Monday, February 21, 2011

Cabin by the Pond Hearing

Sat in on the Planning Commission's hearing for a rezoning request by Ton Egert for his property on Springer Ridge Road. Interesting look at the zoning process. For the past five years, Egert had three cabins on the property which he rented out for short term use. He recently discovered that his property was zoned for agricultural use not for rental/commercial use so he had a rezoning for not only those three cabins but for three additional cabins he wished to build. When asked during the hearing, Egert said his reasons for requesting the rezoning were ignorance of the original zoning restrictions and a need for the cabin rentals to provide retirement income.

The owners of the property adjoining his testified against the rezoning, saying they were willing to live with the existing cabins but opposed any additional. They had problems with cabin renters wandering over on to their property and, while the renters were always polite when told they were trespassing, still found it perturbing. Also, they felt the turnoff onto their and Egert's properties from Springer Ridge Road was already dangerous and the additional traffic generated by the new cabins would increase the hazard.

After listening to both sides and questioning them (a lot of questions coming from commission member Lance Jack to Carol Burns, one of the adjacent property owners, regarding her reasoning for opposing the rezoning, which would make it more difficult for Egert to run his rental business), the commission voted on two separate motions, one rezoning the property for the three existing cabins, which was approved, and one rezoning it for the three existing and three proposed, which was defeated. The question then moves onto the city council next month, with no guarantee that council will follow the commission's recommendations.

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