In a 15-minute long special meeting of Owensville’s Planning and Zoning Commission on Monday, Mark Schaeperkoetter’s rezoning request for property along the proposed Rock Island Trail …
In a 15-minute long special meeting of Owensville’s Planning and Zoning Commission on Monday, Mark Schaeperkoetter’s rezoning request for property along the proposed Rock Island Trail being developed was advanced after he agreed to “modify” his application, removing references to an “Airbnb-style” rental facility.
Schaeperkoetter first presented his rezoning request to the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission on Nov. 28. Three of the seven members of the commission were absent that night and a motion to grant the change from R-1 (Residential) to C-1 (Neighborhood Commercial) failed to gain any traction. The request was tabled until the special meeting on Dec. 12.
At issue Monday was concerns over language in the Schaeperkoetters’ application which referred to specific services used to book short-term rental facilities. Those, the city’s contracted engineer told P&Z members, were restricted to certain zoning areas such as the “downtown commercial” district and not a residential neighborhood.
Travis Hernandez with Archer-Elgin told commissioners and a small audience that in the “context” of how the city’s ordinance was structured, “Airbnb-style” developments were limited to the downtown commercial zones. The city’s ordinance does, however, allow for “short-term rental” arrangements in residential settings.
Whereas bed-and-breakfast establishments typically include an on site resident who operates the facility, short-term rental businesses do not. Hernandez also noted that short-term rental sites are for “transient guests” staying there “not more than 28 days.”
“I think we can modify it to reflect that,” Hernandez told commission members.
P&Z member Noel Arnold, who was not at the session in late November,asked if Schaeperkoetter was willing to amend his rezoning application.
“Yes. I would,” said Schaeperkoetter.
He added that he didn’t even know the term short-term rental term existed.
Hernandez asked if Schaeperkoetter was willing, “yes or no,” to change the application. “Yes,” said Schaeperkoetter. “Right now?”
With that, Schaeperkoetter crossed out the reference to “Airbnb” on his application.
City Administrator Randy Blaske noted the city’s building inspector had “no problems” with access to the property. A city street which has not been developed leads onto the property. It is currently being used as parking spaces for two properties at the intersection of Cherry and Elm. That was a point Tom Lahmeyer, president of the commission, noted, saying, there was “some kind of base underneath” that section of Elm which extends north and dead ends at the old Rock Island railbed.
Sleeping and eating quarters are planned in the upper level of the two-story building Schaeperkoetter plans to build. Lodging for about 10 people is planned. The lower level will be a “commercial enterprise” commissioners were reminded.
Schaeperkoetter said he was thinking about having a snack shop, possibly a bike repair business in the lower level.
The site “might have a museum room” in the lower level “if no one else thinks about it,” Schaeperkoetter added, “Clear out a shed.”
Steve Hobein’s motion to forward the rezoning request to the Board of Aldermen for an advertised public hearing and final consideration was seconded by James Calvin Ruth, another P&Z member who was not at the previous discussion on Schaeperkoetter’s request. The motion received unanimous approval from the seven-member commission which includes Mayor John Kamler, who was absent from the prior meeting, Ward 2 Alderman Denise Bohl, Pat Sexton, Lahmeyer, and Hobein.
Afterward, Hernandez said it was good to have the full commission present so the entire group could have their questions clarified — or answered — as needed.
The city’s Board of Aldermen is scheduled to conduct a public hearing on the Schaeperkoetter rezoning request at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023. The meeting is on a Tuesday due to the Monday holiday.
Aldermen are scheduled to conduct a public hearing at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19, to consider a rezoning request from Jim Moritz on his site at 501 West Highway 28 from M-1 (Manufacturing) to C-2 (Highway Commercial). His application was forwarded to the Board of Aldermen during the Nov. 28 P&Z session.