Council Denies Rezoning Request

Council ChambersSheldon, Iowa — At their meeting Wednesday, the Sheldon City Council upheld a recommendation from the Planning and Zoning Commission to deny the re-zoning of the property at 201 North 5th Avenue from Residential Single to Residential Multiple.  Ryan Kats had asked P & Z to make the change which would have enabled him to move the four unit building just North of G & E Cabinetry to 201 North 5th Avenue. The building would have been moved to make room for expansion by the cabinet company. Planning and Zoning voted to recommend that the City Council deny the request.  At Wednesday’s public hearing, the Council heard three letters plus a petition with 24 signatures, all opposing the re-zoning.  Several property owners also spoke during the hearing, voicing concerns about an older structure being brought into the neighborhood.  They complained about several problems with poorly cared for building already located in that area.  One person stated, “We need improvements, not a downgrade”.  Kats told the Council that they have several rental properties in the City and take good care of them.

Following the hearing, the Council struggled with the problem from several viewpoints.  Councilman Brad Hindt pointed out that the City is already short on housing, and if the four-plex would be torn down rather than moved, it would reduce the number of housing units currently available.  But Councilman Greg Geels voiced the opinion that the Council could not ignore the feelings of property owners who were against the re-zoning.  He made the motion to support the P & Z recommendation, and it was seconded by Councilman Randy Fonkert.  The motion which would in effect deny the rezoning request passed by a four to two vote with Hindt and Councilman Pete Hamil voting no.

In other business the Council approved the hiring of Kevin Miller for the full-time EMT/Paramedic Position.  Miller’s salary will be $30-thousand per year during a six months probationary period, with a $15-hundred dollar increase after completing that probationary period.  The City will also cover the cost of further classes, in full, if Miller stays on the job for three years.  City Manager Scott Wynja told the Council that Miller is currently a member of SCAT, and his selection for the full-time position has the support of the ambulance team.

As the last item on the agenda, the Council went into closed session to consider the purchase of property.   After the closed session, the Council voted to purchase three acres of land as a location for an additional water tower.

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