Meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission held September 28, 2021, 5:30 P.M. in the Council Chambers of City Hall.
Mike Cook – Chairman
Members absent: Lee Spencer
Kevin Asker – Vice Chair
City Staff: City Administrator Kennedy
The meeting was called to order by Mike Cook at 5:35 p.m.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: On motion by Dan Gautney, second by Yolanda Stout to approve the minutes of August 24, 2021 as presented. Motion carried.
PUBLIC HEARING VARIANCE REQUEST: The public hearing was opened at 5:36 p.m. for the application submitted by Raj Chahal for 9 acres west of South E Street, between that area where Court Street would extend to the west and Highway 95.
APPLICANT PRESENTATION: Raj Chahal explained he has 9 acres of commercial property in the city limits. He has no plan to develop the property but he has a potential buyer that would like to build something there. He would like to sell it as one parcel which is different than his original request.
STAFF PRESENTATION: City Administrator Kennedy reported all notices of hearing were delivered and published as required. Raj would like to change his request but the commission will still act on his written request as submitted and then they can make a recommendation to the City Council based upon his request. Raj’s written request for a variance was a request to split the 9 acres into two parcels, one approximately 2 acres and the other approximately 7 acres with a 60’ strip of land from Highway 95 headed south that would be deeded to the City for a future road. Raj’s request was a variance from the subdivision rules as he was not planning to install utilities or roads.
WRITTEN CORRESPONDENCE: none
APPLICANT REBUTTAL: none
DISCUSSION AND RECOMMENDATION: Graydon questioned if the City has ever given a variance to all the subdivision rules before. Kennedy explained in the 19 years she has been at the City it had never happened until this year. Earlier this year, Raj requested a variance to the subdivision rules for the residential portion of the property to be allowed to sell it to one buyer only. That variance was approved.
Brian questioned how the new buyer would get utilities. Raj stated the new buyer will have to figure that out as he would sell the property as is. There are utility easements the buyer could utilize so he can use those. Brian questioned Raj, asking do you see why the rules for subdivisions are important? Brian said this is a super hard area on which to make a decision. P&Z is suppose to make a decision that affects many others in the future. He doesn’t want to see the future owner struggle to find a way to get utilities. Brian stated for him, it would be easier if Raj came to him with a map those shows where all the utilities can go and that there is property available to put the utilities in. Raj stated the City will provide services because the property is in the City. The person buying the property will put it in. Brian stated no one knows where the water and sewer will go and what easements they need to find. Brian felt ITD would not allow a private person to install utilities in their right of way. Raj said there are easements to the property and they can use those. Dan stated he understood all of Brian’s concerns about the property.
On motion by Dan Gautney, second by Yolanda Stout to recommend to the city council to deny the written request by Raj Chahal to split the 9 commercial acres into two parcels as Raj wanted to change his request. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
Jerry Cloninger was present as he owns 8 acres to the east of Raj’s property. He bought the property, thinking he was going to build a new building. The infrastructure was a lot more than he thought, as it was about $2.3 million to start. Jerry stated if Raj gets a variance, he will be in to request a variance. He was asked if he wants to sell the property and Jerry stated he has no plans to sell it.
On motion by Dan Gautney, second by Yolanda Stout to recommend to the council to approve a variance request to allow Raj Chahal to sell the property to one buyer. Dan Gautney, Yolanda Stout,
Graydon Galloway voting yes. Brian Perry, Graydon Galloway voting no. Motion carried. Tied vote and the vote was not broken.
Hearing closed at 6:04 p.m.
Brian voiced his frustration with these applications that come before P&Z. He felt these are hard issues and it’s difficult to make a good decision for something that might happen in the future. Graydon was concerned about setting a precedence. Kennedy explained to the commission, that is why it’s very important for everyone to think about the application and come prepared to the hearing with questions and discussion points. It is vital to have the discussion in the hearing and never outside the hearing. She thanked Brian for bringing up discussion points because those points then trigger additional questions from other members.
VENDORS WITHOUT BUILDING OPERATION IN THE CITY LIMITS: Kennedy explained this topic is not a zoning issue, so Planning and Zoning wouldn’t make a recommendation on this. If Dan wants to pursue the topic, he could get on a Council agenda and present his ideas to the Council for consideration. Dan explained a little about what he found and stated he will present the information to the Council when he gets it ready.
CONDITIONAL USE REVISION: Administrator Kennedy stated she needs to do additional research on this topic, so she’ll bring it back to the commission when she has all the necessary information.
MEETING TIME/DATE CHANGE: Chairman Cook asked if the commission would be willing to add discussion of meeting time to the agenda. On motion by Yolanda Stout, second by Graydon Galloway to add discussion of meeting times to the agenda. Motion carried.
Mike asked how everyone felt about the 5:30 p.m. meeting time. Yolanda and Dan said they were fine with it. Brian said he has a very hard time getting customers out of the store and the store locked and still get to a 5:30 meeting. This will be a topic for the next meeting to possibly change the time and date.
NEXT MEETING: The next meeting is October 26, 2021.
Adjourn by Mike Cook at 6:34 p.m.
Tonya Kennedy – City Clerk