Jackson aldermen deny rezoning for medical complex development

Tuesday, November 6, 2001

JACKSON, Mo. -- Opponents of a plan to rezone for commercial use a 19.1-acre tract near four Jackson schools won a partial victory Monday night.

On a vote of 4-3 with one abstention, the Jackson Board of Aldermen denied the request of the Southeast Missouri Medical Center Inc. to rezone the property at the southwest quadrant of the West Independence Street and Broadridge Drive intersection from single-family residential and general residential to local commercial.

The medical center is a nonprofit organization with plans to sell lots to medical practitioners. When opposition arose at a Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, officials offered to include limiting covenants. But opponents argued that the local commercial rezoning would have allowed many different types of retail establishments to locate in the development and would increase traffic.

Mayor Paul Sander said the vote points out the city's need for a new zoning classification for professional buildings that would exclude retailers and directed the city staff to begin developing one.

Alderman Larry Cunningham said the local commercial designation leaves too much uncertainty about the property's uses.

"We don't want to see someone else take over the land and do what can go under commercial," he said.

Said Sander, "When you zone C-1 (local commercial) you are zoning it forever."

Alderman Larry Hall abstained from voting because he is on the medical center board of directors.

In other business, the board approved no-parking designations on West Park Street in front of the National Guard Armory to adhere to new federal regulations in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. New no-parking designations also were approved on the east side of Greenway Drive between U.S. 61 East and Country Club Lane. The purpose of the latter is to ease traffic congestion.

sblackwell@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 182

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