BELPRE - Following lengthy discussions with property owners and potential buyers as well as the concerns of neighbors, Belpre City Council voted Monday night against rezoning property on John Street.
The rezoning of the property at 405 John St. from C-3 to C-2 had been defeated during the Nov. 12 council meeting and was reconsidered following appeals by the owners and potential buyers of the land.
Bryan and Brenda Carpenter of Little Hocking told council they planned to purchase the property from the current owners and allow Bryan Carpenter to open a welding and fabrication shop that would give him space to work but not bring traffic to the area.
Photo by Jolene Craig
Belpre City Law Director Tom Webster and city council president Will Neff discuss how to proceed with council discussions on the rezoning of property on John Street during the regular council meeting on Monday.
Councilman Larry Martin said he had communications from two surrounding property owners who stated they would prefer the property not change zoning.
Council president Will Neff also read two letters signed by several neighbors of the property who stated they had "major concerns" about the rezoning of the property.
Martin said residents of the neighborhood in question had written letters requesting they remain confidential, but stating they had concerns about the changing of the zoning, which would continue to include commercial marine use, but also automobile and other commercial uses.
"There is nothing I would rather see than more businesses in Belpre, but if we do this than we set a precedent for other property owners throughout the city," Martin said.
In other business:
* Council approved the first reading of legislation to increase the park shelter rental fees from $25 to $40 per four-hour intervals.
"This is to help offset some of the costs the city incurs for the upkeep of Civitan Park," Martin said.
Safety-service director Dave Ferguson said the costs of running the park include the landscape work of mowing the lawns and even trash service.
"There are a lot of costs with running the park that nobody really sees, but are there," Ferguson said. "This fee has not been raised for at least the last 13 years and I believe it is totally justified."
The second and third readings will likely be held during the Dec. 10 meeting, as it is the last meeting of the year.
* Council approved the second reading to rezone property at the west end of Hill Street to allow Continuing Healthcare Solutions of Coolville to build a nursing home and assisted living facility on 48 acres it owns there.
Mayor Mike Lorentz said he does not believe there will be an issue with the Ohio Department of Transportation about building a second access to the property in question from Braun Road to Farson Street.
The final reading of the legislation will be on Dec. 10.