Mt. Vernon Register-News

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March 18, 2014

Habitat project gets first read

MT.VERNON — A request from the Jefferson County Habitat for Humanity to rezone property at 1714 North St., was held at a first reading by the City Council.

According to Rick Griffith of Habitat, the project is to put up a building to house equipment, supplies and donations for the entity. In addition, the climate inside the building will be controlled and a conference room for meetings will be included.

The property is currently zoned for R-3, and light industrial zoning is requested.

"I-1 zoning is the only zoning which would allow the use in which they could store items outside if needed,"explained City Manager Ron Neibert. "Other zonings, such as B2 do not allow any storage outside."

Councilmen David Wood and Dennis McEnaney questioned Griffith about other zoning in the area. Habitat owns all the property on the block with the exception of two lots — one of which has a garage. Griffith said the properties are not recommended for houses due to the watershed issues on the back of the properties.

McEnaney asked about whether the change in zoning would constitute spot zoning and was told there is other I-1 zoning in the area, and McEnaney requested a map of the area to see what zoning is in the neighborhood.

Wood raised additional questions, saying City Attorney David Leggans sent out a memo to the Planning and Zoning Commission prior to its meeting about concerns of spot zoning, whether B2 or I-1 would be best and a reminder that zoning stays with the property. Leggans said he was informed there is other I-1 zoning in the area, and sent the memo so members of the Planning and Zoning Commission could discuss the issues.

However, the commission — which voted for the zoning change unanimously — did not discuss the issues after finding out there were other I-1 zoning in the area, which would not constitute spot zoning.

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