Photo by Jay Huff
The house, proposed to be an office and warehouse.
Neighbors did not sound happy about a commercial business near their homes on West Ninth when they spoke to the city council Tuesday. The council held a public hearing to consider action to rezone land at 2401 West 9th from an R-3 residential district to a B-2 highway commercial district.
The home on the property is run down and damaged. Owner Mark Grubb asked for the rezoning so he can covert the buildings to a warehouse and office, and store roll off dumpsters.
Andrea McMillan, a neighbor, said the street is too narrow for that type of business. She said there are no sidewalks and heavy truck traffic would damage the pavement.
McMillan said the lack of sidewalks make walking along the street unsafe when large vehicles are on the street. She said kids playing in and around the equipment would be a dangerous possibility.
Another resident and former city councilwoman Rita Hernandez said the rezoning could hurt property values. Hernandez lives two and a half blocks east of the property. She said the house is historic -- the only Frank Lloyd Wright house in North Platte. She expressed concerns about damage to the street caused by large trucks. She said she already has to call to get potholes fixed and it would be worse if the business were permitted.
Grubb told the council the house is badly damaged, with walls falling down, and roof leaks have caused a lot of water damage to the interior.
Grubb said that he could possibly fix up the house to rent but it would barely clear the existing standards. He said money is a factor. He said he knows no one that would want to rent it where it is anyway as it’s in a less than desirable neighborhood and it would just proliferate the “bad rentals” that have recently received attention at council meetings and in the news media.
Grubb pointed out that the property is surrounded by other bad properties, is only one block from the noisy railroad main line and one block from a busy highway (U.S. 30). He also mentioned how close it is to the Buffalo Bill Ave. overpass. He pointed out that properties on three sides of it are already in a highway commercial zoning district.
Hernandez spoke again and took exception to Grubb saying the neighborhood was “less than desirable”. Councilman Jim Carman added that he had been out by the property and said there are some real nice homes out there and it’s a nice neighborhood.
Mayor Marc Kaschke pointed out that this measure failed to pass the planning commission, where it received only one favorable vote.
The motion failed 7-0.
In other action, the council:
• Approved 6-1 on second reading, an ordinance allowing weapons, explosives and firearms in parks, pathways or other recreational facilities within the city and repealing section #93.05 of city ordinances. Councilman McGuire voted no. The ordinance must pass one more reading to be enacted.
• Agreed 7-0 to removed a no-parking zone on both side of West Philip Avenue between Bare Street and Lakeview Boulevard.
• Approved 7-0 an application by Duanne and Dixie Gaedke for a conditional use permit to allow a caretaker office and owner’s dwelling (night watchman) to be located on the existing Cody Go Carts recreational grouns at 805 Halligan Drive.
• Held a public hearing on a resolution setting the property tax rate for fiscal year 2012-2013. No public comments were made.
• Held a public hearing to adopt the budget statement and appropriate city monies for 2012-13. No public comments were made. McGuire moved to close the public hearing and suspend the rules requiring three readings. Passed 7-0.
• Passed 7-0 a resolution approving Nebraska Department of Roads project along U.S. 83, bringing crosswalks into ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards, thereby making them more accessible to people in wheelchairs and on crutches and walkers. Also, privately owned signs and poles are to be removed from the right of way.
• Approved 7-0 a five-year interlocal agreement with Lincoln County to provide planning and zoning services. The county will pay $26,000 for the service in 2013, with the fee gradually increasing to $30,000 over five years.
• Adopted 7-0 a resolution approving a three-year employee insurance agreement between the city of North Platte and League Association of Risk Management.
• Approved the Mayor’s re-appointments of Elyse Bohling, Connie Huebner and Kim Osborn to the Library Advisory Board.