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Planning Commission denies zone change

The Jamestown Planning Commission voted Monday to recommend denying a zoning change for four lots in southeast Jamestown after neighbors spoke against it. The request would have changed the zoning of four lots at 913 and 917 18th Street Southeast from single-family residential to zoning that allows duplexes as well as single-family homes.

Roy Sheppard, a resident in the area, told the commission that the addition of duplexes would increase traffic on 18th Street Southeast. He said the street is only wide enough for single-lane traffic when vehicles are parked on both sides of the street. He also called the request "spot zoning" because it would allow duplexes in one area within a larger area of single-family homes.

Four residents of the area spoke against the zoning change. No one spoke in favor of the change.

"We've fought this issue for so many years it's beginning to be old hat," said Ron Buchholz, owner of adjacent property.

Buchholz said the residents of Meidinger Sixth Addition had previously successfully fought a zoning change to allow townhomes in the area.

Buchholz also said he had owned the property that was the subject of the zoning request at one point and sold it with a covenant that it only be used for single-family housing.

Harold Bensch, Planning Commission member, said property use covenants are part of the sales contract and not necessarily part of the consideration for a zoning change.

"But it would be bad to change the zoning and force the local residents into enforcing the covenant," he said.

The recommendation to the City Council to deny the zoning change was unanimous. The item will be on the agenda of the Dec. 5 City Council meeting.

Earlier in the meeting a land use amendment for the same area passed unanimously. The 2015 Land Use and Transportation Plan listed the six lots as designated for parks and open spaces.

Dave Hillerud, chairman of the Planning Commission, said that designation was not consistent with the plat map of the area.

"This is correcting something where the lines got a little fuzzy," he said.