked if the zoning was needed just to be able to sell the property.

Keller stated that it does affect his property value and the way he runs his business. A large building was recently erected, but now Keller has no use for it unless the zoning is changed.

Glenda Pritchett was in attendance to represent the residents in opposition. She went on to say that all of these residents have made a home in the area and don't want to see it overrun by big business, saying that a commercial zoning would allow the property owner to place any type of business on the property that owner wishes. Pritchett also mentioned that every single resident has made their tax payments on their land every year, but Keller has not over a three year period. She stated that the county should listen to its paying residents and take them into account first.

County Planner Corey Divel also addressed the situation adding, "To say this is to fix a mapping error would not be correct." The whole process would still have to go through the Planning Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals for all approvals.

Atchley then made the motion to deny the C-3 rezoning request. The motion failed with 6 voting yes and 5 voting no. Either way, the property remains FAR.

The Finance Committee will meet on Wednesday, March 3rd at noon in the County Mayor's Conference Room.

The next County Commission meeting will be held on Monday, March 8th at noon at the Courthouse.