V.A. Beadle Trust Rezoning Defeated
The City Council denied the request to rezone the V.A. Beadle Trust property at last night’s city council meeting. The request was to rezone the property from rural residential and general agriculture to secondary business. The proposal was controversial and a group of neighbors organized to oppose it.
Beadle has operated his dental office on the site since 1973. According to his lawyer, who spoke on his behalf, Beadle is in his seventies and thinking of retiring. His dental office is allowed under a special use permit, but he is concerned that the permit may be revoked if the special use is interrupted during the sale. Beadle is worried that a revocation of the special use permit will reduce the value of the property.
Several people spoke against the rezoning. Most were neighbors concerned about increased traffic and potential decline in property values resulting from future development. Everyone agreed that Dr. Beadle has been a good neighbor.
Several speakers mentioned that the comprehensive plan designates the area as a greenbelt. Jane Adams spoke in opposition to the rezoning and framed the vote as a test of the comprehensive plan. If the rezoning request was a test of the comprehensive plan, the plan passed the test.
Two speakers suggested alternatives to the proposed rezoning. Mary O’Hara suggested that additional uses be added to the agricultural zone during the upcoming review of zoning ordinances. Priscilla Pimentel suggested that the area be rezoned to professional/administrative office/residential (PAR). Most neighbors presumably wouldn’t oppose this zoning because they support the property’s current use as a dental office.
I didn’t have a passionate opinion on this, but my preference was to reject the secondary business rezoning. I think the options suggested by O’Hara and Pimentel are acceptable compromises that would allow Beadle to sell the property for commercial use, while protecting the character of the neighborhood.
Of the two compromise solutions, I favor Pimentel’s for the short term and O’Hara’s for the long term. For now, the city should rezone the property to professional/administrative office – after all, it’s been one for the last 37 years. In the long run, we need to revise our zoning laws, ideally to something allowing a greater range of uses.
In other business, the council chose Michael Neill to replace Lance Jack on the council. Neill has previously served on the council and on the park district board. I haven’t heard whether Neill is planning to run for a full term.
Comments are welcome.