Planning commission forwards zoning change, conditional use permit request to aldermen

By Dave Marner, Managing Editor
Posted 4/27/22

Owensville Planning and Zoning Commission members on Monday unanimously forwarded two requests for changes to property designations to the city’s Board of Aldermen for public hearings and final …

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Planning commission forwards zoning change, conditional use permit request to aldermen

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Owensville Planning and Zoning Commission members on Monday unanimously forwarded two requests for changes to property designations to the city’s Board of Aldermen for public hearings and final approval.

In a brief 30-minute session at City Hall, Corey Nicks’ request to change the zoning status of property owned by Dianne Thomas at the corner of East Madison and South Benton from R-2 to R-3. Nicks intends to build a four-plex on the lot behind the Cash-Saver grocery store. The dwellings will be constructed on a concrete slab.

The city’s contracted engineer, Travis Hernandez, addressed P&Z members telling them Nicks has been meeting with him over the past several weeks.

“He did his research,” said Hernandez, an engineer for Archer-Elgin. “He knows his regulations.”

Nicks wanted confirmation that the request for a change from R-2 to R-3 was the correct designation. Hernandez told P&Z members it was.

“As long as the young lady says it’s fine,” said P&Z Chairman Tom Lahmeyer checking with their recording secretary, Christine Thompson. She nodded yes.

A motion was made by Steve Hobein, and seconded by Noel Arnold, to forward the proposed change to the Board of Aldermen for an advertised public hearing scheduled at 7 p.m. Monday, May 16, at City Hall. 

Residents in areas surrounding a property which requires a zoning variance, or other special action, must be notified in writing of the scheduled public hearing meeting and given an opportunity to speak against, or in favor, of a proposed zoning issue.

In the second agenda action item, a request from Ameren Missouri for a conditional use permit to construct a new electric substation was approved on a two-part motion made by Hobein and seconded again by Arnold.

Owensville aldermen will now decide if Ameren will be granted authority to separate an existing parcel of land into two parcels and allow for a conditional use of C-2-zoned (highway commercial) property to build a new substation.

The proposal by Ameren will eventually eliminate the small substation on Cuba Street beside the city’s former electric plant and one behind Jahabow’s plant at Industrial Drive near Rock Island Street. The new site is off of Springfield Road/Old Highway 19 next to where Lakeside Book Company built its paper storage warehouse. 

“Basically, we’re creating a parcel,” Hernandez told P&Z commissioners. 

Commission members approved the motion to separate off a one-acre parcel into two pieces and grant a conditional use permit of the site to allow for a substation. This, too, will go before the Board of Aldermen in a May 16 public hearing before final approval is granted.

Hernandez told P&Z members there is no zoning for power plants. It’s handled through the conditional use process in city zoning codes. “It’s conditionally approved on C-2,” he told them.

The site backs up to the Rock Island right-of-way. Lahmeyer had asked about the set-back requirements from the former railbed which is designated for development into a state park for a linear biking and hiking trail. Hernandez said the standard 50-foot from center line set backs would apply, adding the “back line would be their property line.”

The site is being acquired by Ameren from John Paul and Nancy Quick.

Improvements going on throughout the city now including upgrades to transmission lines, poles, and transformers are included in Ameren’s plans locally to upgrade the entire system’s reliability. The new substations are expected to be in operation by 2025, the city was told.

Budget workshops begin

Budget planning for the city’s 2022-23 fiscal year which begins July 1 are scheduled for consecutive Wednesday evenings starting today (April 27). Meetings are open to the public, begin at 6 p.m. at City Hall, and are designed as budget committee work sessions. Final approval of the city’s budget will come in June following an advertised public hearing.

Budget workshops are also scheduled Wednesday, May 4, 11, and 18.

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