Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Neighborhood Business District Tabled

The council spent about two hours last night not coming to a conclusion on how to modify the description of a Neighborhood Business District. The main sticking point, and it is a major one, is how to deal with larger commercial buildings grandfathered into what is now a residential area.

The primary sticking point is the area surrounding the intersection of Sycamore and Oakland, as the old Carbondale High School, National Guard Armory and Coke distribution nee Oakland Avenue Auto Repair buildings, all build before current zoning regulations went into effect but none of which are suitable for residential use.  How does the city, and by extension its residents, let the owners make use of their property while still maintaining the residential aspect of the area? While Oakland Avenue Auto Repair operated, those living in adjoining houses complained of auto exhaust coming into their homes on a regular basis. Going out your front door to a face full of car fumes is not what the residents expected when moving into their properties.

A proposal requiring towing services to provide additional tie downs around the wheels and detachable lights on the rear end of towed cars died for lack of a motion after strong arguments against the ordinance by local towing companies. Expense, possible damage to towed vehicles and increase in towing time, all argued by the towing companies, convinced council members not to move forward with the regulation.

Rather surprisingly, the budget passed with little discussion and only one comment from the audience, a call for further cuts to the budget including civic center staff and police department officers.

Council went into closed session about 10:40.

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