Jackson's board denies special-use permit

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Brian and Connie Meyer just can't catch a break.

After their bakery was obliterated by a tornado a little over a year ago, the Meyers went searching for a new location.

They were finally able to find a spot along busy East Jackson Boulevard. Only this time, it wasn't a natural disaster that got in the way. It was a protective neighborhood.

The Jackson Board of Aldermen on Monday night protected the rights of adjoining property owners and unanimously defeated a special-use permit that would have allowed the Meyers to have an additional 100 feet of commercial space for a drive-through. The front 252 feet is zoned commercial.

Connie Meyers said after Monday night's meeting that, when their bakery was on Hope Street, about 30 percent of their business came via drive-through business.

Now, the Meyers are back on the search again, with only a couple of possible locations, both "off the beaten path."

About 30 residents showed up Monday night, but they didn't say a word. They didn't have to; their signatures and presence said enough. Twenty-seven property owners signed a petition, meaning the measure would have needed a two-thirds majority to pass.

At previous meetings, residents voiced concerns over the zoning change, citing drops in property values.

Some property owners were worried about headlights and parking lot lights.

Brian Meyer said he didn't think they were asking too much.

"We were going to put up privacy fences, direct the light away from the homes. There's no hard feelings, but it's been a long haul. This puts us back to square one."

Aldermen David Reiminger said he felt bad for the Meyers, but said he felt it was more important for the board to protect the neighborhood than to help out a business.

"It would have an adverse affect on the neighborhood," he said. "It's too nice of a neighborhood and I wouldn't want to intrude."

'I just wouldn't want it in my back yard. I'm all for growth, but there is a reason there is 252 feet of commercial property there."

bmiller@semissourian.com

243-6635

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