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City Sets Public Hearing For Planning & Zoning Recommendation

By Staff | May 16, 2017

by Jane Whitmore

A public hearing has been set for Monday, May 22, before action is taken on a recommendation from members of the Planning and Zoning Commission to add automotive car washing as a special exception use in areas zoned C1 General Commercial District.

Planning and Zoning was acting in response to interest expressed in developing a car wash on property south of Casey’s General Store.

Discussion on the recommendation was held by City Council members at their meeting Monday, May 8.

“C1 district is pretty much the central business district,” explained City Administrator John Bird.

Councilman Bill Burdick questioned, “Are you going to notify all land owners attached to C1?”

No,” answered Bird. “It’s not going to be a zoning classification change.”

Burdick said he had talked with people living in that area and they were against it at this point.

“They will be notified if an application goes before the Board of Adjustment,” Bird clarified.

“But that won’t be in front of us (City Council)?” asked Burdick.

“That will not be in front of the council,” Bird said.

“Shouldn’t there be a second ordinance that goes along with this?”?asked Burdick.?”And hours of business capacity??You’re putting a car wash in a place that’s surrounded by residential area.”

“We had a similar situation,” said Bird.

“That was an existing business”?Burdick noted.

“Well noise is noise, and we do have a noise ordinance so it would absolutely apply,” said Bird. “All of these things that the Board of Adjustment is supposed to consider in the special exception use permit and impact on the utilities and impact on the traffic. There are a lot of things they are supposed to consider before they grant those things.”

Bird continued, “To answer your first question, the neighbors within that district, or within 300 feet of the boundaries of the district will not be notified before the action is taken to change the text of that section of the Code. There will be a public notice in the paper, a public hearing and then you’d be amending an ordinance that has three readings.”

“I guess what it boils down to, is do we want to start allowing car washes in the central business district,” added Councilman Brian Campbell.

“That’s what it boils down to,” Bird agreed. “Or do you give the Board of Adjustment the authority to allow them??Doing what you’re being asked to do will not be a blanket approval to put a car wash in.”

“No, they still have to get a special exception,” said Burdick. “I?just think the downtown area there’s no place. There’s houses right there.”

Discussion continued on where the application would be filed. City Clerk Kim Kibbie said the request goes to the Board of Adjustment.’

“You have no authority over the Board of Adjustment,” Bird pointed out.

Burdick noted, at one point Dyno’s had a car wash. He asked what process they went through. Bird said that was before he came to Emmetsburg.

“Let’s set the public hearing and see what happens,” said Campbell.

The public hearing is set for 6 p.m. Monday, May 22.