Letter to the Editor

Don't spot zone near school

Friday, June 22, 2018

If you have children in Clippard Elementary or live in west-side subdivisions near Hopper Road, please take notice of rezoning decisions that will be considered by the Cape Girardeau City Council at their Monday, July 2 meeting.

On June 13, the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended the council approve a request to rezone land that is surrounded by R-1, single-family residences south of Hopper Road. This appears to be "spot zoning," which is illegal in some states and generally considered to be at odds with long-term urban planning practice. The developer has requested to rezone an R-1, single family parcel to R-3, high-density residential and C-1, commercial zoning. This would negatively impact traffic patterns, school capacity and nearby property values, and I am alarmed by the rapid pace of this decision without informed resident input.

Last March the commission recommended denial of a similar proposal to rezone land from R-1, single family to R-4, multi-family after hearing from residents who worried the rezoning would "increase traffic congestion, pose a traffic-safety problem and hurt residential property values" (Southeast Missourian, 3/21/2017). However, this commission swiftly voted to approve R-3 zoning a few blocks west of Clippard Elementary and hinted at future approval of commercial C-1, despite vocal resident opposition and legitimate concerns about infrastructure and traffic safety.

This spot zoning request should be denied and resubmitted via a Planned Development District to ensure appropriate city infrastructure and traffic engineering. It deserves thoughtful consideration and needs broader input from affected residents.

TERESA WILDMAN WILKE, Cape Girardeau