Council denies zoning change

Sean C. Morgan

The Sweet Home City Council denied a request for a Comprehensive Plan amendment and rezone for Valley View Logging last week.

Following a public hearing during its regular meeting on Feb. 14, the council voted 5-0 to deny the request.

The request was to change the Comprehensive Plan map for 1284 and 1288 46th Ave. from low-density residential to highway commercial and rezone 1284 46th from single-family residential to highway commercial.

The Comprehensive Plan designates what zones the council would like property to be, while the zoning ordinance implements the zoning based on requests for rezones.

James Sorrell would like to sell the southern half of his land to Valley View Logging, said Community Development Director Carol Lewis. To use the land for its business, it would need to be rezoned as highway commercial. Initially, Valley View wanted to create a circular drive through the property, but later, Valley View testimony indicated that it would be used for office space.

The request also included land already owned by Valley View, Lewis said. The two lots are zoned highway commercial, but the Comprehensive Plan shows them as low-density residential.

Valley View currently has a truck repair shop on the site, and occasionally parks loaded trucks there, accessing the property from 46th Avenue.

The Planning Commission heard the request earlier this month and recommended denial of the request to the council.

Neighbors on Mahogany Lane testified by letters that 46th Avenue was too narrow and in poor condition. They expressed concerns about congestion created by large trucks, noise and air pollution and devaluing properties in the area.

Doug Hite, a resident of Mahogany, told the council that the noise would severely impact his sleep. After the approval, the highway commercial would be within two houses of his. While it isn’t bad now, it would be. He said he was also was concerned about dust.

Residents of three properties wrote letters in opposition.

Larry Barstad, who works in the shop, said that it has only had one noise complaint, and he has since adjusted his schedule. He also told the council that the space would be used as office space.

The request didn’t include a plan though, and changing the zoning would allow a variety of other uses, said Councilor Scott McKee Jr.

“We set a standard in this neighborhood,” McKee said. “(Approving the application) we’re going against what we said we wanted this neighborhood to develop.”

Voting to deny the request were McKee, Mayor Craig Fentiman, Marybeth Angulo, Ron Rodgers and Jim Gourley. Greg Mahler and Mike Hall were absent.

In other business, the council:

n In other business, the council approved a liquor license for on-premise sale and consumption of beer and wine for Main Street Deli, 1306 Main St.

n Held the second reading of an ordinance granting a franchise to Comcast for construction and operation of a cable system.