Millwood City Council corrected a 20-plus-year-old zoning mismatch at a special meeting Tuesday night.
The council unanimously approved an ordinance changing the land use designation and zoning for a parcel owned by Craftsman Construction at 3106 N. Argonne Road, just behind the company’s main building.
Previously a Public Reserve Zone – designated for city buildings, parks and schools – the council changed the designation to Low Intensity Commercial/Mixed Use. This action gives the parcel the same zoning classification as Craftsman’s main building, adjacent to the west of the parcel.
“This was a proposal actually initiated by the city with the consent of the owner,” City Planner Tom Richardson said. “This was a transaction that happened 20 years ago and the building should have changed at that time.”
According to a written recommendation by the Millwood Planning Commission, the property should have been rezoned when the city sold the property to McVay Brothers Siding and Windows in 1990. The Planning Commission held a hearing on the proposal on Jan. 13.
Following approval of the zoning change, the council amended the conditional uses in the Low Intensity Commercial zone, which is located along Argonne Road.
The amendment allows property owners to apply for a conditional use permit “for a use that is not listed as a permitted use, as long as the proposed use is not specifically prohibited in that zone.” Currently, conditional use permits are allowed in the area zoned Commercial along Trent Avenue.
Richardson noted the catalyst for initiating the amendment was a request made by Craftsman Construction owner Jim Breidenbach, who has the property for sale, to change the zoning on his property to a Commercial designation. The Millwood Planning Commission declined the request but proposed providing conditional uses in that zone on a case-by-case basis.
“The owner of Craftsman Construction indicated that he’s had trouble finding someone to buy the building,” Richardson said, noting that the restrictions of the zoning were making it tough to attract buyers. “There’s not enough parking to take advantage of the square footage.”
Richardson asked the council to support the change because Breidenbach has an offer on his property contingent on amending the current zoning provisions.
Other actions included the approval of a proposal from McKinstry, the city’s energy services company to submit a Department of Commerce Energy Efficiency Grant before the deadline this past Thursday.
McKinstry’s Jayson Schmidt and Casey McGourin presented a proposal outlining the $558,403 facility improvement measures included in the grant request.
The city could qualify for a maximum of $500,000 grant for facility upgrades from the DOC, which has $18 million available for energy efficient projects in 2014. Part of the criteria for the grant includes the city matching a portion of the funds. Mayor Kevin Freeman said the city would match 20 percent, equal to $110,000, of the funds.
In addition to upgrading the heating, venting and air conditioning systems, proposed improvements include replacing the aging water heater, installing transfer grilles and upgrading the thermostat to a 7-day programmable model. McKinstry’s proposal also included project scope, cost and energy savings.
The improvements were based off McKinstry’s Investment Grade Audit. The council approved McKinstry’s services to conduct the Audit in November of 2013.