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Thread: Rezoning R-1 to Commercial Use

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Aug 2001
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    Midwest
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    Rezoning R-1 to Commercial Use

    The City Council, wanting to promote biz and increase sales tax, has decided that City staff should waive the rezoning fees and do the necessary 300' survey and notifications for all properties with frontage on a major arterial. The arterial runs through the city for 4 miles and has mixed residential and commercial uses... For the past year now I've been encouraging those interested to rezone their property to a commercial use, I actually sent out a form letter to every property owner in question.

    The rezoning of the property initiative came down from Council, all the said property rezonings conform to the Comp. Plan, and fronting an arterial makes them some what conducive to a comercial use. The majority of the houses are older and the frontage is relatively inexpensive for that reason along with a few other issues.

    My question is why does the Council baulk at many of these rezoning cases. For example this past meeting P&Z recommended denial of the rezoning for the following reason... The lot had residential lots abutting on the north and south sides. The lot is unimproved with no structures. The lot meets all necessary requirements and is in an area with commercial uses. Just 2 parcels north is a commercial use and a few parcels south. Then across the arterial and to the south there is a small strip center with a convenience/gas store as an anchor... Why encourage these people to rezone the property to only shut them down with only 4 protests... I don't understand this, any suggestions... If this is what Council wants, so be it, but then its time to modify the comp plan and stop this rezoning initiative... RIGHT???

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Aug 2001
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    The Cheese State
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    The approach of rezoning a property at a time, even if not contiguous to a commercial district, may be part of the problem. If they want to get serious about rezoning, do a block of properties all at once, even if some of the owners get upset.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    400 miles from Orlando
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    I agree with cardinal. In similar cases, we have done an "unofficial" study showing how and why this needs to be done, and lobbied the Board prior to taking the concept to public hearing. Additionally, it helps to use a zoning district that requires a detailed site plan at the time of zoning. That way, the Board can make modifications to minimize impacts to adjacent neighborhoods.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Midwest
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    But the Comp Plan designates the area as a Commercial Use. The very few surrounding property owners that did protest are not willing to rezone their property. My theory is it has to start somewhere, and if the first steps aren't taken then its probably not going to happen...

    Regardless of best use or not the Council Needs to modify or update the Comp. Plan and not encourage staff to promote the rezoning if they are going to deny the majority of applications...

    I guess I'm venting a bit, but I just don't understand the reasoning. Anyways since all the surrounding properties are depicted on the comp plan as a commercial use, how would you go about promoting the area. I'm not sure the City can just rezone parcels with out the owners permission??? I believe by ordinance we have to have an application... (thats what I understood you to say? maybe you can elaborate...)

  5. #5
    Member Wulf9's avatar
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    May 2003
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    Near the Geysers
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    Here's what I do with Councils and Commissions. When they make a good decision, I file that away mentally. The next time a similar item comes before them, I say "here's what you did last time and we are recommending the same thing based on your past action."

    If they want to be non-consistent with the past action, I then ask if this is a one-off decision because of unique circumstances (in which case I will suggest findings that apply only in that case) or if they want to change the way they make those decisions in the future. I tell them that we get customers over the counter and we try to give consistent information based on Council action. If they want to change globally, we will also change our information to citizens.

    With this approach, Council and Commission actions start to become more consistent. So you know how to approach the case by case recommendations. You also know what to do on comprehensive plans when those come up for review.

    The "unique decision" approach also allows the Council to do a one off decision without breaking the basic policy direction.

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