P&Z Commission tables rezoning request, special meeting scheduled

By Dave Marner, Managing Editor
Posted 11/30/22

Owensville Planning and Zoning Commission members on Monday advanced one developer’s change in zoning request to the city’s Board of Aldermen for a public hearing in December.

A second …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

P&Z Commission tables rezoning request, special meeting scheduled


Owensville Planning and Zoning Commission members on Monday advanced one developer’s change in zoning request to the city’s Board of Aldermen for a public hearing in December.

A second request being considered Monday failed to receive a motion for a recommendation — up or down. However, Mark Schaeperkoetter will have the chance to make a pitch for a planned airbnb facility adjacent to the Rock Island Trail right-of-way near Route P/North Oak during a scheduled special meeting planned at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 12.

During the commission’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting Nov. 28, Mark Schaeperkoetter presented his plan to develop three lots — identified as 404, 406, and 408 Plum — into a proposed two-story, rentable bed and breakfast-type facility adjacent to the Rock Island Trail which is being developed through Owensville.

Schaeperkoetter’s request was a change in zoning of the three vacant lots from the current R-1 (residential) status to C-1 (neighborhood commercial). Several lots contiguous to the property he and his wife, Judy, own are owned by investment companies, he noted in his application. He eventually plans to create one tract out of the three separate lots which will comprise about a half-acre of land.

Access to the property is most easily available from an undeveloped portion of Elm Street where it intersects with Cherry Avenue. The entrance to the portion of Elm in question at the P&Z meeting has concrete curb cuts for a street but the surface is currently in rock. A single vehicle was parked in the middle of the roadway on Tuesday afternoon. 

A gravel alley also runs east-west from Pine Street, a block east of the site the Schaeperkoetter’s Ritual Place, LLC., plans to develop, toward the three lots which carry addresses off of Plum Street, a block north of Cherry. Access off of Plum, however, appears blocked by at least two camper trailers parked in an undeveloped section of the road which dead-ends at the Rock Island railbed easement.

Travis Hernandez, the city’s contracted engineer with Archer-Elgin, told the four commissioners present the Schaeperkoetters have access to a water main off of Plum. There is a sewer main running from Cherry down what was first described as an alley but is the platted extension of Elm north to the Rock Island railbed, according to the map included with the Schaeperkoetters’ application for the zoning change.

Hernandez confirmed afterward the section of Elm is on a city plat. But, it has not been developed and is a rock surface. He also said the developer’s access to the site was off of Elm.

If the Schaeperkoetters wanted to eliminate the short section of Elm once their three lots were combined, it would entail a petition to the Board of Aldermen at a later date to vacate that stretch which also is an undeveloped roadway.

Tom Lahmeyer, president of the commission, asked if there were concerns the property owners would ask for a paved road into the site. Hernandez said the city could possibly put down some rock or asphalt millings to shore up the roadbed if they needed access to the site with concrete trucks. There were additional concerns shared across the board table about access to the site from Plum. 

“I don’t have a question,” said P&Z member Pat Sexton, “but I think that will be a mess.”

“Middle of August you’ll be alright,” said Lahmeyer in response to her concerns.

“No obstacle that can’t be overcome with a little drying up,” added City Administrator Randy Blaske from the audience.

Hernandez reminded commission members of their options. Recommend. Not recommend, 

“Your task — recommend or not,” he said.

The Board of Aldermen will have the final say. If there is no recommendation, the Schaeperkoetters would have the option of taking their request to a Board of Adjustments hearing.

Lahmeyer noted as chairman of the commission, there were three members present who “can have a say” a make a motion to move the request to the Board of Aldermen for their consideration.

“Do we have a motion,” he asked to rezone the three tracts from R-2 to C-1?

He was met with silence. 

“I assume from that we need more discussion?”  said Lahmeyer. “No one wants to make a motion?”

Schaeperkoetter said the next step in his project was to develop a “more detailed structural drawing” of his building and was working on that now. He had implied he was working on a “time frame” for the project and a delay would push back his schedule.

“I called for a motion and none was given,” said Lahmeyer who suggested they table the request until their next meeting or schedule a special meeting.

Sexton made a motion to table the request. Steve Hobein offered the second. Denise Bohl, a Ward 2 alderman with voting rights to the commission, agreed with the proposal.

Lahmeyer added the caveat to the motion they would hold a special meeting Dec. 12.

Jim Moritz was second on the agenda and within a couple of minutes had received approval of his request for rezoning which, it appears, should have been done years ago but never was.

Moritz recently acquired the site of the former Chinese restaurant on Fifth Street at Highway 28.

The 1.67-acre tract of land was never properly zoned for a restaurant, Hernandez told Planning and Zoning Commission members. Rather, it is zoned M-1 for heavy manufacturing.

A local plumbing and HVAC contractor once had its operation based there.

Moritz plans to rent the front portion of the building for a candy and fudge making retail store which would fall under the C-2 Highway Commercial zoning. Existing living quarters at the rear of the building will also be converted and expanded into rental apartments.

Hernandez told commissioners the rezoning request was to change it from “more industrial to more commercial” as it should have been all along. P&Z members agreed and quickly approved Hobein’s motion making the change from M-1 to C-2 on a unanimous vote. Sexton offered the second to the motion.

Schaeperkoetter bumped fists with Jim Moritz, offering a “congratulations” to the local roofing contractor and restaurant owner.

“Can you get a concrete truck into your place,” Schaeperkoetter asked Moritz as he was preparing to leave. Hernandez pulled Schaeperkoetter aside and spoke with him privately.

P&Z members closed out the 30-minute meeting by formally rescinding a prior rezoning request from Daryl Heidbrink of four lots on West Franklin.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here