Commission approves Thurston zoning

By Corene Brisendine

City commissioners gave their final approval on the rezoning for two lots on Thurston Street by a 4-1 super-majority vote.

City staff and the planning board previously recommended that commissioners deny rezoning of 1021 and 1027 Thurston St. from an R-2 residential district with a traditional family overlay to an R-3 residential district with a multiple-family redevelopment overlay. However, on Aug. 6, commissioners gave preliminary approval to the rezoning by a super-majority vote 4-1. That super-majority was needed to pass the ordinance without the planning board’s support. Tuesday’s vote ratified that decision.

The rezoning was requested by Clint Junghans, Matt Junghans and Gareth Rohr, who want to construct a 15-plex apartment on the lots.

Commissioner Usha Reddi again supplied the lone vote against the zoning change. Reddi said she agreed with the rationale of city staff and the planning board, which was to allow city staff to complete the update to the comprehensive plan before approving any rezoning of residential areas in the city. That update is under way, but is not expected to be concluded for as much as two years.

Reddi said she was afraid the approval would encourage other developers to request rezoning before the plan is completed.

City commissioners also unanimously received and accepted the auditor’s reports for the 2012 City Audit. The auditors found no reportable problems with the city’s bookkeeping and spending of taxpayers’ money.

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