In one of three public hearings Monday night, the Jackson Board of Aldermen heard comments from community members for and against the commercial rezoning of more than half of the Nine Oaks subdivision.
Applications to rezone a number of lots in the Nine Oaks subdivision were made by B&R Developers LLC of Jackson, Ron and Marcia Clark, Bobby and Jane Clark, Clark & Sons Excavating LLC of Jackson, Southeast Missouri Medical Center Inc. and the Jackson Area Baseball Association.
The neighborhood contains the commercially zoned baseball park Whitey Herzog Stadium. In order to approve the field's original planning request, the city required that owners maintain a 120-foot buffer of residentially zoned land where it bordered existing residential lots.
The owners recently requested that the buffer be eliminated, then amended their request and asked that the buffer be decreased to 25 feet. Janet Sanders, building and planning superintendent for Jackson, reported to the aldermen last month that the planning and zoning commission recommended that a 60-foot buffer remain. If all the requested changes are approved, Sanders said, more than half of the neighborhood, including the majority of the property from Aberdeen Circle to Hubble Creek, will be zoned for commercial use.
Bobby Clark, on behalf of Clark & Sons Excavating, asked that the rezoning request be approved and said that the 60-foot buffer was acceptable.
Steve Ellison, an owner of property that will potentially be rezoned, also said he supported the plan.
Steve Ledbetter of Francis Drive spoke on the opposition side, though he said he would be comfortable with the plan if the 60-foot buffer were maintained.
In the study session following the meeting, Alderman Mark Dambach expressed concerns about issues that might arise from such a large commercial lot lying within a subdivision, such as the baseball field selling the property and a commercial development being created that would be disagreeable to neighborhood residents. He said he would have liked to consider each individual lot separately and possibly have preserved the original 120-foot buffer.
City administrator Jim Roach said a comprehensive rezoning plan was recommended to avoid a piecemeal approach that might have created more confusion and inconsistencies.
Because the planning and zoning board recommendation was different from what the owners requested, the board will need a supermajority, or at least six votes, to pass the rezoning ordinance. The vote is scheduled for June 4.
A hearing was also held regarding the rezoning of a roughly quarter-acre residential tract to commercial zoning. The land, owned by James E. Wagoner, was a remnant from a street widening project that he wanted zoned to match the rest of his property, which is commercial. Wagoner spoke in favor of the rezoning and said he did not plan to develop the land but might sell the entire lot at some point. After the hearing, the board voted to approve his rezoning request.
A third hearing gathered input about the city's performance in the 2007 Community Development Block Grant Industrial Infrastructure Project. The hearing was the final requirement of the grant the city received for Jackson Industrial Park to make water, road and stormwater improvements.
Margaret Yates of the Southeast Missouri Regional Planning and Economic Development Commission reported that the approximately $200,000 grant was contingent upon creation of 22 jobs by ARI-Jackson Manufacturing. In 2007, ARI had 157 employees. Difficulties stemming from the nation's economic problems the following year slowed hiring, which delayed meeting the final grant stipulations. As of now, she said, ARI has nearly 200 employees, meeting criteria to close the grant contract.
* A public hearing was set for 7 p.m. June 18 to consider a special-use permit request to build townhouse buildings on a single residential lot at 522 Broadridge Drive, as submitted by Kenneth and Joan Asher. Thirty-one family units are planned on the three-acre lot.
The board voted to enter a licensing agreement with McQuade Enterprises LLC to refurbish the city mural on the side of the building at 102 S. High St.
* The revised final plans for Cold Creek Estates subdivision, as submitted by A&T Development Co. were approved by the board.
101 Court St., Jackson, MO