Pidgeon Bay rezoning resolved through compromise

  • Thursday, November 22, 2012

Residents of Pidgeon Bay Road watch as council takes up a rezoning request for business property near their homes.

Those who stuck around after the Richard Rosebrock fete at Monday’s council meeting spotted that rare beast – a win-win situation.
Rezoning disputes, more often than not, are win-lose propositions. Someone is bound to go home unhappy with the outcome.
But the residents of Pidgeon Bay Road showed Monday that, with a lot of persistence, acceptable solutions can be found.
The Pidgeon Bay dispute began last year.
Council was scheduled to give third reading at a November 2011 meeting to a rezoning that would change two lots, totaling just over 10 acres, to commercial/light industrial from residential.
Council had been on the path to approval because there were already businesses on the properties, which are at the entrance to Pidgeon Bay Road from West Richardson Avenue, and because the properties had been zoned industrial when the owner bought them.
Like so many others, owner William Hall discovered after the fact that the county-wide rezoning of 2004 had changed the zoning of his land without his knowledge.
But the residents of Pidgeon Bay pleaded with council to protect their community from undesirable businesses and additional traffic.
So in January council charged Hall and the residents to meet with Planning Manager Alec Brebner and find a compromise.
The result was a new zoning designation – commercial/light industrial II, which shares most of the characteristics of commercial/light industrial but prohibits outdoor storage and businesses with high traffic generation, and allows such uses only along arterial roads, not local roads.
Stephen Scott, speaking for the residents, said Monday the new zoning is a satisfactory resolution.
Councilman Bill Hearn, who represents the neighborhood along with Councilman Willie Davis, praised the two sides.
“They have stuck with it for a long time,” he said.
“This is a good day for everybody,” Councilman David Chinnis said. “Working together they came up with a solution.”
Council unanimously approved writing the new zoning designation into the books and making Hall’s properties the first in the county to receive it.
At a previous meeting, Brebner said the new zoning designation would also be suitable along roads like Miles Jamison Road.

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